Why support the school?

Children in South Africa start primary school in the year they turn seven. Umnqophiso provides pre-primary education to grade R (age five to six) and grade pre-R (age four to five) children.

Research shows that children who participate in quality ECD programmes at an early age are more ready to learn when they begin school and are less likely to repeat grades or drop out of school, click here for more information.

This is recognised by the government and the School participated in the Western Cape ECD Pilot Project from 1997 to 2000 which looked at how best to implement ECD programmes, click here for more information.

Pre-primary education is particularly important in Lwandle. Life in Lwandle is not easy, many families have relocated here from rural areas in the hope of finding employment but are not successful. Most of the children, upon arrival at the school, have never held a pen or pencil. The school aims to expose the children to the experiences and stimulation that should be a normal part of every growing child’s life.

The school is having a significant impact. The children have become sought after by the teachers from the local primary school as they are so well prepared for the challenges ahead. Zimkhitha Gedezana was one of the first pupils at Umnqophiso in 1996 and is now a level 4 trained teacher at the school.

“When I was a learner at Umnqophiso Pre-Primary School it was one of the best things that happen in my life, because I received a concrete foundation that made me achieve good results in Primary and High school level. I couldn’t believe when I was appointed as one of the trainee teachers, this shows me that community development is happening through Umnqophiso. This is a ploughing back project, I am happy to work with my colleagues who were so called “my teachers“ before, the bond that we share is remarkable. I want to do the best that I can to give these children enough love and education.” – Zimkhitha

“Most of the children, on arriving at our pre-school, have never held a pen or pencil in their hands. They have not been exposed to the experiences and stimulation that should be a normal part of every growing child’s life.” – Victoria Mangqwengqwe

How you can help

The grant from the Western Cape Education Department and the tuition fees paid by parents do not cover the school’s operating expenses. The school is reliant on donations from individuals and organisations.

Please contact the school if you wish to make a donation. The school is duly registered in terms of the tax legislation and donations will qualify for tax deduction in the case of both companies and individuals.

You can also link your Woolworths store card to MySchool which raises funds for the school without costing you a cent. Click here to sign up for the MySchool programme or click here to link your existing store card.

There are also volunteering opportunities at the school, please contact us if you are interested.

Supporters of the School

We are grateful to everyone who has supported the School since it began in 1996. Our supporters include:

  • Abrie Du Preez – donated towards books and Safety Net Account in 2014.
  • Children of the Universe Foundation (CUF) – partnered with the school since 2005; paid salaries of the three assistant teachers from 2006 to 2008; paid Victoria’s university fees; made monthly donations towards operating expenses; made an annual donation to the Scholarship Fund Account; and financed the building of the ‘quiet corners’ in six classrooms. CUF continues to support the School with funding for the Scholarship Fund Account and has assisted the School in raising funds for their building projects.
  • ClearlineIS – donated towards Safety Net Account in 2014.
  • Click Foundation – started working with the School in 2013 as part of the ‘Reading Eggs’ literacy programme and donated twenty laptops. Click Foundation also assists with the payment of internet/Telkom expenses.
  • The Comanis Foundation – provided financial support for the second phase of the School building (comprising a classroom, administration office and a set of ablutions) in 2004, financed partly through Rotary Bern-Christoffel and by Gauer Itten Messerli Architekten.
  • Eco-Schools – provided environmental outings, workshops and training, eco-friendly classroom equipment and materials, garden equipment and plants and water tanks.
  • Erinvale Golf Club (“The Eagles”) – got involved with the School in 2013 and have committed themselves to support projects that are aimed at improving the School’s teaching support facilities for 2015/16.
  • Förderverein Khayelitsha – under Mrs Elsie Elsing has planned and built the School in various phases from 2001- 2013 of which they financed approximately 60%. www.FördervereinKhayelitsha.de
  • Helene Rykaart – has worked with the School since 1998; mentored the staff of the School; trained Victoria on administration; organized assistance (both financial and non-financial) from a number of different organisations and individuals; facilitated workshops and training events for School staff.
  • Irish Embassy – made a one-off donation towards phase 1 of the school building in 2001.
  • An Irish friend of the School – makes a monthly donation towards running expenses.
  • Kett family – monthly donation towards running costs since 2000 and a one-off donation towards phase 1 of the school buildings in 2002. In addition, Mr Peter Kett provides assistance with the School’s book-keeping and preparation of financial reports and statements.
  • Meals on Wheels (ADRA) – has provided two meals a day for the children since 2009. Meals on Wheels Western Cape serves the basic needs of the poorest of the poor, the vulnerable, the disabled and the elderly in society. The poorest of the poor refer to persons with little or no income such as old age pension, disability pension, and child care grants etc. The vulnerable include unemployed women with children, child headed households and orphans.
  • Mettle Credit Services (Pty) Limited – donated towards Safety Net Account in 2014 through TBI Group.
  • One World Group Oxted – provided financial assistance with new classroom equipment in 2014.
  • TBI: Partnered with the school in 2013 and has since set up a Safety Net Account to raise funds to cover unforeseen expenses and anticipated shortfalls in the school’s budget. TBI has donated to the Safety Net Account and assisted with fundraising events, staff development workshops and development of the school’s website. They have also donated sewing machines for Phakamani and built shelving for the storerooms and library. TBI has attracted numerous other organisations to also support the school.
  • Sherpa Business Communications: Developed and designed the school’s website in 2015.
  • The Spur Foundation – The Spur Foundation is honoured to support Umnqophiso Pre-Primary School since 2013 by helping to fill hungry tummies and feed minds. This is done by assisting with teacher development (workshops and training), classroom equipment, salaries for the teachers at the After Care Centre, fundraising events and providing lunch for the children on Mandela Day. The foundation aims to uplift, inspire and make a meaningful difference to this community, in line with its motto: ‘Nourish, Nurture, Now!’.
  • The Thomas Family Charitable Trust: Provided funding for the final phase of the School buildings comprising two classrooms with storerooms, the School Hall, a set of ablutions and a staircase.

Quotes from supporters of the school

  • “We support the school because we believe that early education is important for the development of the children. Victoria and the teachers are an inspiration to others of what can be achieved if one puts their minds to it” – Rini and Keith Stuttaford, Children of the Universe Foundation.
  • “One World Group Oxted gladly supports the School in the knowledge that helping to educate and empower the children and community will build their long term futures” – One World Group Oxted.
  • “We were inspired by the energy and commitment of Victoria and her team. The leadership she displays is the reason we choose the schools that we do. We also believe that literacy is a fundamental start on their education journey. And to exit the system as 21st century employees, the ability to learn through computers at such a young age can only stand these earners in good stead.” – Martine Schaffer, CEO, Click Foundation.
  • “We can see the growth of the teachers, we see the pride they have in their school, how well it is kept and what a loving understanding friendship has developed between them and us.” – Mrs Elsie Elsing, Förderverein Khayelitsha.
  • “Having been so blessed in life I determined that, on retirement, I would become involved with a community development project with whom I could meaningfully share my talents, knowledge and skills. The Lord in his goodness led Victoria and I to each other. The more we talked the more we realised we had a path to follow and so our journey with regard the School and Phakamani began, evolved and continues.”- Helene Rykaart.
  • “I support the School because I have seen how it and its team have developed from the beginning, with true dedication and tenacity, the ability to cope in adverse circumstances, and the willingness to improve and to impart their knowledge so that the well-being of so many children in their early years is enhanced.” – An Irish friend of the School.
  • “My family and I are very happy to support the School because it is one of the most worthwhile projects I could imagine and Victoria is an outstandingly inspirational person. The impact she has had on her helpers, the children and the community is heart-warming.”- Peter Kett.
  • “We support the school because we believe this is a local success story that should inspire other communities and community leaders. We are moved by Victoria’s passion and commitment and the positive influence she has on the children and the community.” – Ian Groenewald, CEO, TBI

Calendar of events

  • Concert in June
  • Mandela Day in July
  • Heritage Day Market Day in September
  • Graduation Concert in November

These school events are open to the public.