Thanks to some hard-working locals, schools in deep rural KwaZulu-Natal have been receiving Heartlines books.
Thunzi Primary School in Underberg has been fortunate to have the help over the past year and a half of Norma Russell. She’s a local who has been putting her heart and soul into helping the school improve itself. She’s got heaps of praise for the headmaster, Mdu Ndlovu. She says “I wish there was a Mdu at every rural school in SA, if there was, there would be no problems with education.” Via Norma, Heartlines sent out Zulu copies of Stories that Talk for each learner. In a letter thanking Heartlines, Mdu Ndlovu said: “I’m so excited about the books because the learners will read with meaning, enjoyment and increase their reading, vocabulary and knowledge about social life, especially the ones that talk about values. We used to have a value of the month and now they will be the ones who will choose. They are very pleased to each have a book in Zulu that they can read.”
Norma Russell has also taken books to Reichenau Primary School, which is part of the Reichenau Mission Station. it is one of a number of Catholic Mission stations, all built in the 1800’s by Trappist monks. The mother monastery is Marrianhill in Pinetown. Many of the missions have fallen into disrepair but a few are thriving, Reichenau is one of those that is on the up, as they appointed a couple a few years ago to oversee the restoration of the mission buildings and to fundraise. “When I first went to the school 7 years ago there were only 15 children, there are now over 100 and they are in the process of rebuilding the school boarding facilities. They will take only girls as they are the most vulnerable in our communities.”
Norma has also been to Camanga Primary School. This is a farm school, situated on a diary farm about 5 kms outside Underberg, it is a small school, mostly funded by the farmer and it is very well run.
Mdu Ndlovu further distributed books to Samangwe and Stepmore Primary Schools, which are 40kms out from Himeville on gravel roads which aren’t always in the best condition.
Says Norma: “Thank you for giving the children in our area these books, I really think they will help them to consider some of the options that they can have in life. So many of the children do not have an adult that they can talk to or who can offer them guidance, reading these stories will hopefully give them food for thought.”