“It gives me hope. I feel special when I’m doing it. If something bad happens to me, all I have to do is dance…” – Timarandarian (14 years old)
Dance was the language of hope Fiona Sargent, a ballet dance, knew best. She brought it to poverty stricken Zolani, a small township in South Africa. Here she opened a ballet school called Dancescape, where children could come and not only learn the art of dance but find refuge and community in an otherwise difficult part of the world. For many years, Fiona was the pillar of Dancescape: teaching classes, feeding students, and raising money to keep the school open.
Unfortunately, Fiona learned that she had inoperable cancer, and her hope of keeping the school open for these students, whom she regarded more like her own children, was dangerously in peril. Giles brought her story to the GISH community and in 2017, they were able to raise over $260,000 to keep the school open for many years to come. In fact, Gishers raised so much money that the school was able to additionally help some of the students, such as Lihle, pursue further studies after graduation in Capetown. Fiona leaves behind her a legacy of freedom and hope, and we are happy to have a part in helping it live on.