St. Mary’s Visit to South Africa Exceeds Expectations
South Africa Visit June 2007 gallery (600 photos)
Fourteen St. Mary’s students embarked on a journey to South Africa this summer to deliver a leadership programme to a high school in one of South Africa’s poorest rural areas. The multi award winning Bambisanani Partnership, founded by former Assistant Headteacher Mr David Geldart, is now in its eleventh year, and continues to develop its pioneering work with Mnyakanya High School and other organisations in the KwaZulu-Natal region, using sport as a catalyst to promote education, health, leadership and global citizenship.
This year’s visit was led by Mrs Chattoe and Miss Jackson, with support from Mr Hamill and two lecturers from Leeds Trinity University, Mr Chris Howley and Mrs Diane Maguire.
St. Mary’s students Ewan Copsey, Tadhg Collins, Laurence Patterson, George Powell, Larissa Meggitt, Pauline Hall, Rosie Egan, Lorna Gilroy-Turner, Ezra Cheng, Megan O’Connor, Phoebe Kendall, Niamh Devine, Natasha Cooper and Katie Fearnley had prepared for eighteen months for what would prove to be an amazing adventure and a significant learning experience.
Developing leadership through sport and education is one of the key aspects of the Bambisanani Partnership and throughout their ten day visit, the St. Mary’s students, supported by students from Eshowe High School, mentored twenty Mnyakanya students through the Bambisanani Leadership Programme. The programme aimed to provide the Mnyakanya students with the necessary leadership skills and confidence which would enable them to organise and deliver both a Sports Festival and a Reading Festival for over one hundred pupils from Ntolwane Primary School. As part of this process the Mnyakanya students were taught how to play, teach and organise competitions in rounders, netball and rugby. The leadership course was a tremendous success as was evident when the Mnyakanya students delivered two quite unbelievable festivals. It was a learning process that empowered students from both countries in a real spirit of teamwork and mutual respect.
Additionally, as part of the visit, the St. Mary’s students also delivered lessons in a wide range of diverse curriculum areas ranging from History to Biology to classes full of enthusiastic Mnyakanya learners. Teachers from both counties praised the students for the ‘exceptional high quality’ of the lessons.
At a special presentation ceremony and partnership celebration, Mnyakanya students received their much deserved Leadership Awards and students from Mnyakanya and Ntolwane Primary school were presented with a series of annual awards from the John Paul II Foundation for Sport and the Lawrie McCauley awards for football and writing.
Ten days of intense hard work and learning culminated in the St. Mary’s students volunteering at the Zulufadder Orphanage for AIDS orphans and vulnerable children. Here the students organised a variety of sports, games, singing and ‘story sacks’ which all proved to be a tremendous success.
The visit had a remarkable impact on St. Mary’s pupils.
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