iConnectED2: Denis Goldberg from South Africa: Ubuntu - All people belong together.

Julkaistu: 05.10.2019 klo 13.37

- Learning is the answer to many problems of the world, said South African Denis Goldberg, the founder of House of Hope. - People are people, and they should live together. House of Hope aims to bring different people together and heal the wounds that apartheid has made. Even if the apartheid laws were abolished in 1994, the principles still live in the minds of people.

Picture Sari Lantto

Our school had 3.rd pf October a historical possibility to interview charismatic Denis Goldberg, South African activist, with the help of Skype. History, Ethics and English became alive in this touching interview. The students understood what apartheid meant and how unjust the laws were.Goldberg was sentenced to prison together with Nelson Mandela for fighting agaist apartheid. 

The organisation of House of Hope aims to help South African black people and to work for literacy. The charity campaign taksvärkki was collected this autumn to this organisation which our head teacher Sari Lantto became aquainted last spring when she was lecturing in South Africa.

- It was interesting to hear about this organisation. The interview was touching and in the same time good listening excercise with important vocabulary. Denis Goldberg spoke English very clearly and understandably, kommented Hanna Viippola, teacher of languages.

One could imagine that a person who has spent 22 years of his life in prison would be bitter. Yet 89-year-old Denis Goldberg was smiling and clear when he was answering the questions of students Saimi Viiri and Oskari Siponen.

- Already in my childhood I learned from my parents and my fine teacher that all people are equal. It is not right if people are classified by the colour of your skin: all advantages to the white, some advantages for the coloured and no rights to the black. It is not right that different laws are applied to different people. It is a crime against humanity. Without our struggle and activism this unjust regime would never have been abolished. Also the international pressure agaist the system was important. We are supposed to care about how other people are treated.

- How was it in the prison? How was it possible to maintain your health there? Saimi Viiri and Oskari Siponen asked. - My way is to laugh. I wasn´t sentenced to death but for life time, actually four times life sentence for my activism. Life is wonderful! I learned a lot in prison. Man can endure a lot. There the prisoners were separated from each other. That was hard. People belong together with others. My family moved to England since they were threatened all the time. When I finally met my children I didn´t even know them. After being released I had to continue the fight for those that still were in prison, for my comrades.

- Today we had an interesting conversation with Denis Goldberg on Skype. We got to hear touching stories about his life, being in prison and his principles. This was an awesome and unique experience that we got to hear these things from him, commented student Inka Honkuri.

Goldberg´s message to the young people of today

- No one of us can live alone. We have to live together, we are social beings. Apartheid separated people from each other. But people are people. It is alarming if you think that if you don´ t pray my way, I am going to kill you. We have to support each other, said Denis Goldberg. - House of Hope brings different kinds of people togeher.

- I got shivers when I was listening to his advice to us, said Inka Honkuri. - The money that we collected to his school became more meaningful after hearing him.

- The Skype-call to South Africa was interesting, student Milla Miikki stated. - Denis Goldberg spoke us so inspiring and convincing about the equality of people. It was great that we got the chance to hear him in our school.

- I am in a hurry since I want to get the House of Hope ready. My health is not great and I am already 89 years, smiles Denis. - Life is wonderful! Think, I got to speak today to 16 – 18-years-old Finnish young people about these things!

- We are really thankful that we got the chance to interview you and hear your message, said head teacher Sari Lantto. - I have never seen my students hear anything so intensively and quiet. This really touched.

Text and pictures Mirjami Hyttinen

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