Four of Londolozi’s youngest family members graduated from our GWF creche a few days ago and are now ready for big school. There was much joy and celebration surrounding the ceremony, very representative of the nature in which the Londolozi community supports one another.
Bunhle, Kai, Oscar and Bunhle (yes, there are two!) have been attending the GWF creche for the last four years, receiving a solid educational foundation out in the bush, from which they will grow in the coming years.
The festivities began with the children singing their welcome songs and introducing themselves one at a time, as well as showing off their skills by reciting the days of the week, months of the year and lots of counting.
Our wonderful Mo Groch, affectionately named ‘Gogo’ (grandmother) also addressed the children. ‘Gogo’ is a woman who so many at Londolozi see as their mother or grandmother away from home and has driven the education here with an incredible passion for the last eight years. She reiterated some of Mandela’s famous words; “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.
Gogo then encouraged us to look around and question; ‘What are these children going to become? Could we have presidents, doctors, lawyers or entrepreneurs who are going to start their own businesses sitting in front of us?”. Gogo also addressed the parents, thanking them for the effort they have put into their children’s education up until now and urging them to continue their hard work.
Kate Groch, CEO of the Good Work Foundation, could not be with us but was very much there in spirit. In a note to the attendees, she also encouraged the parents to continue all their hard work helping these beautiful children to move forward in the world. There was a big emphasis and thank you from Kate to the wonderful teachers of the GWF crèche who have spent so many hours teaching the children, as well as showering them in love.
But the fun didn’t end there. James Tyrrell, ranger-come-musical-talent arrived in his lion suit to play his guitar for the young graduates. At this point, the well-trained children, who know better than to be around a lion, all bolted from the stage! Gently coaxed back by their parents, they were soon all laughing and joining in with the rest of the guests in singing Christmas carols to the rhythm of James’ guitar.
This was all just a warm up for the big celebration as it was at this point that we were addressed by our General Manager, Chris Kane-Berman who spoke about the successes of the children at the GWF creche over the years and what a wonderful thing it is to have such a school right on our door step.
He spoke on behalf of the Varty family, thanking everyone for their continuous support and wished the graduates the very best of luck for big school!
The four little graduates briefly left the stage and arrived back dressed in their gowns, as proud as ever to receive their certificates.
Chris then handed out their certificates as well as a gift from Londolozi and the GWF – a getting ready for school pack; school bag, lunch box, pencils and the like, whilst the village erupted with joy at the success of these four youngsters.
The close and encouraging environment in which they have started their education is something that is so special about Londolozi, and the support given to them on this proud day was no different. It really was a day that warmed our hearts and we look forward to seeing what great things these four children achieve over the coming years.
Written by Jessica MacLarty