2020-03-06 SOUTH AFRICA

Atlantis Lavalla 200> community as a Marist presence in a public school

Since 2018, the Marist International Community living in South Africa has been conducting after school activities for children and teenagers from Reygersdal Primary School, in Atlantis. Facing the violent reality of the township, this afterschool program is an alternative to keeping these students in a safe place with educational proposals.

From Monday to Thursday in the afternoons, the international volunteers contribute in different initiatives: María Bobillo (Spain) offers yoga classes; Juliana Fontoura (Brazil) develops arts & crafts workshops; Nnodu Onwutalu (Nigeria) and Diogo Galline (Brazil) train soccer for teenagers; Tony Clark (Australia) accompanies children in athletics and Pietro Bettin (Italy) helps students in chess.

In addition to this afterschool program, the community also supports other school activities: Tony works directly with the Principal and his management team in administrative functions, as well as pastoral care with students and families. Some mornings, María helps the teacher responsible for children with learning difficulties and, also, the teacher of physical education with recreational activities; while Diogo and Nnodu collaborate with the maths teacher, assisting students to solve exercises. Finally, Nnodu also promotes educational tasks for undisciplined learners, presenting them new perspectives.

This presence in Reygersdal Primary School, a non-Marist-building-space, helps to spread the Marist Spirit among diverse people and realities, demonstrating that the Charism is a gift from God to all society. It’s also a response to one of the calls of the XXII General Chapter, which invites all Marists of Champagnat to be a significant presence in the lives of children and young people marginalized by life.


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