Weekly Newsletters

Newsletter 11/2019

5 April, 2019

UWC Day is Finally Here!

We are proud of our Link Group for putting together what will be an exciting programme as we celebrate and highlight the diversity of our community. This day gives us an opportunity to celebrate something that is core to our DNA – diversity – and we will do this through a series of activities, including speeches, dance, poems and music, as well as through food and display of various cultures. As mentioned last week, our guest and keynote speaker this year is renowned South African poet, novelist and activist, Mongane Wally Serote. Professor Mongane Serote is currently an honorary professor in the Philosophy department at the University at Johannesburg. His career spans over 4 decades in which his poetry and activism contributed to the consciousness of the anti-apartheid struggle. We are honored to welcome Prof Serote to our campus, especially because the anti-apartheid struggle is an important part of our history. This afternoon Professor Serote gave a great lecture to the upper school in the assembly hall. Tomorrow he will address our entire community during UWC Day assembly at 10:00 AM. I invite all parents and alumni to join us tomorrow morning to hear Professor Serote speak, and to enjoy the activities planned by our students. Please be reminded that UWC Day is a compulsory school day and transport for day students will be provided. Also, remember to bring sun cream and/or umbrellas in case we have sunny or rainy weather. Pick-ups will be as follows:

  • 07:45 in Matsapha
  • 08:00 at Ezulwini
  • 08:15 at all other stops (Mbabane – Pine Valley, town, Eveni etc.)

The day should end at around 15:00 and the buses will take the students back down to the regular spots at 15:30.


Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwandan Genocide

Sunday 7th April is a day of the remembrance of the victims of the Rwandan genocide, which is one of the most painful moments in human history and for Africa in particular. In 1994, approximately 800 000 people were slaughtered in a carefully organized program of genocide over 100 days, making history as the quickest killing spree the world has ever seen. During assembly on Wednesday, our Rwandan students led the whole school in a moment of silence to remember the victims of the genocide. They also rendered a touching performance in remembrance of the victims of the genocide.  As a school that prepares its students to take up leadership on the African continent, we hope that such activities will encourage our students to put efforts towards working for sustainable peace of Africa and the world.


Community Service News

American International School Johannesburg (AISJ) Service Learning Summit:

Last weekend a group of ten IB2 students took part in a two-day service learning summit in Johannesburg. Eight schools were involved with 80 delegates in attendance. The summit included talks and workshops, where delegates were divided into smaller groups in which they discussed and worked on presentations on various social issues being faced by local communities. The delegates were also involved in a community service outing to some of the AISJ projects in Diepsloot. It is always interesting to visit another school and attending the summit has inspired our students to want to run a similar event at Waterford. The Waterford students were incredible ambassadors for the school and our Community Service programme. They impressed the delegates and organizers of conference with their knowledge and empathetic understanding of what service means. The greatest take-away from the summit was that it gave the students a chance to reflect on how many opportunities they have to make meaningful impact, in their time at Waterford, to be involved in existing community service projects and that they have opportunities to start their own projects.


Cyclone Idai Relief Effort:

Over the last 2 weeks we have been collecting clothing, water, medication, toiletries and food for the victims of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, particularly for those in the worst affected areas around Beira. We have many members of our school community who are from Mozambique or who have family there. We have been overwhelmed by how many donations we have received and we have sent 2 enormous loads to Beira already. We will continue to collect and send donations to Mozambique. This is an ongoing effort as the people there will need a great deal of help for many months to come. Donations can be brought anytime to the Commserve room.


Plastic Grocery Bag Ban 

Through The Climate Kids (a platform for environmental activism at Waterford inspired by the Global Youth Climate Strikes), Waterford will be banning plastic grocery bags on campus. The students’ body has decided to reaffirm our environmental commitments through our decisions as consumers. Plastic grocery bags are just one of many layers of packaging that often ends up lying in landfills, polluting our oceans or land habitats. Other African countries such as Rwanda, Kenya and Morocco impose bans on plastic bags. There is currently no legislation in place in eSwatini to regulate the use of plastic. We have decided to take action as a UWC with sustainability central to our ethos. Drastic measures in aid of the climate and environment are long overdue. As of next term, students will no longer be allowed to bring plastic grocery bags to campus after town run. The gates will be monitored by a group of students and bags will be confiscated. There will be a one-month long transition period next term (22 May to 22 June) in which students and the entire Waterford community will be encouraged to reject plastic bags, and educated on the impact of single-use plastic on the continent. We encourage parents and guardians to assist students in securing reusable bags over the break. Most grocery stores in Southern Africa sell these bags for E5 to E15. It is a small price to pay to alleviate our environmental footprint. Alternatively, school backpacks that students already own work really effectively or bags can be made from old fabric or t-shirts. Over the following weeks, we will be fundraising for a collection of reusable bags to be stored on buses for students who forget or cannot buy reusable bags.


Nyatsela Update

Last week the groups were announced for the Form 3 Nyatsela walk. It is becoming a reality, now, with only three and a half months to go! There is a lot of excitement and some trepidation on the part of the Form 3s. At the "Meet and Eat" last weekend, two former students of St Albans in Pretoria, who did the Journey several years ago, shared their memories. It was clear that the walk had boosted their self-confidence and maturity immensely. They described the experience as "life-changing". They also mentioned how conflicted their parents were about sending them away, but how grateful they are now that their children had this opportunity. Nyatsela, too, will bring out the best in our students and will be a growth experience for the whole family. We would like to ask our parents to remember that adolescents are sensitive to the mood of the home, and we are asking parents to reassure the students and focus on the enormous benefits that this experience will bring them.


End of Term 1 Travel Links

The travel links to book school transport to and from Johannesburg, Maputo, Lesotho and King Mswati III Airport at the end of term 1 and start of term 2 are now open. To book school transport, please click the relevant link and fill the Google form. Please note that the links below have been posted on notice boards in residences and are on the school website and on the intranet. The travel links will close on Wednesday 10th April, 2019 at 16.00 pm.

Transport To and From Johannesburg

·         Departs Waterford on Thursday 18th April 2019 at 6.15 am and 6.30am.

·         Arrives at OR Tambo at 12:30pm and 13.30pm respectively.

·         Returns from OR Tambo on Sunday 19th May, 2019 at 2pm.

Transport To and From Maputo

·         Departs Waterford on Thursday 18 April 2019 at 8.00 am.

·         Arrives in Central Maputo at mid-afternoon (Traffic dependent).

·         Returns from Maputo on Sunday 19th May, Departing MIS at 12 noon.

Transport To and From Maseru

·         Departs Waterford on Thursday 18 April at 6.00am.

·         Returns from Maseru on Sunday 19th May 2019 at 7.00am.

·         School transport only provided at the end and beginning of terms.

Transport To and From King Mswati III International Airport  

·         The early morning shuttle departs Waterford at 4.30am. School transport will leave from the Main Gate at least 45min – 1hr before the shuttle departs from Mbabane.

·         Airport shuttle departs Mbabane at 5am, 8am, 11am and 2pm.

·         On return the shuttle will drop college students directly at Waterford.

·         The shuttle charges E60 from Waterford to King Mswati III Airport per person.


The 2019 calendar with opening and closing dates is available here.  


Aurora Humanitarian Project for UWC Schools and Colleges

The Aurora Humanitarian Project for UWC Schools and Colleges (now going by "Young Aurora") will be taking place for a third consecutive year. Young Aurora is designed to encourage UWC students across the movement to create compelling projects that address a humanitarian issue in the geographical vicinity of their UWC School or college. One team from each UWC school or college is eligible to compete in two rounds of selections, and a prize of $4,000 will be awarded to the team with the best project proposal, runners-up will receive $500 each. All teams will receive mentorship from experts from the UWC movement. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to flex their humanitarian muscles, and to practice and learn real-world project management. It also showcases the great UWC mission-aligned work being done across the schools and colleges that we are all so proud of.


For those interested in taking part, below is important information to take note of:

  • Each UWC school or college that wishes to participate in the Young Aurora must confirm its participation on or before 19 April 2019, 23:59 GMT by email to communications@uwcio.uwc.org. The email should not include any detail about the project the UWC school/college wishes to nominate, nor must it list the project team members. It must, however, indicate one dedicated contact person for the AHP at the school/college with name and email address, and the Head of the relevant UWC school/college must be copied. 
  • Only one application per school/college is accepted.

The student teams' official submissions (one submission per UWC school/college) are due on or before 14 July 2019, 23:59 GMT as per the attached guidelines, so any internal selection process must be completed before that date.



Some of you will have received notification that your child/children may not return for the second term due to outstanding fees. Our Debtors’ policy states that fees must be cleared by or before the start of each term and we do not carry arrears forward into the new term. If payment has been made kindly ensure the Proof of Payment is sent to us. We remind parents with outstanding fees to settle these and send the proof of payment to us by the 17th April. Excluding our students is not something we like to do but we have no alternative when we have outstanding fees. If you have any questions please contact The Bursar’s Office at bursar@waterford.sz  (+268 24220866) or Tricia Fraser atpfraser@waterford.sz (+268 24221639).


Reminder of important dates

        Saturday 6th April – UWC Day (Compulsory school day)

        Wednesday 17th April – School closes

        Thursday 18th April - WK bus departs for JHB at 06:15

        Saturday 18th May – Regional Entrance Testing in Dar es Salaam, Gaborone, Harare & Nairobi

        Sunday 19th May – WK bus departs OR Tambo Airport at 14:00

        Saturday 8th June Regional Entrance Testing in Maputo

        Friday June 21st to 22nd – 24 Hour Run fundraiser

        Friday July 12th to 20th - UWC Africa Week 

        Friday July 19th to Thursday August 8th – Nyatsela

        Sunday 27th October – PSA Golf Day

        Saturday 23rd November – IB2 Graduation


Any Questions?

If you have any questions and feedback, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line at principal@waterford.sz. If the question is of broad interest, I will publish the question (with the permission of the writer and without the name) and my reply in the newsletter.

Parents are also encouraged to be in touch with their child’s tutor or residential head for any matters about which they may be concerned.


Kind Regards

Stephen Lowry


© Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA 2019

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