André, together with his colleagues Rob Mills and Gábor Rácz from MindBurst, has supported the Three2Six School for refugees for the last three years by facilitating holiday programmes that aim to:

  • introduce children to different artistic media and techniques;
  • facilitate creative thinking skills;
  • create opportunities for exploring self expression in a safe, affirming environment;
  • increase self esteem

  In 2011 MindBurst assisted Three2Six learners to produce a stop-frame animation called Precieuse – a refugee’s story.

 The children developed the narrative, created the puppets and the sets. They also provided the voices and the sound effects for the soundtrack.

You can view it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zd8Xel0_EZ4.

 The Three2Six School is hosted by Sacred Heart College and Observatory Girls Primary. It is an afternoon bridging school for refugee children who have not been able to access state education. The children came to South Africa from Rwanda, Republic of Congo, DRC, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, etc. Even with asylum seeker permits refugee children are often refused access to state schools due to xenophobia, insufficient resources at the school, the child’s inability to pay fees and language difficulties.

The children, who now live in the neighbouring communities of Yeoville and Berea, attend classes from 3pm, when the regular school is out. They use the Sacred Heart College and Observatory Girls classrooms for an intensive three-hour teaching session, returning home at 6pm. The children receive food as well as uniforms and transport to and from school. Immunisation is also provided for the children and their siblings in conjunction with the Jesuit Refugee Services. Qualified and experienced teachers are sourced from the refugee/immigrant community and supported Sacred Heart College staff. The programme is managed by the refugee teachers and some volunteers from donor organisations, with support and fundraising from Sacred Heart College.

During school holidays the Three2Six children get to attend school in the mornings and catch up on many of the extramural activities they have missed out on. Art is a vital part of this holiday programme. This is where Andr and his team have got involved. Students from Sacred Heart High School who offer community service hours to the Three2Six School during the holiday programme.