Three2Six newsletter - end-of-year 2022

Fun day 3
Fun day at our Holy Family College campus

Message from our director

Dear Friends of Three2Six

The Bible is full of stories of refugees and immigrants. There are countless passages in defence of the helpless, weak, and marginalised; as well as many passages about how to treat the ‘outsider’.

We are proud that throughout this year we continued to teach our children with energy and commitment, and we celebrate each child who is always enthusiastic and excited to learn.

I am grateful to the Sacred Heart, Observatory Girls, and Holy Family school communities for the continued support you have offered us through professional support, tutoring and help with food support. We are also thankful to the coordinators, teachers, cooks, drivers, cleaners, and other support staff who continue to ensure that the project continues with vigor.

Thank you for your support in helping us to make sure that our children are not ‘outsiders’.

Best wishes

Mark Potterton

Preparing for next year's move

Sessions with the Johannesburg Parent and Child Counselling Centre (JPCCC)
Next year, our children will all be taught at one campus. To prepare them and help them adjust to this major change, the JPCCC offered them 45-minute counselling sessions.

Each class participated in a session and to help them process the change, they discussed it and were asked how they felt about it. We are grateful to report that they are all excited about the move.

In the session, each grade created a tree with their fingerprints as the leaves. Each child left their initials on their leaf to show them that they are part of something and part of a bigger picture.
Welcome morning for our parents
The primary school management staff at Dominican Convent School invited our parents to visit the school for a Saturday morning meeting in November. There was a full room on that day.
DC visit
Three2Six arranged transport for the parents who enjoyed a tour of the school. They discussed the extra-curricular activities for next year, what is expected from the parents, and from the children. Parents collected the uniforms for next year.

Art lessons

Art helps children develop their skills, get a sense of their individuality, and an appreciation for the work of others. Exaucé, over two months, presented art classes to our Grade 5 classes, the Grade 6s, and the Grade 2s. He is an alumnus from 2012 and studied art, and is currently working as an artist while he studies marketing.
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The older classes started with the basics, getting to grips with primary colours, the foundation of colours, perspective, how to do still life drawing, understanding light and shadow. The Grade 2s were introduced to the basics related to primary colours. One of the art genres they explored to build their creativity was making collages from materials they have around them. These art lessons have allowed the children to grow and develop at their own pace.

To further develop their skills and interest, the children had the opportunity to visit the Little Artists’ Schools Project for two lessons. We hope to visit it again next year.


TDH visit 2
TDH visit 1
Our donor, Terre des Hommes (TDH) Germany, visited us twice last month. The first visit involved their Africa Desk Officer based in Germany and a colleague from their Johannesburg offices to get a sense of our groundwork. The second visit later in the month sent two delegates from their head office in Germany to join our team for a visit, and they brought along three colleagues from the Southern African offices.
The team engaged with our staff on recent activities and discussed plans for the future. Our learners prepared presentations for them on the upcoming Global Action Month (GAM) which takes place every November, we have more about this below. We also showed them the campus that the project will be moving to next year. We thank them for their continued and unwavering support.
Consul visit 2
In November, we also had the honour of welcoming Etienne Chapon, the French Consul General of Johannesburg, to one of our campuses. After introducing the work that we do to him, our children engaged with him during two debate sessions. One of the debates argued whether French should be taught in South African schools.
We also received a visit from an old Three2Six supporter. Johanna was a volunteer at Three2Six helping at the Sacred Heart College (SHC) campus from 2013 to 2014. She visited the College and brought sweets for the children.
They with great delight recognised her from her last visit in 2019. We are grateful to our past volunteers for their continued love for the children and support of the project.

Kitoko radio project

K 5
K 2
Brazilian journalists and Three2Six volunteers João Heim and Honislaine Rubik in 2019 were eager to share their knowledge and creativity with our children in our project. João had extensive experience in making podcasts and Honi worked to defend and promote children’s rights through a methodology called educommunication – using communication tools to promote child participation, critical thinking, and education.

They created a radio project to promote child participation while raising their voices using the medium of radio as a language. The volunteers collaborated with the children, and the name Kitoko was chosen. It means “nice” in Lingala, a language spoken in the Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Weekly sessions were held with the Grade 3s and by the end of the year, there was an improvement in their understanding and listening in class, and there were noticeable changes in their behaviour. Unfortunately, the volunteers' contracts came to an end and they left. But great news, Honi returned to South Africa and in September started working with the same class, the now Grade 6s.
K 4
The main goal of Kitoko is to promote children’s rights through the right of participation, involve them in the decision process, and empower them to raise their voices.
Technical and practical activities were mixed in every session and these included using iPads to record their voices and presentations. The children were encouraged to do research, formulate interview questions, and record while interviewing each other.
K 3
The focus was on their own stories, where they are, where they came from, what they like to do, and their dreams and concerns for the future. They learned techniques of how to speak clearly and loudly to build their confidence. There was progress in every session as they became more aware of the power of their thinking and their voices.

We thank Honi for her efforts to engage the children in a meaningful project.

Prize giving

Prize giving 4
Our Grade 6 learners danced on stage and they offered cake to their teachers which they had all pitched in for. Our staff and volunteers were thanked for their love and support throughout the year.

Prize-giving 1
Two of our campuses gathered for a heartwarming prize-giving ceremony on 2 December. There was full attendance on that day! Our top-achieving learners were applauded by all while they received certificates to congratulate them for their efforts.
Prize giving 3
Our children received party packs with sweets which were donated by generous supporters of the project. Their school reports were also handed out and parents discussed their children’s progress with our teachers.

Holiday programme

HP 8
HP 11
This year's holiday programme was brief but it was still fun-packed, educational and memorable. The project is reforming in the upcoming year so we saw it fit to plan a programme that would be a farewell as well as a celebration of the students, the teachers, the project, and the achievements that have come from the project. We had a two-day programme consisting of various activities such as swimming, spelling bee, art, drama, and spray painting as well as showcasing basic science experiments.
HP 13 (swimming)
The teachers and volunteers facilitated certain activities, while the coaches planned an obstacle course that aimed at improving the pupils' fitness, also redirecting their energy and enthusiasm towards something productive. Our alumni Exaucé led all the art projects designed by the students and helped them creatively express themselves. English teachers Jessica and Gilbert ran a spelling bee workshop to help improve their reading and spelling abilities as some students struggle with reading and writing.
Our volunteer Angel ran a drama workshop where she taught the students various dramatic skills such as miming, improvisation and storytelling. Although limited and brief, the holiday club was a success and was thoroughly enjoyed by the pupils.
HP 12
HP 21

Global Action Month celebrations

GAM 11
From creating a vertical garden made from recyclables and planting trees, to picking up litter on our campuses, running an awareness workshop, building a social media campaign, making bird feeders out of recyclable materials, and other activities.
Every year, we have been celebrating GAM, an initiative by the youth network of our funder TDH. This year’s theme around the environmental rights of children interested our learners who came up with many ideas for activities they wanted to implement.
GAM 10
Our children have been very busy! We love that they are aware of how important it is to protect the environment and that they are proactive about it. Well done to all of them.

Alumni days

In November, it was exam season, so the learners were instructed to bring their schoolwork along and we spent two hours doing past exam papers to help them get accustomed to the structure of the exams as well as the nature and difficulty of the questions. Only two facilitators were available on the day, but to our surprise, the older Alumni showed remarkable leadership by helping the younger learners with their work, ensuring the session ran efficiently.

We headed over to the garden with Jenny, a SHC parent, where learners showed great enthusiasm while being taught about the process of planting and nurturing seeds. We ploughed the soil, weeded and planted seeds and there was an overall sense of joy. We would like to thank Jenny for her help and for offering vegetables to the alumni. We rounded off the session with reflection and lunch before the students headed home.
Alumni day 3
Alumni day 4
In December, the alumni day centered around reflection, Thanksgiving and celebration. We started with a short meditation and reflection on the academic year and our own personal lives, tracking our goals and how we could improve on them. We shared all what we are grateful for and prayed for light and guidance.

We also got our hands dirty by doing some gardening at the top fields to weed, plant kale, and see how our maize and sweetcorn were doing. To our surprise, our harvest had grown a few centimetres. We ended our session with some pool fun, playing water polo and netball before we feasted together for the last time this year.


Clothes 2
We are very grateful for the donations received over the last few weeks! A generous contributor from the community donated clothes to us, these were handed out to the families of our Observatory Girls’ campus. They will be used at home or sold by our parents to sustain their families.
This campus also received 20 trees from Food and Trees for Africa. Most of the trees were planted at the school and the remainder were planted at our Holy Family College campus.
Uniforms 1
The St David’s Marist school has made several donations to the project this year. These last few weeks, the school has donated to us uniforms, sports equipment and educational materials. As they did over the last few months, in November ForAfrika donated another six bags of porridge to the project to feed all its families for a few days.
For physical donations to the project, please get in touch at For financial contributions, please email

Advocacy update

Meeting with the Department of Home Affairs
Our Three2Six director and our Three2Six advocacy officer, and the head of the statelessness project at Lawyers for Human Rights had a fruitful meeting with the Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, and the Department’s senior management team in November.
The meeting gave us the opportunity to introduce the project and the work it does for migrant children who are outside of the education system because of documentation issues. We presented the reasons why our children and parents struggle to access documentation, and the impact it has on them accessing basic rights such as healthcare.
Engagement with the South African Human Rights Commission
All children have the right to an education in South Africa. This is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution. However, in practice, many children are out of school and are deprived of a future. The barriers to this right are the reasons why refugee and migrant children join the Three2Six project.
The project engaged with Commissioner Andre Gaum, responsible for Basic Education, and Kenneth Sithebe, on these challenges to raise awareness and find a way to break down these barriers for equal access to education for all.
Participation in research projects
The project recently took part in two research projects: one by the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the University of Pretoria, and the other by a researcher affiliated with the French Institute of South Africa and the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation at the University of Johannesburg.

The first project details “documentation and access to education for undocumented and stateless children in South Africa”. It aims to collect data throughout the country on the number of undocumented children living in South Africa and the proportion of them who cannot access schooling, to get a better understanding of the scope of the issue. This data will be used for advocacy purposes both at the national and United Nations levels. Three2Six has joined this initiative by interviewing a group of its parents and staff.

The second research project looks into the various forms of anti-xenophobia at and via the school. It looks at Three2Six as a local initiative that challenges xenophobia, interviewing some of our staff and parents to hear their thoughts and experiences.


Fr Eduardo 3
Fr Eduardo Gabriel is a Scalabrian Father from Brazil and has been offering his services to the project. He is a voluntary Chaplin and has been involved once a month since the middle of this year. He teaches religious studies, offers spiritual guidance and holds special services.

We want to thank Fr Eduardo for his dedication to Three2Six.
We were also really excited to have Sara volunteer with us towards the end of the year. She is a trained teacher from the UK with many years of experience working with children, guiding and supporting them so they achieve their full potential.
She has been helping with our library programme as well as with other activities such as crafts and drama. We thank her for her support.
​​For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me
something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you
clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. - Matthew 25:35-36

A blessing for the people leaving the Three2Six Project

God of our wandering ancestors
Your heart is with the refugee.
You were born into a time, in a family of refugees
Fleeing violence in their homeland,
Who then gathered up their hungry child and fled to a foreign


Teachers, you started this journey so many years ago and helped to build a culture of care, concern, and creativity. It is not easy leaving behind your friends and the students that you’ve come to know and love so dearly.

This has always been more than a job for you. You have approached each day with passion and your level of dedication and commitment have always shone through.

You have taught children that life is more than just about gathering information and completing the year. You have shown them that it’s how to get there and how they relate to each other matters.

Your influence has been incredible, and you have helped to turn each refugee child’s world of dreams into possibilities. Every day you have helped them overcome their fears and have given them the courage to try new things.

You have given them the confidence to ride a bike, to perform on stage, to recite a poem publicly, to overcome their fear of Maths, to ask difficult questions about God, or to resolve conflicts when they arise among many other things.

Never wish that you could have done much more, rather take the time now to watch the seeds that you have planted grow.

We pray that God keeps you safe as you leave us and start a new journey. We pray that the incredible memories you’ve created at Three2Six will stay with you forever.

May our Lord richly bless you.


Lord, protect all refugees on their journeys. May they find protection
in you, and may they find friends who will give them refuge.
Make us all worthy of the refuge we have found in you.
The Three2Six team wishes you all the best for this festive season and thanks you for your support!
Prize-giving 2
Don't forget to watch our end-of-year highlight video here!
Each donation counts and helps us make a valuable change in the lives of our learners.
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