In 2014, Beata Carstens, who is head of Veritas Wealth Paarl, will be a Business Leader in the Partners for Possibility Programme (PfP), which develops the leadership skills of school principals and provides practical support to them as they set out to lead change at their schools. Beata will be partnering with Ligstraal School in Paarl East, which currently caters for 265 severe mentally challenged learners from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

Symphonia for South Africa (a registered NPO) facilitates these co-learning & co-action partnerships between business leaders who have much to offer and want to make a meaningful contribution, and principals who need the assistance and are keen to lead change at their schools and in their communities. The process also creates an opportunity for business leaders to develop their own leadership skills.

In the PfP programme:

  1. A business leader becomes a learning and development partner to a school principal for a period of one year.
  2. The partnership attends training, workshops, coaching and reflection  to integrate learning.
  3. Each partnership is assisted through the one-year programme by a professional Learning Process Facilitator.
  4. Each partnership goes through the program simultaneously with other peer schools in their region, forming a circle of 7-10 to partnerships that serves as incubator for solutions.
  5. Together they are tasked with one of the toughest challenges facing our country: to engage parents and other members of the community around the school to partner with the principal and teachers to educate our children.
  6. The bold vision – quality education for all in 2022!

Beata will be the Business Leader, partnering with Ligstraal School in Paarl East. The Principal is Dr. Joaline Lackay and her deputy, Irma Mentoor. Ligstraal School was established in April 1983 to educate 13 severe mentally impaired learners. It currently caters for 265 learners.  The learners are all severely mentally impaired with or without a physical disability, with the following syndromes: Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Noonan Syndrome, Williams Syndrome, Hemiplegia, Quadriplegia, Autism, Amputees, Visual Impairment, Auditory impairment, and others.

These children are all from previously disadvantaged backgrounds with a large percentage of them still living in informal settlements and on farms where their parents are working as farm labourers. A large percentage of the parents are illiterate and unemployed, and are struggling to make ends meet.  The children live in poor socio-economic circumstances and most of them are in foster care and dependent on Social Grants. The school is only partly subsidized by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED).

The school’s vision is to assist their learners in securing their rightful place in the community. Its mission is to commit all role players within the current infra-structure to optimising the learners’ potential and abilities.

We will keep you updated on Beata and Veritas’ participation through the year.

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