teachers to help displaced kids

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

A non-governmental organisation is training teachers in psycho-social support to help foreign children deal with trauma after the recent xenophobic attacks.

The Global Relief Fund has started a programme to train teachers of the Good Hope Centre in Germiston, Ekurhuleni.

The training will help them counsel children at present accommodated at a camp site in the Rand Airport area.

The teachers saw the work the organisation was doing with children and decided to approach them. The school is run by Partson Madzimuri, a Zimbabwean national and former university lecturer, and five teachers.

Pupils have their daily lessons in a double-decker bus and tent that they use as a makeshift school.

The top section of the bus is used as a classroom and caters for two grades at a time.

Younger pupils attend classes in the lower section of the bus and the tent, which is divided into four.

Besides being taught maths and English, they take part in activities such physical education and poetry reading.

Fund representative Andries Louw says: "We are very excited about the new partnership because the teachers share the children's language and culture."

Madzimuri says: "The training session was beautiful in terms of emotional support for the children.

"We mostly dealt with issues of reintegration and, most importantly, forgiveness."