We just completed our first week working in the creches. Every day I wake up and I feel so blessed to get the opportunity to learn and grow here in the townships. 

During last week’s orientation and later visit to Langa, a part of me felt discouraged, guilty and hopeless. I wondered how my work would impact the teachers, students and the spaces I am in. I felt overwhelmed and I did not know where to start. 

The hardest part for me was realizing that after two months, I would not physically be in the classrooms for support. How can I utilize my time in the classroom to support or equip the teachers with the tools and knowledge of early childhood development so that I can leave a positive impact in the classrooms? 

It was later during a dinner reflecting on our first day in the creches where Athena, a True North staff told me, “It’s not our job to fix the problem, just identifying an area to improve on is enough” That really resonated with me. I was so overwhelmed with all the information and my surroundings in the last 2 weeks I forgot to take a step back to breathe. I grabbed my notebook and started writing down my observations and decided to pick one area in the classroom where I could support the teachers during my time here. 

The others have commented on the sense of community and collectivism here in the townships. Although it has only been one week working in the townships, I am really feeling the love Vrygrond has to offer. I admit I was more nervous than excited to start. I knew that all the reading and pictures would not prepare me for physically being in the townships. However, when I first stepped into the two creches I was surrounded by so much love. The children ran over to say hello while the teachers gave us warm hugs. 

 Tuesday at Rainbow Educare was a bit different because the lead 0-2 year old teacher was recovering from an arm injury and thus took a few days off to rest. Karina and I lead the class with the help of a local volunteer. It got a bit chaotic since we were still learning the childrens’ names but was overall a fun day. Faranaaz came in on Thursday to thank us again for our flexibility. They were two teachers short that day and had only found out the night before. She talked about how blessed she was that God not only gave her help in a time of need but two students who knew ECD to be in the classroom. She continued telling us about how the last few weeks were a testament for God’s love. 

I am not religious per say, but at that moment I was so overcome with emotion. I teared up listening to her talk about how loving He is and how He protects her.  Her faith and passion for Rainbow was so inspiring. The conversation reaffirmed my passion for what I do and wiped away my feeling of nervousness I had experienced before I came to the creches. I am fired up and ready to start working in the classrooms now that I’ve gotten a feel of how the classroom runs!!

– Amy 

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