00:10 Sonja Wood: You’re a mission school and you’ve gone from putting them in the government school to bringing them home and now these adaptations and adjustments. What would you say would be the reason for doing that if another mission school is looking at the possibility of taking the leap like you’ve done? Why would you, if at all, would you encourage them to do that?

00:30 Charmain Coertzen: First of all, our children are exposed to extremely different social influences once they are in a government environment or a government school. So when you remove the children from those extremely negative influences, when you have young men that are in the school with them that are drinking and smoking and already sexually active, and them starting to ask the question, “But why is it wrong if I’m doing that?” When you remove them from that negative environment, you have a better opportunity to mold into their lives value and why it’s wrong, and why is certain lifestyles not a good thing for young adults not to get involved in. And I feel that there is a very vast group of people, within a government school setup. So your children are exposed to a lot of different scenarios in their life. Different teaching methods, different values, and all that kind of stuff. And with them coming home, we can actually impart the truth to them, and they can be under our supervision, and we will be the ones that have to answer to them. That’s not them saying, “But my teacher says so.”

01:53 Sonja: One would think because of your understanding, education has to happen and you’ve got this responsibility of all these children, that you would think that you need to use resources that are fitting to what is required by the world or by education systems or whatever, so you would need to get your grade one material and then your grade two, so that you, running this orphanage, the mission school, know that they’re going through all the various grades. So you could be getting school books, as it were, standard text school books, and using those in a school kind of environment where they’re sitting and doing all the different subjects. How come it is so that that isn’t what you’ve done and you’ve…

02:31 Charmain: We really feel that doing it the Oikos way is giving them an ability to grow in so many different areas. They go and they do research when they… Like on attentiveness, they went to visit a school for the deaf in Swaziland, which was incredible.

02:52 Sonja: Well done.

02:53 Charmain: They spent the whole day with these children that did not have the ability to hear. They came back with sign language that the children never had before.

03:05 Sonja: And that’s just because of doing KONOS? In other words, if you weren’t doing KONOS, you wouldn’t have that elective, you would’ve been doing subjects in school books.

03:12 Charmain: Exactly. So and they’ve been making instruments from just junk all over the property. And what these young people came up with was the most incredible sound. They were making music with bottle tops, with plastic…

03:35 Sonja: So much creativity bottled inside them.

03:36 Charmain: And that was mind blowing to experience that and to realize that within the whole Oikos system and with them doing KONOS, there’s suddenly a different area of them that is developing. And they’re not put into a little box where this is how you have to think, this is the only thing you’re allowed to do. Where each child has a different way of interpreting things and that they get that ability to interpret the things the way that they see it, whereas in a normal main run school, they cannot do that because that doesn’t fit into the structure, that doesn’t fit into the little box. Oikos is not a box.

04:19 Sonja: But you got this vision, Charmain. It’s almost like you embraced the Oikos vision and you’ve got it. In other words, the box thing, you’re going, “I don’t want the box. It’s too limiting. They’re stuck in there.” And you’ve got that and you’ve seen it. Now that very thing is what we know and have experienced and lived in Oikos for the last 20 odd years. Even from generations before that actually. So the exciting thing for us is El Shaddai, this mission, has actually got that vision and you’ve able to cancel out, you’ve able to let go. Are you really, you’re not tempted to always be better//.

04:52 Charmain: No.

04:53 Sonja: You see, that is so exciting. About the biggest value of all of this, it must not ever be missed, is the fact that it’s not about what instruments that they’ve made or what they learned at the day school. What it’s about is you were focused on teaching them the importance of attentiveness. If they know the value is, “We need to be attentive cause Christ is attentive, we need to be attentive because God had been so attentive over us that he’s put us in the care of El Shaddai and we are being looked after because he’s attentive to our needs.” And if they kept on coming back to that all the time, there’s the value.

05:31 Sonja: Wow. Oikos for the family. You’ve also got one.

05:36 Speaker 3: Yes.

05:38 Sonja: And you? Did you get one?

05:39 Gift: Yes.

05:42 Sonja: Sure. Okay. So are you glad? You’re staying at El Shaddai now or would you prefer to be going to school? Actual school building?

05:53 S3: It’s fun doing home-school.

05:57 Sonja: Because I want to tell you something. The reason why we’re here and we wanted to speak to you guys and ask you to come along. It’s ’cause there’s so, so, so, so many children in areas all over Africa, that are needing the kind of help that you are getting at El Shaddai. They’re given the love and the care and all that, that you receive at El Shaddai. So we were wanting to ask you how’s it going so that we could encourage other homes to be able to have children that are happy and comfortable and all of those things. So it’s good, just that you’re such a happy trio, look at your smiling faces.

[chuckle]

06:40 Charmain: What do you like about Oikos?

06:46 Gift: That we get to do fun activities.

06:49 Sonja: Do you like Maths?

06:51 Gift: Yes I do.

06:53 Sonja: Did you always like Maths?

06:54 Gift: No, I didn’t.

06:56 Sonja: When did you start liking Maths?

06:58 Gift: When I started doing Oikos and the Math-U-See and watching the videos. Thank you Steve, for math. Thank you everyone for the Oikos and the books you’ve got for us.