Edmund Rice Education Beyond Borders (EREBB) is an International network of Catholic schools educating young people from many different faiths and cultures. In over 20 countries EREBB endeavors to promote global solidarity and offer a transformational education for justice and liberation. EREBB held its first Lead School Conference from 10 -17 October in Cape Town.
From the 13th – 15th October, our Desk (Social Justice & Advocacy Desk) hosted participants from the Edmund Rice Education Beyond Borders conference in Cape Town. Shortly after the group arrived they were taken to our Umoya Project in Khayelitsha where they had the opportunity to engage with residents while assisting them in creating a South African flag made out of residents’ and visitors’ hand prints. The flag was the brainchild of residents who wished to give the EREBB participants their blessing for the important conference that would follow.
After the emotional experience, the group had the opportunity to go to Simonsig wine estate in Stellenbosch for lunch, where they received a special wine tasting opportunity given by the Network’s very own Denzel Swarts. Throughout the wine tasting experience, Denzel spoke about Apartheid South Africa and the lead up to a democratic South Africa. He spoke honestly about his experience as a coloured farm labourer who dreamed of working in the tasting room. After years of hard work and challenging the system, Denzel now runs the tasting room and is responsible for many other vulnerable youth having the opportunity to work ‘inside the building’ instead of out in the fields.
The following day saw the group of visitors go to Robben Island, the place where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for much of his incarceration. After this experience they visited the ERN headquarters based in the Khaya ERNSA community house in Greenpoint. The group was welcomed by community leader Joan Armstrong who spoke about the community and gave the group a final tour.
It was an absolute joy to host the EREBB group in Cape Town, and we wish them all the best as they return to their home countries across the globe.
The Social Justice and Advocacy Desk - South Africa