Silatsha School, Cintsa, South Africa
Nearly every day the crew spent their mornings mixing several batches of cement and plaster to prepare for the day’s work. In June, EDventure participants finished assembling the roof of a brand new kitchen/classroom along with plastering the entire outside and inside of the building.
They also began sanding and preparing the outside of other classrooms for a new paint job in order to create a more welcoming and clean
environment for the students.
In July, participants literally pounded away to complete the construction of the classroom. The participants arrived with the task in hand to put up the ceiling in the building which meant the group spent two days hammering in order to complete the task. After such a huge accomplishment, they worked to paint the inside and outside of the building, including the painting of a gorgeous, artistic mural that filled the ceiling with a beautiful sky and the alphabet peeking out from the clouds, African animals on the walls including a corner filled with the scenic surroundings of Silatsha village itself as well as the EDventure van that the volunteers rode in each day. Once the volunteers arrived in August, they were finally able to complete the construction of the building, with the installation of windows, tile placement for the floor, and final touchups.
Everyone was in awe when they realized what a difference they had made, as it is such a privilege for the local children to attend school. Not all villages have easy access to a school that is actually within the proximity of the village itself. Transport is extremely limited, there are very few buses, and public transportation becomes an added expense. Therefore, it’s a challenge to get to school every day. On top of this, not every school has enough teachers to accommodate the amount of children.
The classroom project began as the construction of a lunch room, but because it has been transformed into such a beautiful room, the teachers actually debated over whose new classroom it would be. The mystery was revealed when EDventure participants returned this January 2015, to begin the construction of the foundation of another classroom. During their workdays they worked alongside the new eclectic and colorful classroom which is now full of excited and engaging students, embracing their new learning space.
In Silatsha School in particular, there are five classrooms and about 100 school children. Thankfully there are enough teachers to support the classes and provide the children with an improved level of education. They focus on OBE, which is an outcomes based education. This curriculum includes English, Math, Xhosa Language, Life Skills, History, Social Sciences and about a 45 minute recess. The school also has a feeding scheme in which children are provided lunch everyday which consists of rice and on occasion a vegetable soup, as well as maize and some fruit. With a school motto of “Imfundo Bubom,” meaning “Education is Life,” it’s safe to say, Silatsha School is on the right track.
In addition to the EDventure participants creating a welcoming clean, environment, they brought together the students and introduced the concept of a hard working team and collaboration. Children showed up on their holiday days to help, and even worked on Sundays when they could have been out playing with their friends. The children seemed to support the idea that, “together we can achieve more,” which gave them a sense of pride and accomplishment, knowing that they participated and assisted in the painting and completion of their future classroom. Thus impacting a school, a community, and a future generation.0