Building communities, one child at a time
As the African proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child”, or at least it used to. In today’s world which is full of pressure and unpredictable attitudes the sense of community is often overshadowed by judgement, thoughtless comments, and misinformed reactions – leaving us against giving guidance to or accepting assistance from others. In this article SPARK explores the modern perspective of returning to our ‘roots’ through a collaborative mission and vision for our children, communities and country.
With a massive shift from human and community-based engagement to online/virtual communities, many children of today are missing out on the beauty and benefits of community contact and connections. As human beings, we crave a sense of belonging, and that sense of belonging is what connects us to the many relationships we develop throughout our lives, hence the importance of engaging a child with the community they live in.
Communities are rich in resources such as knowledge, experience, and values and being a part of a community means having a support network; a safe space to share knowledge, encourage discussion, creativity, innovation and mentorship and find comfort during difficult times. Children that get involved in and become a part of a community from a young age can assist in learning valuable skills which will empower them in later years of life.
A few of these skills include:
- the ability to relate to others,
- strong communication skills,
- active listening skills,
- genuine interest in others,
- patience with others,
- knowing how and when to show empathy,
- the ability to be supportive and motivate others,
- the ability to trust others,
- developing good judgment, and
- good manners.
With a solid foundation, these skills in later years then grow into the ability to keep an open mind, be aware of body language, strong negotiation skills, proactive problem solving, creating networking opportunities and ultimately leadership skills – continuing this important cycle.
SPARK Schools is a strong believer and influencer in ensuring that our scholars are active citizens in their classrooms, communities and country as a whole by dedicating time and effort to servicing those in need. With service being a SPARK core value, each day in our Daily Creed, SPARK scholars promise to serve their classmates, communities and country – we understand the importance of building communities and getting our children involved in various and productive ways. How we do this is by teaching our scholars to take the lead by showing their communities their leadership skills through organising and hosting their own events or initiatives, which can include market days, neighbourhood sports days, arts festivals and charity drives.
SPARK is made up of people who are making a change; it’s a place where we can be the difference in our communities and in our country. We believe in making sure that all our scholars, families and team members are cared for as individuals and don’t simply become numbers. We also love working together with our teams, families, communities, other schools, government and businesses to constantly improve our schools and the state of education in South Africa.
As thought leaders and thought receivers, we want to know what you are doing to build your community? Comment below, we would love to hear your thoughts.