Our partner school, Caesar Mlumbi is situated near Fort Beaufort which is a 3 hour drive away from Port Elizabeth in South Africa.
Although it is in an area where there is a great deal of need, the school is very forward thinking. The children grow vegetables which then provide them with lunch, and they sell some of their produce at local markets. The head teacher is extremely committed to providing the best education possible for the children, and has been successful in securing sponsorship which has meant that they are now connected to the internet and have computers to use in the school.
Much of the school was in a poor state of repair when we began our partnership, so the money we have raised over the past 7 years has gone towards the rebuilding of their sick bay, kitchen, a new classroom and providing new sports equipment. A lot of smaller items have been sent over, such as books, small toys for the younger children and pens, pencils etc.
The latest project that Elliot, the headmaster has undertaken for his school is to put into his school building, flushing toilets for the children and staff. The old toilets were compostable ones which were down at the bottom of the playing field. This project was finished just after Christmas and the money we raised at Little Milton School covered all the costs. Elliot says “I am very proud of what we have achieved and the toilets have enhanced our dignity at school”.
Elliot has been over to visit Little Milton School twice in the last two years and two members of our staff have travelled over to visit Caesar Mlumbi School.
Visit to Caesar Mlumbi School, South Africa – Samina Lyden, Chair of Governors, October 2015
We have just completed another successful Connecting Classrooms project with Caesar Mlumbi school in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. This has been completely funded through the British Council for the last three years.
Connecting Classrooms supports schools to link around the world on global curriculum projects through partnerships. The programme offers an interactive online platform for collaboration including grants for schools to visit their partner schools. It is designed to help young people learn about international topics, enabling them to become well-informed and responsible global citizens.
Our partnership with Caesar Mlumbi has spanned 10 years and the reciprocal visits by both schools have been instrumental in building trust, confidence and strong links between the schools.
Following Eliot’s visit earlier this year, Samina Lyden, Chair of Governors, visited Caesar Mlumbi school during October, as part of the Connecting Classrooms project. Samina spent a week at Caesar Mlumbi School getting to know the pupils, staff, parents and senior leaders within the school.
News From Samina
During my week, I visited the school daily, engaging with all the classes. The children were delightful, well behaved and eager to learn. They were very interested to hear about life in the UK and enjoyed getting letters and notes from our children. The teachers were enthusiastic about sharing their practices and learning more about how we do things in the UK.
I met the school governing body and we talked about leadership within schools. Eliot showed me the library, kitchen, play area and classroom that the funds raised by our school helped build. The school now has good buildings and resources as a direct result of our fundraising. I also, along with the other participants from Oxfordshire schools, attended meetings with the local and regional education boards to raise the profile of the Connecting Classrooms project.
The week ended with an inter school netball match followed by a celebration assembly with traditional dancing. The school, like most schools in this deprived region, has an amazing tradition of singing, dancing and performing. I was also really impressed with how the children were responsible for looking after their school and cleaning at the end of the day. I hope some of the photos and video give you a flavour of what our partnership school is like.