In 2010 André worked with refugee children during the Three2Six holiday programme and produced a book of drawings and stories calledRefugee Stories – the spirit of the three 2 six school as part of MindBurst’s social investment projects. This stories and images in this book were developed by refugee children between the ages of 10 and 14. The design process made no attempt was made to edit or interpret the stories. They were simply juxtaposed with the images.
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 André 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.