6 December 2019

Stronger Together

“There’s something that I believe very strongly today is the emerging spirituality is reminding us time again that we are connected. In fact, not only are we connected, we are one. We are one. The stranger is my brother I haven’t met. We are one.” Br Philip Pinto

I have always loved listening to Br Pinto speak. He is an amazing deeply spiritual leader who offers incredible wisdom to humanity on how to live in harmony and with love. Br Pinto, in my humble opinion, is the world leader on being “fully inclusive”. I had the amazing opportunity to hear him address an audience of over 300 international educators on the EREBB Congress in India back in 2016. It was his stories, passion and deep commitment to inclusion that inspired me to look at different ways of inclusion. This message coupled with Dr Wayne Tinsey’s inspiring vision on inclusion and his consistent unwavering challenge for us all to keep working towards this, have held me strong in my beliefs, values and in many ways how I work.

The Congress in India was a huge gift to us all and one that keeps giving. Being invited to be a part of that amazing opportunity, allowed for friendships to develop and relationships to be built that have helped support collapsing walls across so many countries. During this time in India I meet two amazing Principals, Mam Kavita from India and Ms Sharon from South Africa. Together we have built a strong partnership across the globe and between our three schools through the Global Leadership Immersion. Last year the students all met here at Edmund Rice College, this year we went to India and next year the students will meet in South Africa. The melting pot of our three cultures coming together has opened up our students’ eyes and hearts. Our beautiful children have been deeply touched by the global integration of Edmund’s values and philosophy in our Colleges. This was evident in their conversations, reflections, prayers, rituals and icons around the College.

This experience coupled with the wonderful opportunities afforded to them has opened the world to our students and for that I cannot thank everyone who has been involved enough. The pure joy has been delightful and mesmerising to witness. I feel nourished, refreshed and very blessed by being invited into your school and lives. Thank you from my heart. To Mam Kavita, Sir Puneesh and Mam Shivani for all their organisation, care, effort and time in taking such great care of us. To Mr Michelangelo, a heartfelt thank you for putting on the amazing concert and debate. Miss Sharon Principal of St Johns CBC Cape Town for her continual support of the program and to Miss Carin for her friendship, laughter and guidance during the program.

I have enjoyed mostly the simple things that the program provided, such as hearing the students laugh at things that have happened during the program, watching our students doing the Mannequin Challenge, hearing them sing songs together in the grounds, observing the simple action of exchanging small gifts with reflected the genuine friendships that formed over the week, seeing the students’ beaming faces as they tried new things, catching them sharing special moments together, sharing their laughter and as a community wiping our tears of pure emotion as we said goodbye.

Special thanks also to EREBB especially to Brian Garrone who has been most supportive right from my first draft of the proposal. As always a huge special thank you to you Wayne Tinsey whose incredible foresight and vision has brought so many different countries together to share and exchange experiences, talents, ideas and the building of friendships to make for a better world for all!

By Moordjitj Gnulla

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