Every now and then, a special person comes along and their presence touches all those who they meet in an extraordinary way. They have the ability to win hearts and leave lasting indelible memories wherever they go.
Grace is one such person. In late November 2021, she contacted us from the UK and we had a Zoom meeting when she immediately won us over. Grace offered her services on a voluntary basis and her words were “I am very happy not to be paid if you are able to feed and accommodate me”. Grace had 6 months on her hands before starting her tertiary education in the UK, and decided SCS was where she wanted to be … the rest is history.
Grace’s below letter speaks volumes about SCS and what she says, once again echoes and reinforces what an amazing school we are. We are a caring, considerate, respectful and welcoming community. When everyone – teachers, learners and parents feel a sense of belonging and connectedness to one another; when everyone is treated with kindness and respect; when everyone has a mutual sense of responsibility – we have a powerful win–win situation and I am proud to say, SCS achieves this and so much more!
In case you haven't realised, my handwriting is illegible at the best of times, so I'm typing this letter so that you can understand what I'm trying to say. The 6 months I spent in South Africa and at Southern Cross Schools, were some of the most special I've ever had. The friends and life experiences I gained, are something I don't think I can replace. The staff, children and learners alike came to mean so much to me and I'm forever grateful to have been part of the Southern Cross Schools family, even if it was just for a short period of time.
I wanted to say thank you for giving me such an incredible opportunity. Volunteering at SCS was an exceptionally eye opening experience, one I think I really needed. The children and learners who attend this school are some of the most resilient and unique kids I have ever met. It was an absolute privilege to be part of their world for 6 months and every moment meant a great deal to me. It was an absolute gift to be able to get to know each one individually – they all had a significant impact on me in their own way, more than you could ever know.
Each day was a new adventure, from climbing the school wall to catch a snake (and you actually saw this!), to turning off the entire water supply of the boarding house with hyenas watching me. The memories I created will stay with me forever and I am so excited to share them with everyone back home. The experiences I had, I would never have been able to even comprehend 7 months ago.
When I was told Southern Cross Schools would worm its way into my heart, I didn't believe it and even in my first week with you, I thought that was crazy! Yet 6 months down the line, I was devastated to leave. To be part of a school that celebrates and encourages each child's individuality, that allows children to grow not only academically, but as a person, was truly such a special experience. I became part of a family, and I feel so lucky to have been part of this family and the school.
I also want to thank you for your kindness, not only for the clothes you gave me when Hoedspruit turned cold, but for being truly kind, patient and caring. I felt welcomed from the get go. To have a boss who can deal with my very chaotic, full on nature, is something I have rarely come across! I made, and learnt from the gaffes and bloopers in my time there and you guided me through those and really allowed me to grow as a person and have confidence in myself.
Southern Cross Schools will always be a part of me and I hope in some way, I have left a little bit of me behind at Southern Cross Schools.
Teacher Grace "