I run an education centre and we help mentor and coach young people in our community. We try and teach them skills for life to be successful and kind adults. We believe that if we give our learners the skills to be kind and caring, they will be successful and caring adults. That's all we need. Kind and caring people in this world. We try and give them the individual skills to be successful learners who have tolerance and understanding for fellow humans and therfore successful human beings as a whole.

The other day while we were on holiday we got a call to say our one learner is on suicide watch as she just couldn't take the stress of her school anymore. She has been bullied by teachers and kids and has always just felt like she doesn't belong or is a problem. I immediately put holidays pkans on hold to be with this young soul and on this particular day she had a strawberry milkshake that she carried with her more for security than to snack on.

Upon entering our new school space which has just been moved into and also that has the most beautiful wooden floors, I heard a huge SPLAT. She dropped her comfort. Instead of shouting or making her feel terrible about it as she would have been made to feel at home, we giggled and I used this as an experience to learn and showed her how if we safely clean up those nasty pieces who can hurt us, once we look at the mess that is lying in front of us and causes us such panic, we can stop and make art from the mess. We can clean it up and start again. I went to fetch another cloth and came back to find her smiling and making art in the mess of chaos.

I hope she pays the act forward and becomes even more confident in herself.

  • South Africa