Ambassadors Report by Simon Hooper, March 11th
Today is the last day of the tour. We all checked out of the hotel early and loaded our bags onto the coach. Scheduled for today is the Star for Life inauguration at Nkanyiso High School.
We visited this school on Tuesday to watch the teaching of their first SFL workshop. Nkanyiso High School is perched high on a hill, many miles up a dirt track. After the last few days of rain, the tour organizers decided the road may not be passable for the coach so we all boarded mini-buses for the journey. In the event we got to the high school without any problems.
The school had a large marquee (tent) set up in the yard between the school buildings. After a look around the site, including two new buildings one of which is to be used as a library, we were ushered into rows of seats facing a stage. Next, the SFL trainers, teachers and local dignitaries filed in and were seated, closely followed the school children.
The skills officer from SFL compered the day’s events. He made a short speech in Zulu and introduced a group of pupils who sang and read poetry. Throughout the morning, SFL trainers, teachers, pupils, school governors and local tribal leaders made speeches. They gave thanks to the sponsors and provided encouraging words for the students. Ken and Göran provided songs and music in conjunction with the Star Choir, including the theme song “Aids Free, That’s Me”. The music sections were always a favorite for the pupils with many of the children spontaneously dancing and singing along.
The Swedish wind turbine manufacturer, VESTAS is the sponsor of Nkanyiso High School. The school gave many thanks to several senior staff members for their sponsorship. Anders Runevad, who is the CEO of VESTAS was invited to speak and he related how this was the first school they had sponsored through the SFL program.
Lastly after lunch the Star for Life flag and South Africa flag were raised on the new flagpoles in the yard while the SFL choir led in the singing of the South African national anthem.
At this point, sadly we all headed to the coaches for the long drive back to the airport. The ceremony today was a fitting end to a busy week. It has been great to see both schools that are well established with the SFL program, and those schools also just starting out.