In 2017 the UpliftED Teacher Training Programme team had dreams in their heart to expand their reach. Over the years there has been a growing number of pleas from neighbouring communities to begin teaching in their area too. And so, OUTLYING TRAINING was launched…and WOW…what started in humble beginnings has blossomed into a thriving project with deep impact!
Outlying Training was held 7 times in 2017 on a Saturday – the day started at 8am and finished at 4pm. All of our UpliftED Team was involved in leading breakout sessions and practical training moments. It was a full day of learning and empowering – 7 times throughout 2017!
One participant centre, Little Legends, is a school in Limpopo. Headmistress Thokozile has poured her own resources into the centre and has built it into a gem in the rural areas. Committed to training, Thokozile brought her 2 teachers, and herself each time. They travelled a two-hour journey to arrive for registration at 8am with two more hours on the way home – a 12-13 hour day! Yet, after a week of running a preschool with all the energy that requires, they still gladly devoted these Saturdays to training.
Beyond Little Legends’ teachers, there were over 30 other trainees who came faithfully throughout the year. Even when we thought the drain of running their own schools might keep them from consistently pitching, they surprised us with ever-increasing enthusiasm. Who were they: Ladies from Hartebeespoort Dam (a whole school made of volunteers!), and teachers from preschools in Bloubosrand, Ivory Park, Ebony Park, Atteridgeville, and Limpopo.
We asked the UpliftED Director, Andy Clark, ‘Why was the outlying training so successful’?
Our expectations were high on the ladies AND the ladies were hugely expectant of learning. Learning happened by us and by them. We poured our heart, soul, and guts into them. We built relationships, and the relationships lasted a year. The ladies have received bits of training here and there before, but this was the first time they ever had anyone invest into them continually for a year. Each time we met, we expected a drop in attendance, BUT the ladies just kept coming! The day itself was always jam-packed. We stimulated (and maybe overstimulated) them…lifting their chins…the goal: to make them feel uplifted as woman, and to give them skills in their hands—tools to uplift their children.
Just when we thought the UpliftED team of trainers couldn’t possibly fit in another session in their week, they surprise ALL of us at Botshabelo, and fit in 8-hour Saturdays of investment into the incredible teachers who are raising the next generation!
To the trainers AND the trainees, we lift our hats–this is a meaningful partnership that makes a difference for the preschoolers of today, and the matriculants of tomorrow!
Have a look at how our Graduation for our Olievenhoutbosch trainees went here.