Thank you from Ms Lawlor
This is a note to thank you all most sincerely for your generous contributions to my fundraising campaign in the Summer.
I headed off to Capetown at the end of July where I was placed in a secondary school called Silversands, with the charity, MellonEducate.
This is a link to a blog that I prepared for the charity website. (Complete with grammar mistake!)
I was placed in a secondary school based on my experience of teaching at the senior end of Primary School in Dublin as the first couple of years in public secondary schools in Capetown are, more or less, similar in standard to 5th and 6th class in our primary schools.
I worked with a team of five other teachers. Our focus was primarily on English and maths, but I found myself drawn into history, geography, music and dance as well.
There were three languages in the school. Some children were learning through English and some through Afrikaans. IsiXhosa was the third language spoken by nearly all.
We worked with our South African colleagues in the form of shared lessons, modelled lessons and workshops and thanks to your very generous support, I was also able to bring over lots of resources to leave with the school including books, posters, whiteboards, teacher's resources and some simple percussion instruments.
The young people whom we were teaching were just lovely. Despite very difficult social and economic circumstances, they were upbeat, good-humoured, fun and extremely appreciative of our efforts. They understand the importance of education and they are incredibly musical.
In the short space of time that we were in the school, we managed to make a real connection with the staff and pupils and this was very important for the morale and engagement of the children and their teachers.
When I think of my experience now it makes me a little sad. I returned to life in Dublin knowing that the lovely, young people of Silversands do not have any such luxury. Many of them might never have left the township in which they live, not even to travel a few short kilometres away to see the sea.
Thank you so much, everyone, for your generosity and for making it possible for me to go to Capetown. Thank you for all your pencils, pens, crayons and markers and for the beautiful children's clothes that you provided. I carried out as much as I could with me and I gave anything I could not manage directly to the charity to arrange delivery. The office of MellonEducate is just behind the Fruit World on the Lr. Kilmacud Road.
Here is a is a link to some photos: www.dropbox.com
Go raibh mile maith agaibh,