As you know when Saskia left her previous school and first met you, she was not eating well, was a very anxious child and had lost a great deal of her confidence. After only a few months of meeting Tian and yourself she was almost back to her usual strong, confident self. When you decided to start Nkowa there was absolutely no hesitation on my part that she was going with you. I am so very grateful to both yourself and Tian, for all the hard work and effort that you put into Saskia, both in her education and on a personal front, which has had such a positive effect on her. This focus on the whole child is definitely something that you & Tian are getting right which many schools talk about but don't seem to be able to achieve. Saskia did tell me the other day that if she had not been 'forced' she would never have left Nkowa!
Another great achievement I believe you are attaining is that you are actually providing an education for your students. One of the many things I do not agree with in the current schooling system, is that it seems to all be only about the end result which is really just a mark on a piece of paper. Like yourselves I find that there is no actual education going on in this system. This is one of the very positive things that Saskia has come away with from Nkowa - a curiosity to learn more, an excitement about learning and the skill to do this on her own. All things which I believe add up to an education. She really benefited from the personal attention and the fact that she was taught at her level of capability and continually exposed to things that stretched her both academically and personally. I think this focus on each individual child is such a wonderful feature of Nkowa. This has also had such a positive impact on her start at high school. As you know she skipped a whole grade because you and Tian identified her potential, taught her accordingly and she ended up being way ahead of her contemporaries.
She also really gained from the constant interaction between all the children. It has meant that she has developed some very good organizational and leadership skills especially as she got older and was required to help the younger children. Interacting like this is far more representative of the real world as opposed to only sticking within your own age group.
I have of course, also mention the wonderful camp that you went to Konka. Previous to moving to Nkowa there would have been absolutely no chance that Saskia would have gone away from home on a school camp. Yet, she had no problem going with everyone from Nkowa, had a wonderful time and came away having learnt an enormous amount about tolerance, team work, leadership and more.