Rawsonville, South Africa – The Anna Foundation has launched a new after-school project at
the Merwida Wine Farm in Rawsonville, aimed at supporting the holistic development of 90
children between the ages of 5-18 years. The project opened its doors on Monday, January
23rd, 2023, making structured Educational, Sports, and Life Skills support available to the

The farm’s Social Worker, Mercia Prince, said, “When I started here 4 years ago, it became
my vision to develop an after-school centre on the farm. And thanks to the Fairtrade
Premium, here we are today. The fact that this is happening is really a dream come true for
me. It is a baby that I am excited to nurture and see grow up.”

Merwida has been a Fairtrade farm for 10 years, ensuring a premium is received for every
bottle of Fairtrade wine sold. This money goes straight back to the farm workers who decide
how they would like to use it. Over the past decade, the Merwida farm workers have chosen
to invest this money into various community initiatives – including an ECD centre, healthcare
contributions for the farm community, and recreational clubs like their soccer, netball, and
fishing teams. The Anna Foundation’s after-school programme is their most recent

Albertus van der Merwe, Fairtrade Officer at Merwida, adds, “We have an excellent Early
Childhood Development Centre on the farm called Merwida Leer en Speel, that has been
running for 6 years and we are confident our children are fully prepared for school when they
enter Grade 1. Our concern, however, is that the under-staffed and under-resourced local state
schools are not able to ensure that the older children progress through school at the required
developmental levels. We felt that a well-structured after-school programme will go a long
way in providing the necessary support and structure for our children on the farm to not only
complete their schooling but also improve their prospects after matriculating. We contacted
the Anna Foundation for support and guidance, having heard first-hand about the great work
they are doing in the Western Cape”.

The Anna Foundation’s “3 Rs Programme: Reading, Running, Right-ing” is now facilitated at
the farm’s newly built study centre every afternoon of the week, providing access to library
facilities, sports equipment, safe supervision, and remedial support. Three local women have
been employed to facilitate the professionally developed programme on a daily basis and
have started attending formal monthly training workshops hosted by the Foundation. The
Anna Foundation’s Project Managers also provide weekly on-site support to further empower
these facilitators and assist with their on-site needs.

Prince expressed her gratitude, saying, “I am so grateful for the Anna Foundation – for the fact
that everything is so structured, that they have fantastic development programmes, and that
they are a group of devoted people. The workload is huge, and this support and groundwork
of the Anna Foundation is just amazing!”

The Anna Foundation’s new after-school project at Merwida is a testament to the
organization’s long-standing commitment to creating opportunities for children in rural
communities. By providing access to quality education, sports facilities, and life skills
support, the project aims to empower these children to reach their full potential and build a
brighter future for themselves and their community.