In January a new small school was opened by the Sustainability Institute, to provide a better equipped learning environment for some of the local children that are struggling with mainstream education. Currently, only 15 children are in the school, between the ages of 6 to 12.

This environment is where the three bursary recipients for the AMI 6 – 12 Elementary module will be based between course modules, and once the course has been completed. Natasha Rossouw, Jessica Eley and Shaun Claasen will each play a key role in the new learning environment. Natasha will be a teacher in the classroom, Jessica will assist with additional academic support and engagement with parents, and Shaun will coordinate the various physical movement activities for the children. In fact, Shaun has already started working with the children early in the mornings while on module.

Shaun Claasen dedicates spends most of his time helping in the new learning environment. “Teaching has always played a huge role in my life, and I have always had a personal interest and a strong passion for helping children and youth.” The experience has been challenging but fun for him and the children. They enjoy the morning walks and talks and getting in touch with nature. “It feels good to know that I am building their self-confidence and self-esteem, and I hope to get staff involved in this amazing experience.”

After he graduates, he hopes to eventually become a school teacher and give back to the community and have a positive impact on the children’s lives. He would also like to create more fun sports activities for the children because he believes that it’s a good distraction that keeps children off the streets. By playing sports children develop physical skills, make new friends, learn to be team players and improves their self-esteem. “I am going to do my best to make everyone proud.”