There is a hushed silence in the classroom and everyone looks about anxiously. Julie Cheetham, the Foundation Managing Director, the Green Futures team comprising the head of Green Futures, Susan Lochner, Sharlene De Villiers and Viola Siyotwa are all in the room and the students are acutely aware something is up.
Julie starts speaking about the student’s year long journey with the Foundation. The students have been all been working hard to complete the year-long AgriSeta accredited indigenous horticulture and life skills training. One can see by the students faces that they remain uncertain as to why everyone is there.
Julie turns the conversation and challenges the students to show her where England is on the world map in the classroom and announces the three students that have been selected for the opportunity to go to England, to first the Eden Project in Cornwall for two weeks followed by Kew Gardens for 2 weeks of experiential learning. Charne Koert, Sibusiso Mtshwetshwe and Chumani Nyelisi hug each other in complete disbelief.
The Eden project is located in a reclaimed Kaolinite pit in, Cornwall and houses thousands of plant species emulating natural biomes from all around the world. At Kew Gardens the students will spend a further two weeks working and learning for their teams.
Now the journey starts, all three of the students have had to make arrangements to get to home affairs and start the process of applying for passports and then have to start the lengthy process of applying for visas.
An opportunity such as this does not only off the opportunity to learn from the hands on, on site at world renown locations but also offers these students a mind changing experience of flying off to a different culture and experiencing the plane and a different world far removed from the semi-rural communities they come from.
Well done to to Charne, Sibusiso and Chumani! You have worked hard and we look forward to hearing all about your adventures!