By the Cape Town Holocaust & Genocide Centre
In the early months of 2020 we believed our year would be as any other; we had school bookings, we had already hosted international speakers and were looking forward to more.
Lockdown changed all that and our team understood immediately that those who would suffer most through this lockdown would be learners and teachers at under-resourced schools. With this in mind we set to work.
We created resources for Grade 11 learners and educators in both print and video formats. Our work was submitted to and accepted by the Western Cape Education Department and uploaded onto their website. The WCED printed our resources and delivered them to 849 of their 1749 schools, doing so via soup kitchens that had been set up. At a conservative estimate, 29,000 Grade 11 learners had access to our resources. Most of these learners would not have had the opportunity to come through our doors, even before COVID, so our reach has been remarkable. We are in the process of developing the Grade 9 resources and will be offering the same opportunities to the 68 933 Grade 9 learners in the Western Cape.
Please visit our website and click on the Education tab to see the work we have done.
Our annual White Rose Creative Project was also moved online and it was an incredible success with over 101 entrants from schools around the peninsula. Our online prize giving was extremely well received and we will be running the project online again this year. Please visit the White Rose Project on our website to enjoy the exhibition and be amazed at the level of work submitted.
For more well-resourced schools, we offered online lessons, and in November, our beloved survivor Ella Blumenthal did an online talk with Deutsche Schule learners who were overwhelmed and enthralled by her.
As of the first week in March this year, we will be hosting schools at the centre. We have in place all COVID protocols and although we have had to limit numbers for each school, there is still enthusiastic uptake for our programmes. Because some schools are unable to get their students to us, we are going out to them and conducting socially distanced programmes in their environment. Alongside this we continue to offer online programmes to those who request them.
Cape Town Holocaust and Genocide Centre: https://ctholocaust.co.za/
• Published in the print edition of the March/April Pesach 2021 issue. Download the March/April 2021 issue PDF here.
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