Quebec Student Participates in International Cultural Exchange Program in South Africa


Golden Key International Honour Society, founded on 29 November 1977, is an academic honor society which recognizes and encourages scholastic achievement and excellence among college and university students from all academic disciplines.

Charlene Bayer, this year’s Golden Key/ING DIRECT creative writing competition winner, was one of seven Montreal drama students invited by the Ubuntu Education Fund to participate in a 3-1/2 week international cultural exchange program in South Africa. The program’s general idea was to raise awareness about the social issues brought on by AIDS and poverty in both Canada and South Africa. While preparing for the trip, Charlene had decided that she wanted some of the prize money received from the ING Direct writing contest to go towards helping some of the underprivileged children she would be working with in South Africa. How to do this effectively and practically was not so obvious. She decided to donate 1/3 of the prize money, so she purchased US$300 in American Express traveler’s cheques. After about a week being there, meeting the children, observing how they live, and learning about how their education system compares to ours, she came up with her own idea about how she could best help these children. She noticed that most of the school program was academic, and it was sorely lacking in funds to offer any kind of arts program like we are privileged to have in North America. She told one of the adult coordinators at the program that she would like to purchase some art supplies in order to help bring some of the joy she had found in arts to the children of Missionvale, South Africa, whom she had become fond of during the short time she worked with them. To read more about this article, please visit &

About Golden Key

Golden Key is the world's largest collegiate honor society. Membership into the Society is by invitation only and applies to the top 15% of college and university sophomores, juniors and seniors, as well as top-performing graduate students in all fields of study, based solely on their academic achievements. As an international honor society with more than 400 chapters at colleges and universities around the world, Golden Key is committed to a high standard of scholastic achievement, and an ethos of integrity, innovation, respect, collaboration and diversity.