FELSISA / Pongolo Valley School
Pongolo Valley School

Pongolo Valley Pre- & Primary School was established in March 2017 on the Farm Welbedacht, near Lüneburg.

It is an independent, English-medium school based on Christian principles and values.

Pongolo Valley Pre- & Primary School is registered as a non-profit company and a public benefit organisation. It was started out of a desperate need by Zulu-speaking parents of our rural community to be able to send their children to an affordable school which sees the education and overall wellbeing of each child as a matter of high priority.

We started off in 2017 with two grades in the preschool – Grade R and RR, with 25 children in each grade. We have now grown to 152 children, 75 in the preschool, where we have added Grade RRR and 77 in Grades 1-3. God willing we hope for our first Grade R class to complete their seventh Grade at our school in 2024. We have 5 qualified teachers as well as 10 student teachers and assistants on our staff – and are grateful for the great team that they are. Lessons are held in English but are translated into Zulu on a continual basis, enabling the children to follow, understand and learn well.

It is very important to us that our children feel supported, understood and cared for at our school. Their emotional wellbeing enables them to learn with confidence and motivation. Our children learn by playing, crafting, running, jumping and climbing. They cut, paste, colour, build, count and write and we always try to make the learning experience a good one, so that they remember and internalise what they have learnt. We follow the CAPS curriculum with additional learning material.

Our mornings are started with devotion, reading bible stories, singing and praying. From Grade 1 children begin to learn the main parts of the Lutheran catechism. Once a week we hold a whole-school devotion – here we have the opportunity to talk about events that happened at school or elsewhere that we can take from and lay back into God’s hands. We are blessed to have these opportunities to share God’s love with everyone at school.

Learners get two meals at the school – putu and milk for breakfast and a healthy sandwich (fish, egg, peanut butter or baked beans) with fruit for lunch. We are able to pay for this with the school fees we get: R250/pm over 10 months for the first child of the family.  Second or third siblings pay R190/pm.  This fee enables us to buy stationary, food and pay the salary of two cleaners as well as some of the assistants. The rest of the salaries as well as the building and transport costs are carried mainly by KDK Boerdery, for which we are very grateful.

We do as much fundraising and creating awareness for our school as we can. Fundraisers at school include a monthly casual day for the primary school kids – R2 to come to school in civvies. A tuckshop (if there was no rubbish lying around at the previous tuckshop) is held on the same day. Our first planned Art Exhibition has been postponed a few times because of the lockdown – this will cost each visitor R2 as well. Funds received from the Casual Day and Tuck shop are put away for our Christmas Party and if possible a Christmas present for each child.

Our library has been stocked by discarded books from other libraries and to a large extent by quarterly book runs, which have now in Covid-19 times become virtual. We had our first jumble sale on Mandela Day. A “Carols by Candlelight” function last year, hosting local musician Emil Paul was a pleasing success. Applying for funds from state departments and big companies is time consuming and not always successful.

We are very glad that the “Förderverein für Vorschulen & Schulen in Südafrika e.V. (www.hilfe-verbindet.de)“ has been established in Germany, which allows sponsors from Germany and other SEPA countries to deposit donations for our school safely and easily. Receiving donations through the www.lovingthyneighbour.co.za  channel (under the name: Pongolo Valley Preschool) is no longer possible since the pandemic and the economic challenges it brought with it. This platform is now only used to inform possible donors of our school, what we do and what we stand for.

Being visible on social media has become very much part of a public benefit organisation. You can find us on Facebook and on Instagram under the name: Pongolo Valley Primary School. On our website www.pvpschool.co.za you can read our story, about who we are, our newsletters and we will get the donation button running again as soon as possible. We thank everyone who follows, likes and shares our pages – it really does lift our spirits to see your like!

Pongolo Valley School (the name comes from the river flowing through our valley) is a good place to be. We invite you to come by and visit us if you are in the area. We always welcome visitors. We are very grateful for all who have shown an interest in the past, for all who have visited and all who have donated books, toys, carpets, food, stationary, etc. etc. We thank everyone who has donated money to the school, or does so on a regular basis. The fact that you leave our school gates without forgetting us means very much to us. We thank the FELSISA for this new platform and pray to God that it may serve us all well. God bless you!

Pongolo Valley School
Pongolo Valley School Children in Class