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The Three2Six refugee education proect

 

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15/07/2016: South Africa

 

The Three2Six refugee education proect Holy Family College campus held its first classes on Monday 6th June. 14 grade R and 1 learners attended, playing in the playground, drawing and colouring, introducing themselves to new friends and teachers, singing and sharing a meal. The occasion was marked by a small welcome ceremony with College leaders and Three2Six Committee. Rabbi Sa’ad from our project partner, Beit Emanuel Synagogue, led us in a prayer and then the children bravely introduced themselves and joined the adults for afternoon tea. The project’s Coordinator, Bec Bromhead shares her strongest memory from the day:

“The little Three2Six children got off the bus, still quite nervous, and we led them across the field towards the playground. Two Holy Family learners who were playing on the field called out to them ‘are you the new school’ and when we responded they called out ‘welcome’ and ‘nice to meet you’. We arrived inside the playground gate and were immediately surrounded by curious Holy Family learners in the after care program. They listened on as we went over the playground rules and again there was a chorus of ‘welcome’ and ‘oh yeah we heard about you’ followed by ‘come and play with us’. I was so touched.

But what happened next moved me beyond measure and I had to turn away to collect myself. Without any instruction or prompt, the Holy Family learners took our Three2Six children by the hand, one by one, and led them to go and play. Within seconds the playground was full of laughter. Holy Family leaners encouraged small Three2Six children to climb the ladder and try the slide. A group called aside our two oldest boys to join their soccer game on the main field. A line of five Holy Family learners pushed five Three2Six children on the swings. And I thought to myself; 'this is the true South Africa. This is what we can be together. These children have so much to teach us about tolerance and acceptance’.

To our Holy Family learners - thank you for your kindness and warm welcome. To our Holy Family staff - thank you for teaching kindness and generosity. To our Holy Family parents and families - thank you for raising kind and compassionate young people. Let us continue to be a place where kindness and acceptance triumph over xenophobia and intolerance”.

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