Sep 17, 2009

From the AP Classroom #4

Thuthukani School for Special Learners is located in the Empangeni School District in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Its principal Martie Combrinck has devoted the past fourteen years of her life to the education of the special needs learners at Thuthukani, which means progress in Zulu. She knew all these young people by name and spoke their languages.

Each time we entered a room their faces would light up at the sight of her, many coming to her for a hug. Three levels of learners make up the 350 in attendance. The most advanced spend a year training in a trade such as being a seamstress. We witnessed an interactive and affirming environment.

Our visit began with a delightful song and dance demonstration by the learners who are capable of performing at this level. Tremendous hurdles have been overcome to integrate these children into their culture enabling them to have much more fulfilling lives then previously was the norm. This was one of the most inspirational visits during our time in KZN.