Buzzy Bees

Nearby our house is the pre-primary school Buzzy Bees next to the primary school Okkie Smuts and there is a nice flow from one to the other despite that Okkie Smuts is original an Afrikaner School which pre-Mandela was not allowed admit children with another skin colour than ‘white’. But times have changed for the better in a way although both schools are not state schools (parents have to pay for it). People from The Scheme (the area where most ‘coloured’ and ‘black’ people are living -designated by the past) who financially can afford to let their children have a more appropriate education send their ‘kiddies’ to this school. The Buzzy Bees, as I understood, started up as a kind of community project.

Pictured (opalotype processed) are children on their way home with and without shoes…. And they love to pose (natural gifted photo models)weekendgreetingsBuzzyBees

The learning curve

Education is extremely important; always has been. Active knowledge of 1 or two extra languages eases you to travel and experience the bigger world. Unfortunately not all people are able to get the education they deserve; partly by a lack of a good and broad accessible education system (= politics) and partly children/students are not really motivated within their own environment (= culture) such as the case in the country I live in (South Africa). Many parents (most of them but not all privileged) decided to take education in their own hands and home schooling is taking of in this country. But the majority of the people seemingly don’t see the importance of education and keep their children on the ‘side line’ partly also that parents can’t afford the school fees.

There is still ‘apartheid’ in the South African education system with fairly good education in the ‘White’ schools (nowadays also accessible for ‘non-white children’ but very costly) and there is still ‘Bantu education’ with relatively low school fees but not always the desired quality (= understatement). Knowledge is power and power-without-knowledge results in a ‘phenomenon’ like Julius Malema¬†and his new political party Economic Freedom fighters; merely consisting of members without much education.

Some refreshment is needed ….

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Home Sweet Home

These pictures show how millions of South Africans are housed.

To avoid misunderstandings: it’s NOT the homestead of South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma. This guy has always been very privileged … ūüėČ …; most probably never stayed in a shack (well I did and it was quite an experience. Everything there except electricity and a toilet …)

These pictures are part of a documentary serie I’m engaged in for the NGO Food4Thought which runs the pre-primary school Funimfundo (= ‘Seeking Knowledge’) in the location (township/informal settlement) Die Kop nearby my village. The school is privately funded (no state involved), exists for 10 yrs and is regarded as one of the best in the Western Cape.

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One Misty Morning 8

In primary school in Holland we learned that clouds were made above the sea. During many travels abroad we learned that this is not (always) the case. Thursday Morning August 1 I did my farm tour around the village and this is part 8 of the result. Sometimes I’m still in doubt wether I will process a picture in B&W or in color. In those cases I will publish both. Same applies for processing in color so there is one ‘chapter’ in the serie with two full color images of the same landscape. Maybe some of you have an opinion?

At last but not at least I have to thank all those farmers and their staff who let me intrude in their work and life. It’s a homage to all those fine people who are shaping the landscape that inspires me endlessy. Thank you guys!

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One Misty Morning 4

In primary school in Holland we learned that clouds were made above the sea. During many travels abroad we learned that this is not (always) the case. Thursday Morning August 1 I did my farm tour around the village and this is part 4 of the result. Sometimes I’m still in doubt wether I will process a picture in B&W or in color. In those cases I will publish both. Same applies for processing in color so there is one ‘chapter’ in the serie with two full color images of the same landscape. Maybe some of you have an opinion?

At last but not at least I have to thank all those farmers and their staff who let me intrude in their work and life. It’s a homage to all those fine people who are shaping the landscape that inspires me endlessy. Thank you guys!

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Mandela Day in the village

Today we celebrated Mandela Day at the pre-primary school Funimfundo in informal settlement Die Kop near our village. For 67 (+) minutes around 20 volunteers from all walks of life worked in the garden or were engaged with improving the plumbing. And the children? They had their afternoon nap (more or less, see pics) and dreamt of a better world. One of the volunteers bought special boots for the occasion: “Food for all” is her motto.

 

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Greetings from an extraordinary pre-primary school

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The children are not as shy as head-mistress Nonkosinathi¬†to pose in front of the camera and yet, sitting on a swing, she feels like one of her ‘students’.

Funimfundo (Xhosa for ‘Seeking Knowledge’) is an extra-ordinary pre-primary school in the informal settlement Die Kop just outside our village. The school is privately funded via the NGO Food 4 Thought¬†and fundraising (in Europe and USA but also in South Africa) is needed to keep the school alive and kicking.

The initiative for the school came, in 2003, from Die Kop (especially the ‘mothers’). ¬†Funimfundo grew in 10 years to one of the best Pre-Schools in the Western Cape. ¬†The teachers (fully qualified after an extensive training funded by Food 4 Thought) ¬†all originate (‘born and bred’) from Die Kop. At the moment there are 55 pupils and significant is that a majority of them are from the village and raised by parents who value good education in line with their own traditional values.

It’s heart warming!!!

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