Karien and Wiehan from Living Kids Sports Academy provide some insight into the difference LEGO has made to principals, teachers and children of Mamelodi and Eersterust.
“The training sessions have always been a time and place where people can get away from their everyday challenges and forget the sorrows of life for a little while, because they are enjoying each other's company while having lots of fun and laughter. It is such a privilege to be part of a program that brings so much HOPE to people's lives! We stand in awe of the difference it is making with regards to people's state of mind and also to their ability to develop the bodies, minds and souls of the little children in their ECD Centres. Since the little ones are the future of our country, this is extremely important and also very encouraging!
We continually experience the unity that is forming among people during training sessions. Teachers and principals from different ECD Centres and forums are getting to know each other and as a result they are working together more closely and ECD Centres are supporting each other more.
At our new training premises, one of the larger ECD centres, we have a lot of space to work outside and whenever the LEGO DUPLO activities allow it, we spend both hours of training (Sport and LEGO), outside. Like children, adults love being outdoors and every week they are having fun in the winter sun. Sunshine, movement and laughter are healthy food for the soul and they fully enjoy acting a little bit like children again. This week, they did not want to leave when it was over. This is only week 4 of training and already they are saying they hope the training never ends.
The principal of the host centre also mentioned how many enquiries she is receiving lately from people who had witnessed the fun and laughter during the past weeks, while passing by the school. When she explains to them what the training is about and that it is actually for teachers and principals of ECD Centres to develop the skills of little children, people then ask if they can join to improve themselves! How amazing is that?! Many times they will stop and stand watching for a while before they go on their way again. They simply long to be part of the fun and laughter they are witnessing. Our 12 week program was developed by André Cillie and it focuses on teaching people the basic life skills: respect for others, self discipline, team work, how to value others and much more. With the knowledge and tools provided to us by Care for Education, we can now expand this program to much more!
We are also learning a lot from each other across the cultural lines. We have come to know the people of both Eersterust and Mamelodi, as kind, loving and caring people. What we are experiencing is SO different to what the media makes us believe about each other! We are all simply longing for exactly the same things - to live a good life in safety and in peace; to be able to care for our children and to give them the best future possible; and also: simply to be loved and valued as an individual human being.
We truly appreciate the part Care for Education is playing in this amazing story God is creating in Mamelodi and Eersterust.”