What examples can you provide of a typical service user experience, that helps illustrate the benefits they have experienced as a result of your actions?
Mary Kihn School for Hearing Impaired Children, Cape Town
Left: Business partner Whita Tunyiswa, Woolworths Financial Services
Right: Principal Jillian Wilmot, Mary Kihn School for Hearing Impaired Children
From the first day that Whita Tunyiswa visited the Mary Kihn School for Hearing Impaired Children when she joined PfP as partner to Principal Jillian Wilmot in 2015, she became acutely aware of her own ‘disability’, as she was unable to communicate with the children and some of the staff members. She decided to learn Sign Language in order to feel included in the unique environment of the school, but she soon discovered that this also enabled her to communicate with a number of work colleagues who also have hearing impairments.
Some of the outcomes for the school that have resulted from Whita and Jill’s partnership include:
- An improvement in teamwork between Jill and her School Management Team
- A shift in the school ethos as ‘appreciation days’ and ‘staff awards’ made the teachers feel valued and the experience of being really listened to encouraged them take ownership of the school
- More actionable and effective management of the school’s planning processes
- A strengthening of Jill’s negotiation skills, which have been productive in her relationships with various school stakeholders
- More outreach to parents and the community, with weekly programmes for parents and organisations involved with hearing impaired children
- A more committed School Governing Body which has organised a number of action days including a Sports Day and Family Fun Market Day with the involvement of other similar schools as well as local businesses and community members.
Nyavana Primary School, Xihoko Village, Limpopo Province
Left: Principal Juliet Shibulana, Nyavana Primary School
Right: Business partner Jan-Louis Pretorius, Director at Groep 91 (Agricultural Enterprise)
When she began her partnership with Jan-Louis Pretorius, Principal Shibulana made the following comment:
‘At the beginning it was a bit strange. It was the first time in my life that I had a white partner. According to me before, the whites had their own world and I have my own world. But we did overcome this. Now I regard him as my brother’.
Juliet acknowledges that she was initially attracted to the PfP programme by the prospect that she would acquire much-needed financial resources for her school. She soon realized, however, that the skills she could develop through PfP would be more valuable than money, remarking a few weeks into the programme that ‘nobody will take it away from me’.
The leadership skills that Juliet gained through working with Jan-Louis and from the PfP formal training enabled her to bring cohesion and ignite passion among the members of her School Management Team and School Governing Body.
‘Every participant in the school has grown’, Juliet says, adding: ‘before, I never thought that a vision has to be developed in a proper way. The one we had in our school was so long. I learnt that this mission and vision is not for the principal only, it is for the entire school community. Teachers, parents, learners. Everyone must know it, own it and activate it.”
After working alongside Juliet for a year, and having committed to keep their partnership active, Jan-Louis reflected:
‘In many ways she gave me hope and respect for the incredible work that principals do, the genuine desire that she has for making a difference in the lives of those children, and stepping on a path that changes the future of our country. In fact, it was not only Juliet, but the other principals in their own special ways. That inspiration put my own privilege and responsibility into perspective and gave me a purpose.”
Kholwani Primary School, Jabulani, Johannesburg
Left: Business partner Randal Wahl, Managing Director, Regent Lighting Solutions
Right: Principal Busisiwe Mbuyisa, Kholwani Primary School
Busisiwe explains how her participation in PfP has impacted her and the school:
‘Regent Lighting Solutions has supported our school with many infrastructure projects, especially around lighting in the classrooms as well as new ICT facilities for Grade 4.
However, the most significant impact of my participation in the PfP programme for our school is that the programme has created a family for us through our business partner. We are now able to share ideas through management and leadership skills. My business partner continues to assist us in managing our school as a business organisation, and we are trying to turn it into o huge success.
The whole Kholwani team has felt the impact: our meetings are more interesting and lively now, as everybody is treated as equal thinker. It has contributed much in shaping my creativity and leading my team beyond the walls of basic education. Teacher’s morale is very high, workshops such as interrelations, communication, how to appreciate one another, time management and project management have changed their behaviour and attitude. This has led to great improvement in the children’s performance.
We have also developed a website which serves as a communication tool with the outside community, and have held community building workshops with parents. After these, the parents and the community, as important stakeholders, have volunteered their services to assist our school to be developed better. We have witnessed people offering assistance in a way that has never happened before.’