PERIVOLI OKONJIMA COUNTRY SCHOOL
POCS Newsletter Dec 2014
AND SO WE CLOSE THE CURTAIN ON ANOTHER ADVENTUROUS YEAR . . . .
Can you believe that we can proudly look back on three wonderful years that have passed since the Perivoli Okonjima Country School (POCS) opened its school doors? We have had plenty of adventure, lots of learning curves but all in all, great satisfaction. Each child has grown more confident and shown great improvement in all aspects of school life.
As 2013 drew to a close we reflected on the various shenanigans that took place around the school grounds as well as during our various activities and we could move into 2014 with warm smiles and heartfelt thanks, albeit slowly . . . . we were still looking forward to our long school holidays! Not just the kids – the teachers most definitely were!
Since our last school update we have had a few more events and students were preparing for the final examinations. We congratulate all our students on their results and passing onto the next grades. How exciting to tick off another grade! We dare not forget our pre-primary students. We are very proud of the children who were at the end of their pre-primary year and progressed to Grade 1. They were in their element when they received their certificates as you can imagine, and now BIG school starts!
The POCS staff and pupils hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas and may 2014 be filled with many blessings. We’re definitely looking forward to another fun-filled year!
Environmental Education Focus:
In early September 2013 we performed a play called ‘Trees Speak’ with Okonjima tourists as the audience. You can imagine the nerves! It’s very different from performing in front of parents and folks you know! The play’s main focus was the importance of trees on our planet. It focuses on a little boy and his friends who wander off into the woods to play hide and seek. However, the little boy very quickly becomes bored and dozes off against a mighty tree. He awakens to voices, not of his friends, but those of the trees. They speak to him through their leaves. The trees teach the little boy about the different ways they help human beings and the importance of replanting and recycling to conserve their valuable natural resources.
Articles and furniture made of wood give such a warm feeling to a room and look beautiful, but let’s all take a moment and consider the rarity as well as the damage that is caused to our forests and bushveld by chopping down old, slow growing trees and how it affects our vulnerable eco-system. Just imagine a life without our beautiful oak trees, ebony trees and big African acacias. Let us be the trees’ voice!
The more we become conscious about our environment the more we are encouraged to use renewable resource instead of depleting our natural forests.
‘To be poor and be without trees is to be the most starved human being in the world. To be poor and have trees is to be completely rich in ways that money can never buy.’ ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés
NOTES FROM OUR ENVIRONMETAL EDUCATION TEACHER:
Question: What have you accomplished as the Environmental Education Club for 2013?
Answer: It is a simple question but not so easy to answer. Nonetheless, given all the hours we spent, we must have something to show for that time. What have we done?
Look! The answer is unfolding right before my eyes as I make my way through Staff Village delivering on my promises. To the delight of my eyes, there are children on the playground. Ngeve, Gabi and a friend are jumping from tyre to tyre, stopping momentarily to give me a hug.
Yes, we accomplished something – a playground in the middle of Staff Village. We started the process of transforming a rubbish dump into an open learning centre (OLC). We spent hours raking and raking. The more we raked; I asked myself ‘What have we started?’ We uncovered all sorts of objects with every raking session: shoes, bones, lipstick, scissors, plastic toys and more. We could not believe what was buried there. Our objective is not fulfilled yet; however, we will continue to work as a team to bring our collective ideas to life.
I have witnessed the enthusiasm with which these children work. As they are changing their environment (this particular space) in small steps, they are changing themselves.
We came full circle with conservation through education. We learnt about how to care, protect and love our environment. We are cementing that knowledge through action. Small steps give birth to greatness! We look forward to that in the new season.
Windhoek ‘fun fair’ trip:
For the last five years on our local radio station we have heard the ‘Bank Windhoek Kids Fun Fair Weekend’ being advertised. So the teachers decided this was the year we would gather our troops (Grades 2-4 students) and head down to the big city – Windhoek – for some fun. Wow! What an adventure from the moment we arrived. Sports, pottery classes, jumping castles, trinket stores, candy floss and on and on! We kept losing children . . . ! The teachers were far more exhausted after the two days than the kids were. The sports really provided an opportunity for the kids to work in a team and learn more about one another. The Bank Windhoek Kids Fair creates a great opportunity for entire families to spend fun time together and it provides great education tools; definitely an event to be repeated in the future.
Perivoli Okonjima Country School ‘PAY IT FORWARD CAMPAIGN’.
f you recall, we started the ‘pay it forward campaign’ at POCS, a campaign that we hoped would become a flagship cause within our school community. However, the tables were turned and Okonjima staff members and family instead ‘paid it forward’ to POCS by raising enough money to buy a Christmas present for each student. We cannot thank the staff/mothers/fathers enough for this great show of kindness.
Before school closed, Santa came for a visit on his ‘red Ferrari’, his deer had been distracted by all the green grass, and they don’t have much of that where Santa comes from! He surprised all the children with his lovely presents – they couldn’t wait to rip off the paper to see what was inside. The excitement on their faces was a picture. . . . and well worth a smile from a child! Great thanks go to Jacky Cornelius for our wonderful and very, very tasty Christmas cake and the effort that went into it. . . . all that the kids could utter was, wow!
As the year drew to a close, the main event on any calendar arrived . . . the Chrismas play. Everyone was buzzing with excitement and the teachers were getting into a bit of a fumble . . . costumes to organise, play to be directed, kids to learn their lines and to memorise those songs. . . . oh dear, a bit out of tune and rhythm. Finally the evening arrived and it all came together. The atmosphere was alive and tingling, it sounded magical – a chorus of angels bringing the love of the Christmas spirit to all of us.
We bowed, said our goodbyes and exited 2013.
MANY, MANY THANKS. . . . .
- Firstly to Mr. James Alexandroff (www.arisag.com) from the Perivoli Trust for his amazing continuous financial support.
- To Okonjima Lodge (www.okonjima.com) for their many contributions to our school i.e. meals, game drives, guides, general maintenance etc.
- As always, Renee Lighton (www.reneelighton.co.za) who comes up from South Africa to give us continuous support and guidance to keep us on the right track. You are a STAR!
- First National Bank Namibia, Otjiwarongo Area Office has so kindly choosen us as the community school they would like to support. Thank you for your recent visit to school and painting and brightening up our play ground.
- We thank the Ministry of Education for their recent financial contribution.
- To all guests and volunteers, for all the stationery and clothes brought along from afar, thank you.