We are now into our third year of our Afritwin project. This is a school twinning project designed to boost global understanding and co-operation.
The year began with three teachers visiting us and our local partner primary schools in the project – St Mary’s and St Patrick’s. They spent a lot of time in their host primary or secondary school learning about how schools operate and the day to day experience of a pupil in a British school.
They also brought videos of their own pupils talking about their life in Africa and our pupils were fascinated and full of questions for our guests.
This was then followed by a visit to Africa by our Mathematics teacher Mr Park later in September.The most recent joint event was a visit by our Mrs Knowles, Head of Art to Durban this May with colleagues from St Mary’s and St Patricks. Joint Art projects were progressed around the theme of the local area and architecture and further links developed between the respective food technology departments, comparing each other’s traditional recipes.
Our Lady’s work with our friends in Africa has not only been founded on the national twinning project however. For many years Mrs Lowe, Head of our Sixth Form has maintained close links with a couple of schools in Uganda. She has visited many times, during her latest visit last summer she not only took much appreciated resources and equipment but also a group of our Sixth Form students who amongst many other activities each helped deliver Science lessons to the African students.
The opportunities for our pupils to learn and develop as truly global citizens in this way are immense but so are the opportunities to have a great time and garner treasured memories for life.
In a way it made me wonder why we as a nation are so cynical. We have so much and can be miserable yet they have so little and never cease to smile.My time with the students and teachers from the seminary, St Pauls and the school in Nyamirama has been special, I have learnt so much about their culture and so much about myself. It was impossible to have a bad day; even on the days where I was not well I struggled not to smile. I will never forget the songs they sang, the poems they read and all the dancing.Aidan