- in English

We at Johannes School in Stockholm are very proud of the lovely school that we have built for the children of the little village of Boons, in South Africa.

It all started in April 1994, when an article appeared in one of Sweden's two national daily papers - Svenska Dagbladet. It was a moving story about a little village in South Africa where the local people had been forcefully removed from their land because they were a 'black' spot on the map. Their homes had been flattened to the ground and the fertile agricultural land was let to their 'white' neighbours. Those villagers who refused to move were imprisoned or tortured. With the abolition of apartheid in 1994, the villagers had, as the first blacks in South Africa, regained the right to their land following court proceedings. This event received a great deal of publicity in the South African newspapers, as it was the first time that racial wrongs had been righted through the judicial system. The little village of Boons was regarded as the hope of black South Africa.

According to the Swedish newspaper the village elder was called Johannes. This led to the idea that we at Johannes School in Stockholm could build a Johannes School in South Africa. The suggestion was presented to all the staff which supported it unanimously, and then to the parents. One of our parents - a South African - was about to travel to Johannesburg and said she could visit the village with our offer of help. On returning, she told us how moved and grateful the villagers were. Soon after, we received a fax from the village spokesman with the touching message, "Thank God for the miracle of Johannes School in South Africa."

We contacted SIDA who were very positive to our idea. In order to qualify for a grant from them, we founded a non-profit-making organisation called 'The Association, Johannes School in South Africa'. A lot has happened since the association was started in April 1995. Money has been raised in a great variety of ways. Some fund-raising projects have been initiated by individuals, others by one or two classes, a few have involved the whole school. Perhaps the most memorable being our 'Africa Evening' A delicious Gambian dish, made by the kitchen staff and served by the older children wearing colourful African dress, was thoroughly enjoyed by our paying guests. After the meal they were entertained by live African music. 'Svenska Dagbladet' has published several articles about the project.

Work continues! We are giving our support to our colleagues in our sister school, which we hope will help the development of the village. We also have plans to invite one of our colleagues to come here in order to teach some traditional African dances to our children.

If you want more information or would like to support our project in any way, please contact us through:
Anna-Karin Eklöf
Föreningen Johannes School in South Africa
Johannes Skola
Roslagsgatan 61
113 52 STOCKHOLM

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