A wild horse of a year

This last day before my birthday I like to reflect on the past year and, to paraphrase Zen teacher Antony Osler, what a wild horse of a year it has been!

Overwhelming worldwide events in the news, a particularly cold South African winter in the grips of a deadly Third Wave and terrifying riots, people close to me struggling to hang on to their livelihoods and I lost a very dear friend to COVID.

And yet, whenever I stepped out in the open, I saw the beauty of the bluer than blue Jozi winter sky, the friendly neighbourhood business owners who keep going no matter what and all those ordinary people everywhere who choose to no longer be overwhelmed by the fractured state of our world and who come together and take action. Like the Joburg tour guides who joined hands to clean the Nelson Mandela Chancellor House memorial themselves.

I decided to roll up my sleeves and activate my network to raise funds and set up projects to assist learners in rural areas with digital exam preparation since they have been particularly hard hit by the school lockdowns and rotational time schedules due to COVID-19.

Together with a great team of talented Flying Cows and with support from generous contributors and Siyavula, we hosted our first webinar for Maths & Science teachers in rural Greater Taung, North West Province on 18 August. That day was one of the best of my year, everything came together and it just flowed.

And to my amazement, after just two months of digital skills support, one of the science teachers in our project now ranks No 1 on the national Siyavula School Leaderboard and her learners have greatly improved their pass rates!

What wonderful news to step into my new year tomorrow and of course to keep going with the project in Greater Taung and set up many more!

So high on my birthday wishlist is even more funding for the #flyingcowstotherescue project. I would love for you to contribute, all contributions are welcome. Please visit: https://gogetfunding.com/flyingcows

Tonight I’ll drink to a year of many more Flying Cows and riding wild horses!

Josine Overdevest, 18 October 2021

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