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  • Writer's pictureSAEP

Farewell to Anne Witt

For the past 15 months, Siyakhathala Primary Programme (SPP) has been more than blessed by the help of Dutch volunteer, Anne Witt. Anne arrived from Holland in September 2019, unaware of the impact she was to have on our programme. She brought enormous energy and a head full of ideas at just the right time, when SPP's manager, Susie, was stepping back to let Lerato take the reins as coordinator. Anne was the support Lerato and the programme needed!

She initiated the training of learners in Grade 5 who had completed the SPP programme as peer-tutors in reading for learners in earlier grades, using our team reading approach Their training began at the very end of 2019 and restarted just before COVID-19 arrived and the lockdown commenced. More on that later...

Anne applied for a visa extension so that she could remain and support SPP until the end of 2020, but then the pandemic and lockdown led to her using her energy and drive to work with the Newlands CAN network to gather learning resources (books, paper, colouring pens and other great materials) to supplement the learning packs and food packs that SPP was organising for our six distributions. Anne also worked tirelessly campaigning for the Thuso Food Relief committee on behalf of all of SAEP, as well as in soup kitchens around Cape Town during the hard lockdown.

As lockdown began to ease, our presence was once again allowed at Siyazakha Primary to re-start some programme activities. As we were not allowed to operate after school, we regrouped and worked out how to support English language lessons in-school, with Lerato taking a lead teaching grade 7. Anne and our two trusty reading coaches, Alungile and

Luvuyo, stepped in as classroom assistants in Grades 5,6 and 7. The teachers have really appreciated having Anne around, and she used her energy and initiative to re-start the small group training of grade 5 peer-tutors, using them in class three mornings a week.

If this wasn't enough, Anne also spent her time off raising an amazing amount of money for SAEP and SPP with her contacts back in the Netherlands. She was interviewed on Dutch radio and blogged about her time here with us too!

Anne has brought support, ideas, energy, fun, creativity and friendship to SPP. We cannot thank her enough and we will miss her terribly, but wish her and Henk all the best for their further travelling adventures!

THANK YOU, Anne, We will miss you!

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