Yesterday (19th November) a very informal meeting was attended by 14 individuals and organizations working with children in Stanford. Tomorrow … in the future … we hope to be more in contact with each other and able to share what we do, ask for and offer help, and give each other support.
The venue was outside, under a shady vine in a warm wind and sufficiently hand sanitized and distant. It was not possible to get everybody there in one ‘shift’ as schools, and those working with schools are particularly busy right now. We have been in touch and will be reporting back. In particular, Creative Skills Factory would have been an important addition to the group – and will be included as soon as Regina’s schedule allows.
Representatives of Star Reading, The Butterfly Centre, Amani Harmonic Trust, Stanford Rotary, Food 4 Thought, Stanford Tourism and CBN attended and got down to business surprisingly quickly, finishing in exactly the allotted hour later. (Possibly in fear of Wilien’s yellow and red cards that were demonstrated, but not deployed!) Vuyokasi Siza was present as community representative from De Kop as well as in her capacity as a CBN facilitator and Mary Troost and her daughter attended to informally represent the Home Schoolers in the village.
It was really interesting to compare notes, find out what we all did for the children during lockdown and look at ways of cooperating. Three issues received particular attention:
• More contact with local government – particularly tourism – to access communications networks and funding, or funded individuals who might help.
• Looking at assisting young people who are unable to access technology, either for study or for job and training applications. Sharing by those who have facilities (a computer, a modem, a printer …) with those who do not is a good way to start. Mentoring and sharing skills would be a good way to follow up …
• CBN is particularly keen to add to our existing Book Club and join in with the Star Reading Street Libraries. This is especially important as it is a successful community project, involving representatives who administer the books in their own locality.
We all have each other’s emails. This is the time of year when future planning becomes a priority. Now we have to stand back and see what happens.
Thank you to Madre for allowing us the use of her restaurant – the finest venue for a meeting that we could imagine (and with excellent coffee!)