In his recent TED talk, Boyd Varty spoke about Ubuntu, defined as “I am, because of you.”. In no small measure, visitors to Londolozi leave having accessed a sense of Ubuntu and throughout the years have contributed to the lives of people living in and around the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.
Fiona Caldow, Head Teacher at Pine Trees Preschool in Scotland, was not even a visitor to Londolozi, and yet, through an inter-connected group of people who are inspired by Ubuntu, she has become part of the Londolozi story. More specifically, every week for several months, Fiona has helped the Good Work Foundation on their mission to digitally empower the children at the Londolozi preschool.
Here is Fiona’s story:
“My first glimpse of Londolozi was when my mother and father-in-law were planning a special holiday to South Africa. A friend had told them all about the Londolozi Reserve and had shared the wonderful story of how it came to be what it is today. They set off on their once in a lifetime holiday with a special couple whom they had been friends with for over 30 years.
They had an amazing holiday and loved every part of Londolozi and its people. Whilst there, they visited the Good Work Foundation (GWF) Digital Learning Centre and were all so inspired with the work carried out and the opportunity it brought to the workers and their families. They met some of the children in the nursery and were just in awe of their passion for learning.
Sadly when they returned home, their very good friend whom they had travelled with, died suddenly. This was a real shock but in many ways they were so fortunate to have spent such special times together in South Africa.
It was then that I thought we could continue this special memory and I got in touch with GWF. I myself, had just taken over a children’s nursery here in Scotland and thought in memory of our friend it would be nice to form a special link with the preschool at Londolozi, giving all our children a chance to make new friends and get a glimpse of life elsewhere.
We have since been running weekly Skype sessions, meeting one another and singing and sharing pictures and stories. It has given all our children such joy and is a continual learning experience.
In July we held a summer fete in aid of GWF and raised over £1000. I can’t even begin to explain all the amazing bonds and experiences that have been made as a result of this friendship, it’s early days and the children are still getting used to the Skype sessions but I truly feel there is more to come which will help all our children grow in so many ways.
Note: As well as setting up weekly Skype sessions, Good Work Foundation has introduced digital literacy lessons (using tablets) at the Londolozi preschool. Diane Myburgh – GWF Preschool Coordinator – has facilitated teacher training workshops at 12 preschools in Mpumalanga and the program continues to grow. Thank you to all of our guests for continuing to support rural South Africa’s first truly digital preschool!