Guests from Stellenbosch’s Rhenish Primary visited learners at Vision AfriKa’s Primary this month in a bid to build bridges between the two schools as part of a Mandela Day project.
Mandela Day is celebrated on former President Nelson Mandela’s birthday on 18 July each year. It is used as an opportunity to undertake activities that can help change other people’s lives for the better.
As a result, on Friday 12 August, 26 learners, two educators and two members of the Parent Teacher Association from the Rhenish Primary, an English-language-based state school in Stellenbosch, spent the day with Vision AfriKa Primary’s Grade 2 learners in the Kayamandi township just outside. The event began with a series of presentations from teachers about their respective schools.
Vision AfriKa’s Ms Vokwana talked about the history of the educational development NGO’s headquarters the Ikhaya Trust Centre, while Ms van Jaarsveld discussed what a normal day at Vision AfriKa Primary looked like. Ms Maike Graser, Grade 4 teacher at the Rhenish Primary, then told everyone about her school’s history.
All of the learners who had been sitting together on the carpet of the Trust Centre’s hall, were then asked to move around and find someone from the other school to befriend. Next they chose books from the library and read together, before finding out about each other’s interests.
The teachers from both schools also networked and exchanged useful ideas about the challenges they face as educators. The guest teachers were then given the opportunity to explore the premises.
When the weather cleared after lunch, the Grade 2 learners from Vision AfriKa Primary entertained their guests with traditional dances, with which the visitors soon joined in. Everyone then went to the play area and played football and spun tops.
While the outreach visit was fun and enjoyable, it also taught everyone valuable lessons about how to bridge language barriers and cultural differences. As a result, its impact will be felt for a long time to come.