Inclusive children’s book for Jewish Museum

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School groups visiting the Jewish Museum will this year receive the lauded children’s book, Fatima, and a box of crayons each. This is as a result of collaboration between the Cape South African Jewish Board of Deputies (Cape SAJBD), the book’s author and distributor, and a generous donation of 1 000 copies of Fatima from Die Stigting vir Bemagtiging deur Afrikaans (the Foundation for empowerment through Afrikaans) to the museum.
by OWN CORRESPONDENT | Mar 05, 2020

Fatima, written by Klavs Skovsholm who attended the handover at the museum on Thursday, 27 February, is a beautifully illustrated colouring book that tells the story of a young, disabled Muslim girl who lives in the Bo-Kaap. Each book tells her story in Afrikaans, isiXhosa, Khoekhoegowab, English, and Arabic, signified by different coloured pages.

Director Gavin Morris’ team takes school groups on tours of the Jewish Museum, detailing Jewish life and promoting peace, power in diversity, interfaith co-operation, and love for heritage. It’s a natural extension of the museum’s work to make a book available to children that tells a relatable, local story in multiple languages and from the lens of a different faith.

Thursday’s handover was also attended by Marlene le Roux, the chief executive of Artscape, and a disability and women’s rights activist, who described to the pupils of Perivale Primary School her own experience of disability as a woman of colour in South Africa. She encouraged the children to learn as many languages as they could. By a show of hands, the majority of the pupils attending spoke Afrikaans, English, and isiXhosa to lesser or greater extents.

Skovsholm encouraged them to read the book in the language they’re most comfortable with first, and then challenge themselves to read it in languages less familiar.


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