It was an awesome experience to be part of this year’s selection team as it made me realise the vital role Pestalozzi has played in my life. It reminded me that I did not receive ordinary education but received unique education which has seen me through up to now because I learnt to love unconditionally, use my head to excel and I can go out there and do craft work which can help me earn a living.
It was not anything new to me to meet and visit vulnerable children and families as this took me back to my roots and I knew I had one thing in common with the selected children, “vulnerable back ground”. As we continued our selection task after the oral and written interviews, day 3 and 4 were so touching and interesting because this is the time home visits were conducted and seeing the families, my heart was overwhelmed with joy for I knew the children will soon be joining another family (Pestalozzi) which will give them a sense of independence, secured future and teach them the importance of empathy. Pestalozzi encourages giving back to the communities all I was seeing in these children were adults coming back and sharing knowledge in their communities.
At some point I thought vulnerability was just in the remotest parts of Zambia, it was an emotional week when we went to conclude our selection in the refugee camps (Mayukwayukwa in western part of Zambia) where we met families who have fled from the neighbouring countries because of war. To them all these barriers of not having proper shelter and sometimes sleeping on empty stomachs have never been a hindrance to them excelling and being top in their classes.
I reflected a lot on how today’s selection would complete and impact on the future Pestalozzi circle of success and thought, “It can only be done through commitment, keeping and holding close what Pestalozzi has done by giving back to the communities, I am sure we can extend and give back in so many different ways.”
I am excited at the prospect of meeting and interacting with the selected children in January 2020.
By Priscilla Chanda - Pestalozzi Alumna