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Position South African girls for Success in iSTEAM

by Thope Foundation
Position South African girls for Success in iSTEAM
Position South African girls for Success in iSTEAM
Position South African girls for Success in iSTEAM
Position South African girls for Success in iSTEAM
Position South African girls for Success in iSTEAM
Position South African girls for Success in iSTEAM
Position South African girls for Success in iSTEAM
Position South African girls for Success in iSTEAM
Position South African girls for Success in iSTEAM
Position South African girls for Success in iSTEAM
Molo Mhlaba girls visiting Monkey Town
Molo Mhlaba girls visiting Monkey Town

Molo Mhlaba Schools lauched the Astronomy Molo Mhlaba Outreach project to popularise astronomy as a science and career option for learners in Khayelitsha's primary and high schools. We launched the Astronomy Academy in April 2019 and the programme has reached over 250 learners, won IUA100 Women & Girls in Astronomy and presented in Tokyo, Japan.

Your contribution has also enabled us to impact girls and women in the following ways:

  • 38 570 meals (breakfast and lunch) were served at Molo Mhlaba School,
  • Grew our learners from 38 girls in 2018 to 95 girls enroled at Molo Mhlaba in 2019,
  • We added 1 928 hours of additional schooling hours for girls at Molo Mhlaba in 2019,
  • Our Molo Mhlaba Outreach impact grew from 400 girls in 2018 to reach 500 girls with afterschool clubs in astronomy, lifeskills, I am Science and computer programming in 2019,
  • Grew from 16 employment opportunities created to 21 employment opportunities for women in 2019.

As we end off the year, we are excited to looking at 2020 and our plans to grow from one campus to 10 schools by 2028. This growth will enable us to ensure that girls living in underserved communities have access to safe, affordable, qaulity, education in their communities in and outside of Molo Mhlaba Schools.

Our plans for 2020 include the growth of our Astronomy Academy and Clubs from 6 site schools to a further deepening of our work with our existing schools and ensuring that every learner in the clubs and partner schools experiences astronomy and the careers opportunities available. Moreover, we have partnered with Ikapa Dance Theatre to offer 2 dance classes to learners each week at Molo Mhlaba School as we continue to grow our arts and culture department in the new year. ActivateHer continues to be a sports and recreation partner and we look forward to new and exciting programmes with them in 2020.


Thank you to our supporters, friends and community for helping make sure that we can grow our impact and put girls first.

Molo Mhlaba learner participates in Dance class
Molo Mhlaba learner participates in Dance class
Molo Mhlaba learner participates in Dance class
Molo Mhlaba learner participates in Dance class
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As an all girls iSTEAM school it was a great opportunity to have the project of our school. As Molo Mhlaba plans on teaching girls about science so that in the future they can choose science as their careers and bridge the gap of lack of black women in science careers.

The project was an eye opener for the teacher as it demonstrated different ways teachers could make science fun and interesting for the students. The projects shows that teaching science doesn’t have to be taught like all the other subjects as learners learn more in science through practical work and experiments.

All of the girls at the school come from public primary schools in Khayelitsha and science is no different from other subjects at the schools’ they are coming from. Some have never seen any science experiments, the only girls who were ever exposed to science were the ones that were part of Thope foundation which is an after school programme. Spending the three days with Victoria was one of their best experiences. This opened eyes for them and made them think further, some of them already see themselves as young scientists. The talent show was one of the highlights as they had to show what they learnt to other children with the same age as them. It was a great platform for them to see how confident they are in front of large crowds.

The team plans continuing sharing their knowledge with other schools as we plan to go to a few schools around Khayelitsha to do science shows. So that other students at the schools can also gain from the project is well. Since most schools cannot afford to buy the materials needed for some of the experiments, this will make more female students interested in science and perhaps in future they will pursue careers in science.

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OoMhlaba attend the Cartoon Network festival
OoMhlaba attend the Cartoon Network festival

Thope Foundation Update: July 2018 Recently wrapping up Term 2, we cannot believe that we are already half way through our inaugural year of school at Molo Mhlaba! We have grown exponentially, now with 30 girls enrolled, and we are so excited to continue developing and learning with them. Over the second term, the girls focused their learning on the solar system, storytelling, gardening, and Africa Day. They have had visits from Mala Bryan of Malaville Dolls (think African girl toy representation!), a book launch of Steven Hawking’s George’s Secret Key to the Universe in isiXhosa, and their first field trip to Grand West to see the Power Puff Girls Live. It has been such a joy seeing the girls light up at school as they learn new skills and begin teaching each other what they have learned in their school days. Our teachers have also continued to improve their teaching, attending Montessori workshops and participating in monthly teacher in-service trainings. This constant drive to be the best as teachers allows Molo Mhlaba to continue to provide our girls with quality teachers who create a positive, safe and supportive learning environment for them to thrive. We also received great community support, having local authors, reporters, and performers stop by to pay us a visit. We have also been featured on SABC News on Youth Day, the Afternoon Express Show and have an upcoming appearance on Motswako, so keep a look out for us on your television! On the Thope Foundation front, which provides STEM exposure to girls between grades 5 and 7 in an after school programme format, the programme has already added 310 additional hours of schooling to the girls classroom learning this year. This programme gives the girls additional exposure to English, maths and science, which has led to noticeable improvement in their overall school marks. Over their school holiday the Thope Foundation girls participated in a coding programme hosted by AIMS, where the girls put their computer and coding skills to the test building robots and circuits, while talking about all things science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We are so proud of how far we have come since January with Molo Mhlaba and continue to work hard to provide our girls in the Thope Foundation after school programme with the skills to be the next generation of female scientists and techies. Thank you for your generous support of girls STEM education in Khayelitsha and we look forward to updating you with more progress soon!

OoMhlaba with limited edition Imani dolls by Mala
OoMhlaba with limited edition Imani dolls by Mala
Older girls building Lego WeDo robots
Older girls building Lego WeDo robots
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We are off to a soaring start as we approach the one-month marker for Molo Mhlaba Schools inaugural school year. Every day our enrolment is increasing, and we are now up to 18 girls, which means we have already filled one full class!

The girls are learning about computers, playing with Legos, exploring shapes and colours and going on field trips to the local library. With their high energy and enthusiasm, we are ecstatic for all that we are going to accomplish in this 2018 school year.

In the past few weeks we have also been thankful for all of the outpouring of support from our community, which has ranged from the donations of cleaning materials and toilet paper (imperative for running a school full of little ones), to multiple visits from journalists wanting to tell our story via newspaper, television, and radio. It has been a very exciting time for us to share with others our unique approach to education. 

While we are proud of all that we have accomplished so far with Molo Mhlaba School, we still have a long way to go in continuing to create and develop safe spaces for girls to access quality education within the communities they call home. For this reason, we ask for your continued support of our work in providing girls with STEAM education that lays foundations for successful futures. 


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Organization Information

Thope Foundation

Location: Cape Town, Western Cape - South Africa
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @molomhlaba
Project Leader:
Rethabile Mashale
Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa
$9,499 raised of $35,000 goal
209 donations
$25,501 to go
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