The importance of kindness

DHPS dedicates time to give back to frontline workers

13 July 2021 | Onderwys
Mariselle Stofberg

The Deutsche Höhere Privatschule Windhoek (DHPS) hosted their annual Day of Kindness on 1 July where classes, colleagues and teachers joined forces and came up with creative ideas on how to thank and encourage health workers through kind gestures.

They created countless posters as part of the #NamibiaThanksYou campaign, composed greeting cards and poems, designed artworks and found so many different ways to say thank you.

They also brought home-baked muffins or meringue to the teams of Pathcare Namibia and the staff of Lady Pohamba Hospital, donated energy bars for caregivers as part of Maerua Superspar's initiative, and handed over encouraging posters to hospital staff.

“The Day of Kindness has been initiated in 2012 by our Dependency Prevention Team focusing on school community development and involvement. The aim is to support each member of the school community individually but also to achieve and experience something great together as a team,” said Tina Crüys, the public relations manager of DHPS.

Each year a different focus is determined and all activities evolved around this. “The creative results have been wonderful each and every year. From kindergarten up to grade 12, the learners painted, crafted, planted and created inspiring results together and experienced togetherness, commitment and being kind first hand,” Crüys added.

In 2019, the concept was extended and ‘buddy classes’ were established where two classes are randomly paired to spend the day together.

Learners, teachers, kindergarten kids and staff members responding to each other, showing commitment to a common good cause and sharing this joint sense of achievement set the Day of Kindness apart.

Giving back

Melanie Campbell, a teacher at the school and member of the DHPS Dependency Prevention Team, said the main aim of the day is to teach the students about community and encourage them to take part in actions that demonstrate kindness.

“It is presented and run by the Dependency Prevention Team as we firmly believe that well-developed students who feel connected are less likely to form a dependency. This day forms part of a series of motto days, which include amongst others International Women’s Day and Day of the African Child,” said Campbell.

This year, amidst the impact of third Covid-19 wave, the unique opportunity to get involved in helping out Namibians battling on the front lines presented itself.

“We like to leave a lot of the formation of their plans up to the learners. Staff are also encouraged to get involved, but there is no forced involvement. If students and staff have an idea, but are a little unsure of how to implement it, we will be more than happy to assist with ideas,” she added.

The Dependency Prevention Team usually sends out an email informing staff about an upcoming motto day. Therein they give age-appropriate suggestions and sample lesson plans.

“This year, even with schools being closed, it was no different. The teachers and staff members communicated it with their respective classes in their online classrooms. From there the students and teachers came up with numerous creative ways to support our frontline workers with kindness,” Campbell added.

Lifting morale

Kristin Eichholz, the principal of DHPS, said all the school’s community involvement is of utmost importance. “Feeling useful always lifts morale and it has never been more important than at a time where everyone feels helpless,” she added.

Eichholz further said it is important to show learners how privileged they all still are and to appreciate the efforts of everybody who works on the front line and risks their lives and health in order to serve others.

“We want our learners to understand that everybody can make a difference and for them to be part of solutions – be it only in small steps and signs but not less importantly so. We are in this together – and only together, we will get through it.”

In addition to this, the DHPS Interact Club, one of their extramural projects, together with many volunteers, has been supporting another project on another "front line" for more than a year.

“Every Saturday, around 60 families and grandmothers are supported with food parcels. In close collaboration with our partner organisations, Kids Soup Kitchen in Ombili and Havana Soup Kitchen, the families in most need were identified and supplied with food donations ever since,” Campbell added.



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