Annette Quinn, Head of Operations & Impact
The world shares troubled times. But as the saying goes, major challenges and problems can also bring about innovations, collaborations and solutions. While we all await with great anticipation for our scientific communities to find a coronavirus vaccine, what we see are people and organisations getting on with things: working at rapid speed to design and build new structures to manage the status quo and creating new environments we can adapt to.
At the Breteau Foundation, our teams are working to deliver training online to teachers and videos to support parents to aid their children’s homeschooling using technology. We have developed a Breteau Foundation Virtual School in the UK, South Africa and Colombia. EdTech has never been more important than today.
Besides the internal innovations, what we have noticed is that achievements can happen without lengthy design, strategy or structure, and more often through random acts of kindness, and often these acts result in instant benefits and impacts. This is one of those stories….
A while ago, our South African Country Manager, Mona, met a woman Sophia at a playdate for babies. Both of these women chatted about their work and discussed connections between the Breteau Foundation and the Museum where Sophia is employed and they exchanged contact details.
Sophia made contact with Mona when she was looking for ways to rehome some garden materials used in an exhibition at the museum. Perhaps it was serendipity, but Mona took that call while at Rainbow Primary School which happens to be led by Principal Mr Bruintjies, who places great value on developing aesthetic spaces for his students. Mona mentioned that, “Every time I visit the school, I notice work being done to the playgrounds, fences and buildings, by a small team of school grounds staff – it’s always visually developing.” Mona required no time to consider a suitable partner for the Museum and a school that was ready to act….and voila, less than a week later, Rainbow Primary School has a new garden space.
This is a great example of ideas being shared, skills dovetailing, energy pushing in the same direction, but most of all an abundance of optimism and kindness. We may share troubled times but what we are certainly learning is fast ways to share, support and utilise precious resources through random acts of kindness. This in turn, makes great sense of the resources around us, that of course, should be shared and never wasted.
Mona’s summary thought of this random act of kindness is poignant, “Everyone seems to be realising that we are all in this together.”
On that thought, we wish to thank the museum for their donation and encourage others in the communities surrounding our global project schools – our doors are open to acts of kindness.