Dear Bonganie,Lukhanyo,Athenkosie,Sissisa and Others,
I met you through a literacy programme, where you forever won a place in my heart. Yes, there are plenty of fault lines in the school where we met. The building is shabby, the classes are overcrowded, the computers are old and rickety and the overtired teachers, occasionally "loose it "and give out a resounding "klap"
Although I see plenty of room for improvement in the school, I have hope for you and your future. It is the Bonganies, Siphos, Assisipis in Limpopo, Eastern Cape and elsewhere in SA, who give me sleepless nights.
How are we going to explain to them, that we the collective South Africa, have failed them. That before them stands no bright future or a life with meaning and dignity. Their's is NO FUTURE.
How can we explain to them, that in today's South Africa, our politicians esteem it more important that our president resides in gradious homes, while our teachers are pitifully paid, our schools are shabby and the teaching methods antiquanted. How can we explain to these children without school desks, school books and writing materials that our cabinet ministers flit from one conference to another,inland and abroad,(with a huge entourages, first class hotels and flights of course), but we have no money or political will to give our children a decent education.
Remember I told you I was visiting Switzerland and Germany? (No, Sissisa, not Swaziland !) The schools there are pleasant places, the teachers are correctly paid, strikes are illegal and learning is honoured. The children are lovingly steered towards a future where maths and science play important roles.
We are behind, way way behind. All those Athenkosies, Bonganies and Siphos have been abandoned, because we the collective South Africa, cannot stand up and shout "N0" to the glutinous political vultures who are bleeding our country dry.
Before I close I want to say thank you to all of you, Bonganie, Athenkosei, Siphos, Assisiphi and all the others I met on the literacy road. I recieved more than I gave. Thank you for the "I love you" cards, your trust and sometimes your tears. (The world out there is rough and cruel). Remember the wicked mayor from the "Pied Piper", who would not pay? From there we started talking about who is the mayor of Cape Town when Assesiphi and Lukhanyo got into a fight whether she wears a wig or not! How we giggled and laught!!!! (Sorry Patricia.......)
And then to you, Anna, the refugee kid with a tulmultious family situation. You were like an dove with an injured wing. We healed you and you soared. In 3 months you started to read books, and discovered a whole new world. I am so proud of you.
To all those children we are failing, forgive us. We are a young nation, which is still functioning along lines of black white, grab snatch and never look beyond your own navel.
Do'nt cry for me Argentina, weep and sob for SA, because we still have not learned right from wrong.
Dear dear children, I enclose you in my heart and in my dreams, Teacher Ruffieb.