Three2Six newsletter - October 2023

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"The day might be bad, but tomorrow is sunshine. Life goes on" - Minenhle, 10-year old Three2Six learner

Colgate bus at school

As a continuation of last month’s oral screening, the Colgate truck visited the school over two days for an extensive oral procedure. Learners had their teeth cleaned and extracted where necessary. This was done through the incredible help of our community supporters who donated R40 000 towards this dental project. We would like to thank them for their grand support.
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Colgate bus 4
Colgate bus 1
A big thanks to Dr Fareea Mahomed and Dr Fatima Peer who facilitated the treatment of 200 of our learners. Thank you also to Dr Mishka Moosa, Dr Zara Chotia, Dr Fatima Navlakhi, Dr Tasneem Laher, Dr Altaaz Tayob, Dr Taahir Ismail, Dr Fadila Bhamjee, Dr Waseema Hamid, Dr Saffiya Bhattay, Dr Jameela Patel, Dr Fatima Dasoo, Dr Riaz Mahomed and their assistants. You performed much needed oral care on our children.

World Mental Health Day

The conversation about mental health is filled with misconceptions and stigma. Most people suffer in silence and don’t seek help due to a lack of access to resources and/or a lack of awareness of where to get help. As an educational project for refugee and migrant children, we serve a community of learners who live with traumas which contribute to poor mental health. Having a mental health initiative is important to equip our learners and their families with effective coping skills and information about resources they can use to obtain help.
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Mental health day 3
We held an educational workshop with an animated clip about defining mental health, its issues, coping strategies, and healthcare resources for mental health. As an addition to the mental health initiative, learners had carnival games such as aerobics, yoga, meditation, boxing, dancing, and various activities at different game stations.
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Mental health day 5
Some of our learners were also taken to Rhodes Park for a relaxation after the cracking of mathematical equations and long exam preparation. Doing something completely outside of the school walls brings so much calmness, learners had enough time to play with their peers on swings, a merry-go-round, and by the lake side.

Entrepreneurship day

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A way to find out about a child’s passion or strength is by exercising their skills. School is where we build careers and professions. While some learners are good at balancing chemical equations, others excel in practical and technical application. It is essential to figure out what every learner is good at by exposing them to different kinds of practice.
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The grade 7s had entrepreneurship day as part of their school assessment. They had stalls and sold various items to their peers. This was to expose them to a perception of the entrepreneurial world, help them discover their strengths and weaknesses and to see how far their abilities could take them.

Donation to the project

Due to the unemployment status of most of our parents, they struggle to purchase school stationeries, let alone school bags. The project eases the stress by providing every child with stationeries.
Bag donation
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We have been blessed with school bags coming from a kind-hearted community supporter, Angelique Ross, from TOTEM Bags who donated school bags to 125 of our students. This was facilitated by Diana Messerschmidt. Each bag came along with a bottle of water and a pencil case. We are sincerely grateful for this wonderful support, we cannot wait to see the delight on our children’s faces next year as they wear their new school bags.

Athletics day

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Athletics is a form of sport that includes running, jumping, and throwing. For sports days, individuals from different schools gather to exhibit their multiple talents by competing with one another either for fun or a reward.

Sacred Heart College had our learners invited for an athletics day. They vigorously competed in various sports such as relays, long distance, and sprints. Revisiting Sacred Heart College brought back so many memories and the learners were elated to have another experience in a place that was like their first home. The reunion between the Three2Six and Sacred Heart College students was such a refreshing experience and learners could not get enough of it. Thank you Sacred Heart College for the warm invitation.

Retreat and communion

Our spiritual lives should be nourished and revitalised in the same way we put so much effort in boosting our physical, and emotional beings. Dominican Convent School is a Catholic school and learners are encouraged to give their lives to Christ.
Holy communion (retreat)
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Eleven of our Grade 4 learners started Advent with a special commitment. Before they received First Holy Communion, they attended a retreat with Mrs Sithole in preparation for the big day. Fr Letsie’s arrival was a great blessing as they managed to do their confession for the first time. At the retreat, they learnt about the origin of the Eucharist and what it means. All looked forward to Thursday, parents, godparents, and the learners themselves. This turned out to be a beautiful blessed day for the learners and the school’s family at large. We congratulate Ms. Tshabalala and Mrs. Sithole for the job well done.

Educational play

Cyberbullying is a critical issue that is faced by most young people. As much as it is detrimental, teenagers are usually reluctant to open up and speak about it with their parents, teachers or confidants.
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The Production 2000 team exhibited a play with few of our learners involved, themed “Web of lies”. The play demonstrated how a teenage schoolgirl told lies about her family background and portrayed an image of a spoiled rich child. With the use of her cell phone, she cyberbullied a fellow student who eventually disliked going to school, felt inferior and gradually developed a low self-esteem. Eventually the perpetrator got caught and was exposed. The moral of the play was that lying is wrong and one would always get caught. The play also taught us that proper measures should be implemented in the case of cyberbullying and that we should not cyberbully.

Forum with partner organisations

Regional Psychosocial Support Initiatives (REPSSI) and its partners hold the Psychosocial Support Service Forum bi-annually and this year’s theme was “Mental Health in Context''. It brought together members of the civil society and of the private sector, United Nations agencies, traditional leaders, and other stakeholders working on mental health issues. Our project coordinator and our youths were there!
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In a world recovering from the effects of COVID, impacted by war and climate change, the forum looked into how to address the need for locally developed solutions that enable access to mental health and psychosocial services while taking into account the socio-cultural context and current barriers that children and youths in the region face in accessing mental health care. Among the primary topics discussed were early childhood development, education, HIV prevention, disability inclusion, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and child rights and protection.
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Our project coordinator took part in a panel discussion which aimed to emphasise the unique circumstances of Forcibly Displaced Children and Youth in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. It also explored the ways in which the toolkits developed by REPSSI aided service providers in better meeting these children's psychosocial needs, following training sessions held a few months ago.
REPSSI conducted a pre-forum with young people from various nations to create successful mental health and psychosocial support programs. The objectives were to equip children and young people with essential mental health and psychosocial support abilities so they can positively influence their peers and to give them a place to learn, share and compile important issues that they face in order to inform the main forum. Participants discussed topics, exchanged knowledge, and generated potential solutions to enhance resilience.

Alumni day

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During this month's alumni day, we had a high attendance with pupils in grade 7 and alumni who have matriculated. We began the session with yoga exercises. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed attempting the various positions such as "downward dog" and "cobra". We ended the session with a deep meditation exercise, one that they can practise on their own, to deal with exam stress and strengthen their mental health.
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Alumni day 1
The next half of our session was dedicated towards a semi-formal debate. The pupils were split into groups and given topics to research and formulate debates on. The younger pupils were tasked with the topic of the effectiveness of school uniforms in this vastly industrial and diversifying society. The older group tackled the topic of refugees being permitted to be taught in their home languages while in foreign countries. Overall, the pupils showed excellent critical thinking skills as arguments centered around the preservation of culture and heritage were brought up. We ended the day with a reflection and some lunch.

New video

June, July and August were busy months for the learners at the project, numerous activities, donations, workshops took place and warm visitations. To get a full idea of what the children have been up to in and outside their classrooms, watch our latest highlight video HERE.
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Each donation counts and helps us make a valuable change in the lives of our learners.
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