Annie Waterhouse, a volunteer teacher for the WaterWise Academy, took our life saving water safety lesson to two rural schools on the banks of the Mooi river, KZN. This is her story.
VRYSTAAT FARM SCHOOL and KWA-CUBELA are on opposite sides of this beautiful but unpredictable river.
Heavy rainfall in the Berg quickly changes water levels and school children from both schools are often caught unawares. Although fortunately there have been no serious incidents or fatalities recorded. Both schools reported children crossing when water levels were up to waist height and that they strip and carry their uniforms on their heads. A bridge has been built recently and teachers are most grateful for it BUT some kids still cross the river as the bridge is a fair distance downstream.
Both schools are in the most beautiful setting but severely under resourced, despite this the teachers do an excellent job and the children were well behaved and respectful.
At VRYSTAAT FARM SCHOOL with a total of 100 pupils it was possible to present the workshop to all pupils. They are all Zulu speaking and a teacher helped to translate but much of the lesson was action song teaching of the emergency number 10177 and mime acting out saving a friend from a dangerous situation.
At KWA-CUBELA the workshop was presented to 45 children from Grades 2 and 3. Here the understanding of English was a little better and again action and mime worked successfully. The teachers and learners are better informed now and consider both workshops a benefit to the schools and communities.
WaterWise is proudly sponsored by TNPA.