On Monday 17th September, Clough House welcomed Mama Linda, the Prinicpal of Amasango, a school set up in Grahamstown, South Africa for ‘Street Children’. Alison Evans (who has worked as a volunteer at Amasango school) had arranged the talk, as Saint Felix has had strong links with the school for many years. Mama Linda spoke to Year 5 and 6 pupils and told them about a typical school day for the ‘Learners’. It was interesting for the children to find out about the school buildings, the meals, curriculum and the activities the ‘Learners’ enjoyed. Mama Linda was joined by Lucy Buncombe, (a former teacher at Saint Felix and volunteer at the school) who also answered some of the children’s questions.
Hamish Barnes, Year 6, has written his account of the day.
The Head Mistress from a school for children who are a bit poverty stricken flew in to the U.K to market some of the things the children had handcrafted. The items were about £8.00 each. There was an apron, a pillow case (which we bought), a lovely bit of sewing with butterflies on and flowers and some other handcrafted bits and bobs.
She told us about how the children lived and how they coped with it at the start of the lesson. She showed us some pictures of what the children’s homes looked like and how they had to find a tap in the street to get running water for them to drink and stay alive. It made us all very shocked and sad that they have to do that every day.
After that Mama Linda told us about how all the children are different ages even though they were in the same class because some were starting school at maybe ten so they would be put into the good age appropriate class for them so they might be put down to start in first grade instead of fifth grade because they had never done any school subjects before and she talked about the school curriculum it is a bit different to ours. They learn how to knit and make pillows and clothes but they still do maths and English like us. After that Mama Linda told us about their choir and band, she didn’t tell too much about the choir so all I know is that there is a choir but she did tell us about the band. Every Wednesday break the band would practice and practice, there was a bongo drummer, six xylophones players and a tambourine player. She said they had won a lot of awards for their songs and the good beat. At the end of the lesson she played a video of them playing their instruments and we were all so amazed by it and how the front three started dancing at the end, it was amazing to see how happy they were and how much the enjoyed it. She also told us about their sports and about the kid who has now moved out from the school to do professional running which is quite amazing.
The last thing Mama Linda told us about was their support, their support is incredible like these three ladies from Suffolk who knitted them scarfs and hats. There has also been a lot of help from their government giving them more rooms and they have had people from England come over to help and be assistants and there has been a lot of donations from all over the world.
The whole class must have felt very grateful for Mama Linda sharing her experiences from South Africa.
Hamish Barnes – Year 6