This women’s month we are honouring and celebrating the many remarkable women across our continent. Every day these women, like many in our country, strive to uplift their families and communities often in the face of insurmountable odds. Asanda Sigigaba, a GTI Future Leader graduate and now LEAP 3, School Leader, is one of the many remarkable young women who continue to inspire and help rewrite a new story for education in South Africa.
From growing up in an under-serving community Asanda did not imagine her life career as a teacher with a BEd. Her mother was a street vendor selling chips and fruit at a street corner In Langa, Cape Town, unable to make ends meet.
Asanda graduated from LEAP Science and Maths School, an independent school that offers free education to learners from high-need communities.
Asanda was offered the opportunity to complete her tertiary studies with the Global Teachers Institute (GTI) through the Future Leaders Programme, a teacher training program providing school-based training, mentoring, and independent professional development. Asanda’s time in the Future Leaders programme made her see teaching differently.
Asanda is currently the School Leader (Principal), at LEAP 3 in Alexandra. Her appointment into this position as a young female has come with many challenges especially around acceptance of her leadership. These challenges made her more determined to change mindsets and listening to all individual voices.
Asanda said her job is to give her learners space to talk about the problems they are facing and make them aware of their feelings. She wants them to enjoy their school days and grow from one another. From her own upbringing, Asanda knows what it’s like to see ends not meet at home and she wants her student to not feel they are unable to become something because of that.
My wish is to see township children see the possibility of “making it” through learning. I want to plant a seed of hope and use myself as a tool to drive them towards completing grade 12 and studying further. They can be whatever they dream to become in life, it shouldn’t matter where they come from.
Faced with the reality of COVID-19, the school under her leadership has successfully started online classes, and are raising more funds via BackaBuddy to cover data costs. They also have managed to raise R15 000 for sanitary towels and have delivered 186 food parcels from HCI and the Lunch Box Fund to learners in Alexandra. Today, LEAP 3 learners have a WIFI connection and can bring their devices to school to actively participate in ICT activities.
This month, in celebration of Women’s month LEAP, aims to help students in disadvantaged areas with at least 5 packs of sanitary pads. Individuals can get involved by making donations to help support young girls by visiting https://www.backabuddy.co.za/leap-staff-drive.
Women’s Day is celebrated each year in South Africa on 9th August to honour the women’s march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in protest against unjust pass laws.