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From soil and toil to a new education hub

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2017 Tutu Fellow Rori Tshabala made these moving remarks at the opening of SPARK Schools Rosslyn hub, north of Pretoria in August 2019.  SPARK Schools is the brainchild of another Class of 2017 Fellow, Stacey Brewer, who is a cofounder of the schools.  Stacey's vision was to create a sustainable financial model for low-fee private schools in South Africa offering high-quality education.  Since the first one opened in 2012, the network has expanded to serve more than 10 thousand students at 21 schools. These dry statistics are belied by Rori's comments at the opening of the school.  He said:

  My grandmother, at that time a widowed mother of six with pitifully little formal education, used to walk these very fields, through rain and shine, from farm to farm buying the fruit and vegetables that she would then walk many load-bearing miles more to go and sell on the side of the road in order to earn what little she could to feed her children.

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