JHB celebrations showcase PfP magic in full force

The first quarter of 2019 has seen the JHB32 and JHB33 Leadership Circles celebrate the end of their facilitated 12-month Partners for Possibility journey. These are some of their highlights:



‘’It has been a year of huge changes. How can we not change when the essence of our work is to change?’’

This was the sentiment expressed by Learning Process Facilitator (LPF), Rosemary Clark, in her summation of JHB33’s year-long journey at their closing celebration held at the FNB Fairland Campus on 28 February 2019.

‘’This has been the third circle I have shepherded, with each circle being so different. I am very proud of what this particular group of very special people have achieved,’’ she added.

The focus of the celebration then shifted to the presentations by each partnership. Many of the issues affecting the partnering schools were discussed, including infrastructure problems, school management team dynamics and lack of community cohesion. Each partnership then shared how they addressed their particular challenges.

For FNB Business Leader Cheryl Murphy and Principal Rachel Mbedzi, prioritising the learners’ performance, working on team-building and creating a shared vision for WH Coetzer Primary took precedence.

Originally an Afrikaans medium school, WH Coetzer was in dire need of a literacy programme for its learners who are now all taught in English. Cheryl, who is a volunteer in a Link literacy programme that is designed to run parallel to the main curriculum introduced the initiative to the Grade 2 learners.

‘’Our first step was to clear the old Afrikaans books from the library and donate them to others who could use them. With the help of The Link, we then refurbished the library in December 2018, and filled the library with appropriate books,’’ said Cheryl.

Principal Timothy Chigayo of Summat College described himself as painfully shy before he embarked on his PfP journey with Pedja Turanjanin of Famous Brands. He credits Pedja and the circle for helping him overcome his ‘Achilles Heel’.

‘’I have changed the way I manage the school, and my interaction with teachers and learners. I have begun to build a true team at my school,’’ remarked Timothy.

In the school, the duo focused on restoring the school’s kitchen which was in a state of disrepair. Pedja was able to plough R100,000 into this project. In a bid to create awareness around the different career options available to them, he arranged a tour of the Famous Brands offices for the older learners.

Principal Esther Moloto and Esti-Mari Langner of FNB put significant effort into regenerating Ubuntu values among the learners, teachers and parents at Nkholi Primary.

To do this, they created a ‘circle of love’ to recognise the pivotal role that grandparents play in raising children.

‘’Being a school located in a township, we know that it is the grandmothers who raise children – often by themselves. We forget about how important this is because we are so focused on pushing the curriculum,’’ Esther pointed out.

Business Leader Dave Wilson of The National Mentorship Movement rounded up the event with a compelling acknowledgement of Partners for Possibility as a programme that ‘’empowers people within a disempowering system.’’



The following day saw members of LPF Dina Cramer’s leadership circle celebrate their growth and progression over the past year at an event that took place at the WorldsView Academy in Johannesburg.

Proceedings kicked off with a harmonious medley by Inxiweni Primary’s very own choir. Later on, attendees were treated to an energetic performance of traditional Xitsonga dance by learners from Ivory Park Primary.

Principal Ruth Tabu of Inxiweni Primary and Business Leader Mike Stopforth of Cerebra were the first to look back at the successes of their partnership.

Labelled as a pair that ‘’played to their strengths’’, Ruth and Mike’s main focus was to implement sustainable projects whose positive impact would outlive their involvement at the school.

The partnership at Mikateka Primary, ‘’a squatter camp school that is big on literacy’’, was then showcased by Principal Mandla Sibanyoni and Business Leader Mandisa Bohlela of Twinsaver.

This school in Tembisa experiences challenges that are typical of township schools, including low staff morale, a lack of parental and community involvement and inadequate ICT resources. Although classified as an Ordinary School, Mikateka serves a sizeable number of remedial learners – a task that is particularly difficult in an under-resourced school environment.

Mandla noted that: ‘’Mandisa and I focused on school values, creating a productive team, issues of ownership and accountability of the curriculum, and providing support to the remedial learners. We developed a great rapport and want to continue this partnership.’’

Vastly improving the mathematical ability of learners at Gahlanso Primary became Principal Lerato Mahetjie and Business Leader Terry Boardman’s priority. They tackled this by creating three games for the foundation and intermediate phases.

‘’With these games, we wanted to encourage strategic thinking, and develop mathematical skills in the learners by incorporating them into the existing math exercises. We made sure to involve the learners in the entire process,’’ said Terry of Famous Brands.

Boitumelong Secondary, in contrast to the majority of schools in Tembisa, is equipped with ICT resources. This is because the MEC for education in Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi is a former learner of Boitumelong and has made a concerted effort to uplift the community he came from.

At Boitumelong Secondary, Principal Sesi Makena and FNB Business Leader Kabelo Motheane focused on improving the SMT’s ideation and implementation of these ideas.

‘’We are also in the process of upgrading the sports facilities, not just for the school, but for the community to use. As my FNB colleagues are passionate about education, we organised for them to give motivational talks to the Grade 12 learners,’’ Kabelo mentioned.

30 November -1, 00:00