An Excursion to Remember
Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” In July, MICDS Upper School students harnessed that quote as they traveled to South Africa to tour the country and lead a community service project at Nkomo Primary School in rural KwaZulu-Natal province. They were led by U.S. History Teacher Tanya Roth, Middle School Science Teacher Nolan Clarke and MICDS parent Shannon McCollough who, through her work as a business owner in South Africa and Africa Foundation volunteer, was integral in bringing this trip to MICDS.
At Nkomo, they held a mini “Day Camp,” during which they fed the children, did crafts/art projects, taught and led games native to South Africa, sang each other’s national songs and more.
“I will never forget watching our kids humbled when Principal Zikhali gave a tour of the school and the story of how the Nkomo Primary School came to be. What the kids at Nkomo have is so vastly different than what our kids have at MICDS. Our students absolutely understand that difference and how fortunate they are,” said Dr. McCollough.
MICDS student Labrill Collins ’19 shared, “I formed relationships with beautiful people and learned so much about South African history and culture. It was a fun and exciting experience, and I’m so grateful I was given the opportunity to go on this life-changing adventure!”
Along with the three-day community service project, some highlights from the trip included: a visit to Soweto and the home of Nelson Mandela (the same street where Desmond Tutu lived); a tour of the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg; game drives at the Isimongilisa Wetlands Park and award- winning safari destination Phinda Private Game Reserve; experiential learning about conservation; a brief visit to the Zuma Dula Zulu Cultural Village; a tour of Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years); a rugby game; a trip to Boulders Beach (outside of Cape Town) to see African penguins; and a view of the Atlantic coast from the Cape of Good Hope.