After weeks of planning, collecting 3000 bottle tops, becoming experts in bottle top cleaning, drilling holes in bottle tops and making music instruments, we were more than ready for the role SOAPkidz had to play in the workshop arranged by Aim (African Institute of Missiology).
The 110 teachers from the 38 pre-schools in North West were divided into four groups and several booklets compiled by the eager SOAPkidz committee about environmental issues were handed to them. We started our first session at 9h00. The volunteers were introduced and then Theo played the dvd of Michael Jackson’s Earth Song. Although I have seen it several times, I always get extremely emotional watching it, and it makes me more adamant to truly make a difference. After the DVD, it was Lena’s turn. Lena is a teacher at Madisong, an eco-school in Hammanskraal. She gave a powerful speech about the 5 R’s, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse, Reduce and Rethink. Everyone was left with lots of ideas to minimize our footprints on the planet.
It was then Rosina’s turn to explain the competition on African Child day to the teachers. They had to use the booklet handed to them to teach their little ones to make music instruments for African Child Day and they had to teach them our litter song that was especially composed by Rosina and Joan from Pick ’n Pay Faerie Glen.
The teachers were then showed how to make shakers re-using litter and big discussions about their litter problems followed. They were reminded that they were special and that the children looked up to them and they had a special duty of teaching the little ones that they are special and should therefore not allow littering.
Then it was time for the singing and dancing.
A wee yeele yee lele mama
A re tope dipampiri
A re tope diplastiki
Modimo o refile bophelo
Re tshwanetse re itlhomphe
(Roughly translated – be grateful to mother, let us pick up paper, let us pick up plastics, God gave us life, we must respect ourselves). We were all dancing and using the shakers just made. Our first group left with huge smiles, a lot of knowledge about the 5 r’s and bright ideas of how to make music instruments.
Three more sessions followed, one more powerful than the previous one.
When it was time for the certificate handouts at 16h00, everyone joined in to sing the SOAPkidz litter song.
Everyone was laughing and dancing, and although tired, I had this wonderful warm feeling that this was what it was all about. Caring for one another, caring for our precious children, caring about Africa, caring about our only planet.
Since my first outing to nature with underprivileged children in 2005, I have heard so many “you can’t do it’s”. Challenges are plenty and I am discovering/learning new things every day. (From making deodorant using talcum powder to how to make a compost heap and earthworms).
I have read the Dream Giver of Bruce Wilkinson so many times and every time I read it, I cry. I can see clearly where the angels he talks about entered my life and vision. Elizabeth, Evelyn, Joan, Lena, Phil, Rosina, Theo, Tharina from Aim, the people from IQ business Group, Susanne from the Department of Education Gauteng.
I have turned my back on “You can’t” - together, we have done it. Together, we are doing it. Together, we DO make a difference. Why? It’s all about sunrise……………..
More about African Child Day the 16th:
SOAPkidz want to create environmental awareness amongst the teachers and children of Hammanskraal and North West. Booklets about re-using were compiled (music instruments and toys) as well as how to create vegetable gardens. These booklets were handed to the teachers of the 58 schools involved. On the 16th of June, we want to set a Guinness World Record – the largest singing and dancing band using instruments made from litter. We need as many volunteers as possible so please contact Karen at 083 975 2700 if you can assist.