Someone very dear to me repeatedly tells me that there is something to learn from every person that you cross paths with , regardless of their social standing and/or educational level. Never has this message been more apt than on the day I spent with selected learners from grades 10-12 at Soshanguve South Secondary School. My visit to the school was meant to serve as a follow up to the CSIR Annual Career Day, the event where I first met this group of learners. My main intentions were to teach the students about sustainable living and making a difference within their community. I also had plans of setting up a Generation Earth Council at the school.
Initially, I didn’t think much of my going to the school. I expected the learners to be tired of hearing about recycling and sustainable living, especially given that most of them had just written an exam. However, when I got to the school it was a completely different story. I received the most remarkable welcome and I was hastily ushered into the Vice Principal’s’ office by Mrs Kotlolo.

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During my talk with the learners I emphasized the fact that their present day actions will have a massive impact on the future of our society and the World as we know it. We also discussed the importance of maintaining the right attitude and mindset towards the environment and how each decision we make today will greatly affect the generations to come. I was thrilled at the level of engagement during the talk and very pleased by the the learners’ overall enthusiasm regarding the Generation Earth Council.
Following the Generation Earth talk, we conducted a small clean up at the school grounds. I was thoroughly impressed by the immaculate state of cleanliness that the school was already in, prior to the clean up and I was delighted to learn about their existing recycling initiatives.

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While the short time spent with these learners certainly revitalized my excitement around making a change it also taught me to remain humble, and ever conscious of the decisions I make, because I’ll never know who is watching. As the famous saying goes “children do what you do, not what you say.”
I would like to extend a huge thanks to Mrs Kotlolo and Mrs Kgatle and other staff members or hosting me and for the wonderful way in which they treated me throughout my visit.

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