Professor Shadrick Mazaza gave the first presentation for the day on Transformation and Authenticity: Unlocking the Human Potential. In 2013, Prof. Shadrick came across an article titled Agenda 2063. The aim of Agenda 23 was to harmonise the development and integration of the African continent. Some of the challenges ahead are the large diversity of tribes, groups and cultures among the continent.  To find ways to unite Africa whilst embracing everyone’s differences, Shadrick founded the African  consciousness Institute, with the focus on transformation. He spoke of the three types of transformation that each African needs to undertake in order to bring about unity and change: personal transformation, inter-personal transformation and socio-economic transformation. In order for the last type of transformation to take place, the first two need to be achieved. 

The Professor urged the importance of raising awareness of Agenda 2063 to open up discussions on what each person can do to contribute to the vision. In order to achieve transformation, he said three things need to happen, Africans need to wake up, show up and speak up. He gave further tools that entailed knowing yourself in depth, through careful self-observation, one can really see who they are instead of who one thinks they are. The next step would be to know about the laws of nature and how these natural laws can help us. Understanding the human condition, and why we act and behave in the way we do brings about a deeper understanding and respect for one another. 

Professor Shadrick gave the equation, the level of knowledge plus the level of being equals the level of understanding. One needs to acquire knowledge if one wants to raise to a higher level of wisdom. Mazaza explained that to understand the human, one needs to understand their own set of values which is unique to every person, bearing in mind that our values dictate what we see and how we react to situations. He also said that one’s values are always evolving, not all beliefs are important, the ones that are important to an individual become that person’s set of values. He pointed out that Montessori values every child and values each child’s set of values. He went on to say that there are three principles of the human experience, thought, mind and consciousness. All of our realities are created by our experiences. 

After tea, participants broke into their reading groups before lunch was served. After lunch participants were invited to attend various workshops.

The afternoon presentation began with Hillary Korir, from Corner of Hope in Kenya. Hillary explained where the idea for Corner of Hope came from. Work in Kenya has been ongoing since 1974. Following violence stemming from elections, communities were faced with challenges such as internal displacement which brought about a need for emergency aid, food and medication. Corner of Hope was set up on land that was assigned to internally displaced people. Following from a number of community meetings, a memorandum of understanding was signed. Trust was further cemented by continuously engaging with the community and giving feedback. A construction team, made up of people from the community were trained and used their skills to begin constructing the school. At first, expertise guidance was given and then the workers were able to move forward independently. The result was a beautiful environment that had been created by members of the community. Teachers were trained and recruited from the community. Materials were hand made by the teachers as well as beautiful uniforms that were made from tie-dyed material from community members. Each child was issued with two uniforms which they wore with pride in and out of school. Meals were prepared outdoors at first until a structure was built to cook inside. The community came together to construct the school and beautiful furniture for the children. Hillary aired a video clip from the principal, teachers and some of the students explaining their happiness.

The last presentation of the day was given by Magali von Blottnitz from Partners for Possibility. This organization is a multifaceted programme that aims to make the impossible possible. Partners for Possibility is a nation building programme that puts school principals and business leaders together in a partnership to create a better future. At this point in time, the focus is mainly on impoverished schools in the townships. These partnerships fostered as a reciprocal co-learning arrangement. The aim is to build skills through the support of a business partner. Currently the programme boasts 833 partnerships between principals, business partners and the school communities.  

The partnership between principal and business partner is facilitated for a year, with both parties in the partnership encouraged to continue working together for a minimal time frame of three years. The average partnership lasts between three and five years. Partners for Possibility work on a 70:20:10 methodology: 10% workshops and training centres, 20% developmental relationships and social learning with 70% action learning which happens in a practical hands on way at the school. The programme prides itself with bringing people together from completely different walks of life to share skills, knowledge, advice and support all with the common goal of making progress.