The Umkhumbane Schools Project opens doors to education that remain closed to South African youth 28 years after the end of apartheid. We provide bright, motivated high-school students in the impoverished Cato Manor township area with classes and workshops in math, hands-on STEM, life-skills development, and wrap-around college admissions guidance. Our work impacts a community of schools serving over 5000 students, bringing hope, inspiration, and a growing record of measurable change.
In South Africa, one of the world's most unequal societies, rural and township youth such as those in Cato Manor remain marginalized by educational failure and an enduring burden of poverty. Each year, only a very small minority of their students completes high school at a level of achievement to qualify for higher education. Failure in math and science is especially persistent and entrenched, leaving South Africa consistently at or near the bottom of international rankings in these areas.
The Umkhumbane Schools Project is an innovative NGO based on-site among a group of schools in the Cato Manor township area. Our work is enabling our schools to teach more effectively, our learners to learn more productively, and is bringing higher education within reach. Our Saturday math classes are raising achievement to levels which can enable college admission. Since 2013, through our college access program, over 150 learners have secured admission to university.
Our programs are bringing in significant educational resources to be shared among a group of deeply under-resourced, marginalized South African schools. We not only provide learner programming in academics and college guidance, but also bring desperately needed financial assistance to our schools in the form of teacher salaries and infrastructure grants. All of this can transform a whole community and is a model for positive change in other disadvantaged settings, in South Africa and beyond.