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Workshops and Fun in the Holidays

During the school holidays, we offer workshops at the plot. We train our students in life skills and provide a safe place to have fun. Gordon Merk reports.

The program our teachers facilitated was varied and exciting, ranging from quizzes to reading poems, from lectures about future possibilities of education to motivational speeches, from sports and other activities and students’ contributions to good movies on the big screen with a ‘cinema feel.’ FCTrelief offered a wide range of meaningful lectures to inspire students to pursue their dreams of a better future.

Thinking like Arni and Michael

Gordon Merk held three motivational speeches via Zoom, seeking to inspire the pupils with the theme, ‘Pursuing your Dreams.’ He gave practical steps in their pursuit of their dreams, encouraging them to make plans to reach their goals in life. He shared how both Arnold Schwarzenegger (body building, acting) and Michael Johnson (basketball) pursued their dreams and achieved remarkable success despite the obstacles they had to overcome. He emphasised how the right mentality and good habits, as well as motivation and discipline are keys to fulfilling their dreams. They were all inspired to pursue their dreams.

Our pupils also listened to motivational speeches by actor Denzel Washington, which further underlined how commitment and consistency lead to achieving your goals in life. Eugene stated that ‘all the activities were aimed at motivating the learners to believe in themselves, their dreams and impart good morals and values in them.’

Sport and food make you strong

There were students and teachers’ games and even a talent show and a theatrical play. There were presentations by the teachers and Tabea Kusongwa, as well as some of the pupils. Our teachers held quizzes and facilitated debates. One of the debate topics was the role and effect of social media. The students concluded that social media has both advantages and disadvantages and it all depends for what purpose one uses them.

The movie they watched on the big screen was about Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president. It was inspiring and meaningful. Not only do they get a ‘cinema feeling,’ a real treat for these kids, but good values and important lessons were communicated through the movie.

The sports activities are part of providing a healthy lifestyle and are always fun! We feed the children during this time of workshops, which also contributes to their healthy development. The food we provide is a major source of their general nourishment, as most of them come from poor families who struggle to provide adequate food. Being at our plot not only facilitates meaningful activities, but also a safe environment during school breaks. The Compound has its many dangers and a lot of bad influence, from drugs to sexual activity, or simply boredom and meaningless living.

It was also good to see some of our previous pupils who came to visit during these workshops. They are all pursuing further education and qualifications and are an encouragement for the younger pupils and their future prospects. The older ones are role models to our aspiring pupils. FCTrelief offers them a ‘safe haven’ in a world that has great challenges for children who don’t have a strong family backup. Samuel, one of our former teachers, also paid a visit and presented his book on chemistry for school children, a project that was also supported by us. FCTrelief is happy that they are all doing well.


The workshop weeks were a great success! The teachers were pleased and the children were happy and inspired. They are motivated to pursue their dreams, do what it takes and work hard. They are determined to gain the required education and qualifications and become a responsible person in society with good values and a positive influence.

Racheal called these two weeks of workshops ‘successful,’ pointing to the good students’ participation. These workshops and activities ‘built up their self-esteem and confidence,’ something crucial to pursuing their dreams in a difficult environment. Mary (Grade 12) stated that she ‘benefited a lot’ from the workshops, especially by the lectures on career opportunities. Eugene summed it up well by saying that it was ‘a great success!’ There is hope for a better future for these precious young people!

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