With the easing of Covid-19 lockdown levels, stakeholders, funders, volunteers and many more have taken this opportunity to travel and visit our work. Both the AmaJingqi and Zithulele sites were hit by a fever of visitors!. It has been an amazing experience to engage with partners and show them the progress of each programme and how Axium is growing as an organisation. We would particularly like to say thank you to One World Network of Schools - our development partners - for the intense and much needed deep-dive training and facilitation with our education, operations, and executive teams; to the Eastern Cape Department of Education for the continuous support and engagement; to long term Axium friend Amy Gleason for always flying Axium’s flag high; the Global Challenge Missions volunteers for assisting with our office space and classrooms; and, finally to Solon Foundation for being our literal “day one” - funding Axium since 2010! We cannot thank you all enough.
The One World team did what we can call “shake things up”. They conducted professional development training for both our operations and instructional leaders. For the operations team, the training focused on the relationship between Axium’s staff and how the ops team is helping the staff reach their full potential together with each programme’s deliverables. On the other hand, the instructional leaders received training on how to structure, prepare and deliver their coaching of lessons. Through all the challenges experienced by the One World team on their travel to Amajingqi and Zithulele (including the sudden shut-down of one of South Africa’s major airlines!), they delivered impeccable training and continue to be incredibly supportive partners.
It is always good times when the Global Challenge Missions volunteers visit our organisation and the greater Zithulele NGOs. As we always put our education delivery first, we sometimes do not get an opportunity to reach some of the tasks at the bottom of our list, and this is where the volunteers come in. They help us fill the gaps and tick things off our list. They bring their specific skills to our programmes and learn from them. On this visit they helped with the inventory of our newly acquired library, took on some of our major maintenance jobs such as repairing the office ceiling, bathroom door and classroom windows, others assisted with classroom lessons whilst others organised our loft area. These volunteers bring so much light and fun whenever they visit. Thank you so much!
The Solon Foundation is one of very few funders who have seen the growth of Axium from our early days to where we are now. They have believed in our dreams and our aspirations for every rural learner, teacher and school. We continue to learn from the positive feedback and enjoyed stimulating discussions around what they are learning from other partners around the country.
Finally, it was a pleasure to have Amy Gleason of Ubuntu Global Connections visit… once again (Amy must surely hold the record for the number of Zithulele visits!!)! Craig and Michelle first met Amy when they were introduced in Boston in 2008 (there is a longer and funnier story here… for another time!), just as the early inklings of Axium were being turned from wafty ideas into a concrete business plan. Amy and her family have been incredibly loyal supporters since those early days and in recent years, through Ubuntu, have helped open fundraising doors for Axium and other Zithulele NGOs in the United States of America. Together with our International Fundraiser Mike Gathercole, Amy regularly brings groups of Axium friends and supporters from the US to Zithulele. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining a trip.
To all our funders, partners, supporters and many more - thank you so much for journeying with us as we invest in the potential of every learner attending our schools and programmes. As the world opens up further, we look forward to having more of you visit so that you can meet our staff and experience something of a day in the life of an Axium learner.