Monday, 21 March 2011

Human Rights Day March from The Parade to Parliament, 21st March 2011

We were honoured to represent The Shine Centre today for the Equal Education march to parliament. We joined forces with the EE people, plus 20 or so girls from St Cyprians, a sprinkling from Hershel, Westerford, Rondebosch, SACs and Springfield school. The thousands of children gathered for an afternoon of meaningful exchange danced and sang their way to Parliament to the strains of Freshly Ground: it was a deeply moving and emotional experience for so many of us. A sense of unity prevailed. On a personal note, as I was signing the charter that was to be handed in later, a beautiful young girl approached me, asking me for help with the form she was planning to fill in.... I looked closely at her, and realised it was Zara, one of the first children I had taught at Observatory school in 2006 when I first arrived back in South Africa. 
I was meant to be there today, to meet up with her again, and to see the progress she had made since I last saw her four years ago: she is now in Grade 6, and the most poised, beautiful young woman. Full of hope and promise. A symbol of The Shine Centre.
The site and sight of great things happening.... 


St Cyprians, SACs and The Shine Centre at the beginning of the march

Fun dancing to Freshly Ground to set the mood 
Cherry, our official photographer and Shine writer, and friends

15 000 people joined the march 

On the way to Parliament, via Kiuzercracht St
Fresh and keen, waiting to go.

Today, a march and a concert was staged in Cape Town, and an estimate of around 15 000 people gathered on the Grand Parade, Cape Town at noon. We marched to Parliament at 2pm.  Trains transported people for free, and Equal Education helped distribute the tickets. We reached Parliament at about 3pm and handed over the Memorandum. The demands of EE are: the need for Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure, implementation of the settlement for the Mud schools, better school infrastructure and libraries for every school.

Freshlyground and DJ OSKIDO were the main performers for the concert, including local artists Sound Masters and Un- Decided, who performed for the 15 000 people at this concert. The main aim of the Concert was to celebrate Human Rights Day but also to highlight the plight & struggle of the majority of South African children who are not afforded a better education.
EE members hit the streets, schools, churches and train stations mobilising for the march for Quality Education. They leafleted, delivered posters and send letters to organisations and individuals. 

Kathryn bumped into Zara from Observatory, who she hadn't seen since Grade 3... she is now in Grade 6

Cosmos from The Bookery, Equal Education

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