First school day after Summer holidays:
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 … 😉 …; 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.
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.
Early morning I start the day with a doggy walk, followed by the obvious coffee, and most of the time I have my camera with me just in case of. There was a bit of mist in ‘Die Vlei’ (little lake) but not enough to make a faerie-like picture; still than I shot a few. Can you see the ducks? People going to work on their feet or by car and school children on their way to get educated by dedicated teachers (here in the village they are!); some in a hurry and others in slow rural pace. The sun is rising and lightning the moon. This is Good Morning in Stanford, somewhere in nowhere in South Africa!
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!!!
Remember me going to the Graduation Ceremony of the pre-primary school in a nearby location (township) in South Africa? Well here is what I distilled from the few hundred pictures I made. It’s about children and the joy people have despite severe poverty. And also about a community leader as one of the many who made it all possible. There is not much written history about the different tribes in South Africa and certainly not much from books is known to people in communities like this. But they inherited a story-telling culture and history flows in one or another way from generation to generation. Not the history of facts but a history of ancestry and spirituality. Due to influences of modern times the cultural heritage is threatened with ‘uprooting’ leaving people without knowledge about their cultural background and without hope, without future….