Empowering Tomorrow's Upstanders

September 29, 2023 | Boys’ College

Our History Department arranged an eye-opening and meaningful excursion for our Grade 9s to the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre (JHGC). The visit was an opportunity to engage and appreciate the significance of this center, which honors the memory of victims of genocide in the 20th century, particularly the Holocaust and the genocide in Rwanda.

As part of our Grade 9 History syllabus, the boys have been studying the genocides in Rwanda and will be exploring the Holocaust in term 3, making this excursion even more relevant and impactful.

The program, thoughtfully designed and presented by experts from the JHGC, included a range of activities and discussions that left a lasting impression. The grade 9s embarked on guided tours of the center, which were discussion-led and allowed them to appreciate the symbolic artifacts, photographs, letters, and displays. It was a profoundly moving experience to witness these tangible reminders of history. One of the most impactful moments of the day was hearing a talk from a Rwandan genocide survivor who shared her harrowing experiences, and her strength and resilience left everyone in silence as they absorbed her story.

The excursion concluded with a self-reflection session where they were asked to consider the choices they can make as individuals—whether it be perpetrators, bystanders, upstanders, or victims—and the impact these choices can have on the world. Reflections were collected on paper shaped as butterflies, symbolizing hope and transformation.

As we return to our everyday lives, we carry with us the weight of history and the responsibility to stand against prejudice, hate, and injustice. We are determined to be agents of positive change and upstanders who make a difference in the world. 

#StrongerOneAndAll #MakingAWorldOfDifference #PurposeInspired #PassionDriven