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Report back: Round Square International Conference

Five Dainfern College pupils attended the R0und Square International Conference in Cape Town from 30 September to 5 October 2017.These students had also been involved in some of the pre-conference activities too, and were very excited for the Conference itself.

The Conference theme, Unite to Ignite the Fire Within, sparked a lot of discussion about purpose, intent, the common goal and the importance of a youth that’s mobilised to make lasting changes.

The guest speakers, which included Caleb Swanepoel (shark attack survivor turned motivational speaker), shared their very inspiring life stories and messages, and prompted delegates to examine their own potential, as well as to tackle society’s problems with creativity and ingenuity.

“The message to our young delegates was clear: Don’t just let life pass you by. You are very capable of taking action and making a change,” says Sonia Claassen, head of R0und Square, Dainfern College.

The Conference included elements of the R0und Square IDEALS. Internationalism was celebrated by the fact that this conference brought together R0und Square schools from across the globe.

Democracy was observed in the opening ceremony, when students carried the flags of their home countries. 153 different R0und Square Schools attended the conference. The various Baraza group discussions, which saw students connecting with their multi-cultural peers, also got students thinking about democracy.

Environmentalism was embraced, as the delegates were challenged to consider some of the planet’s most pressing environmental problems. They saw our Rhinos on game drives and were educated about the rhino poaching crisis though more keynote speakers.

To celebrate the ideal of Adventure, they were given the opportunity to explore South Africa’s natural landscapes, hiking, mountain biking or surfing. And they returned from these adventures imbued with energy!

The ideal of Leadership was realised through the array of activities that had to be organised and managed by the students themselves, such as the Baraza group discussions.  

And the Service ideal was realised through various Service activities during the conference (and the pre-conference). These included school clean-up operations in under-privileged neighbourhoods, some interaction with the school pupils and providing a meal for the pupils as well as donations of stationary. 

“The feedback from our students was very positive. They relished the problem-solving challenges, the discussions with students from other schools and countries. They were also more grateful for their school, with its innovative approach and its focus on holistic education. They also learned to be more responsible, since they had to manage themselves so much,” says Claassen.

The R0und Square conferences offer students a wonderful platform to develop their skills, to make connections and to develop their potential too. But to really make the most of this, they have to be outgoing, confident and proactive. “The students who mingled a lot, who volunteered for tasks or responsibilities, and who embraced every project on the agenda, got the most out of the conference,” says Claassen. She’s already got her eye on next year’s Conference which will be co-hosted by 3 different schools in Canada.

For more information about Dainfern College’s R0und Square status, click here.

Dainfern College

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Dainfern College, 96 Broadacres Drive, Dainfern

PO Box 3199, Dainfern, 2055

Tel: +27 (0)11 469 0635; Email:

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