During May 2018 the Orlando Pirates Learning Centre welcomed two teachers and four students from the Shulzentrum Blumenthal School in Germany on an educational exchange program, representing the pinnacle of the partnership between the Centre and Orlando High School in Soweto. This exchange forms part of the return visit, after students and teachers from Orlando High visited Germany last year.
The programme enabled both groups of students to participate in workshops and educate each other in different areas of interest such as breaking down barriers, overcoming stereotypes, and developing their own communities through education. The educational work ensures that the young people acquire the necessary skills to spread their knowledge and abilities in their respective home countries.
The students and teachers also got to experience some of the sights and sounds of South Africa as part of their trip, with highlights including:
Ninda Sunarto, a first time visitor to South Africa, was encouraged and moved by the experience. Speaking to Orlandopiratesfc.com, the German student expressed the pleasant surprise that greeted her arrival.
“I never expected that I would get the chance to visit South Africa. I met so many friendly people and learnt about their culture which helped me break down many of the stereotypes I had come across in the past. I learnt about the education system and its similarities and differences to ours in Germany. I would love to have the opportunity to visit South Africa again.”
Fellow student, Ben Westerdorf, echoed the sentiments, stating, “Learning about this country and meeting so many new friendly people has made this one of my best decisions. I really enjoyed learning about the culture of South Africa and attending the match at Orlando Stadium. Nelson Mandela is one of my idols so I had a fantastic experience visiting the Apartheid museum and the areas where he lived.”
The exciting exchange programme between the two schools will continue in 2020 when more teachers and students from both countries get the opportunity to visit each other and learn about each other’s country.
Supported by Engagement Global with financial assistance of Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.