Irish children from a school in Adamstown, Dublin, visited Vision AfriKa learners in Kayamandi last week in order to strengthen the special relationship between their two organisations.
The educational NGO’s work is seen as providing a positive example of community development, which is beneficial to the Irish students’ studies, while South Africa and its history offer an interesting case study of a developing nation.
The Irish learners’ teacher, Tom Broderick, also has a long-standing association with Vision AfriKa and has visited its headquarters at the Ikhaya Trust Centre on three previous occasions.
As a result of the visit, the nine Irish students spent time with the Grade 10 and 11 learners during last week’s sessions, where the focus was on how to ensure a balanced lifestyle, and to explore the relationship between leadership and community respectively.
During the leadership and community activity, the Grade 11 group was split into two, with five plus two Irish students taking up the role as leaders, and the rest acting as members of the wider community.
The leaders walked into the “meeting” and started addressing it, but community members were angry because they had been fed lots of misinformation about the get-together and felt that their leaders were failing them.
Although the leaders were confused, the situation led to a huge discussion about what was going on, with both sides putting forward completely different points of view. This meant that, while the meeting did not take its intended course, it proved an excellent learning experience for the Irish students as they had never taken part in an experiential session of this type before.
At the end, the Vision AfriKa learners asked the coordinator if they could sing for their Irish visitors, which everyone really enjoyed, ending the session on a high note.