It takes a community to raise a child
Education is one of the core focus areas for Africa Foundation’s drive to support socio-economic development in communities. Since its establishment in 1992, Africa Foundation has supported 80 schools and constructed over 200 classrooms. Nkomo School in Mnqobokazi, located near the &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve is a school close to Africa Foundation’s heart. Pioneered by the Africa Foundation Robin James Award 2017 winner, community champion Mrs Zikhali was meeting a desperate need for access to education in the community. Established in 1997, with an enrolment of almost 100 children and no infrastructure, she held the classes of her informal school under the shade of a leafy tree. She realised she could not do it alone, and approached &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve for assistance.
The request was directed to &Beyond’s development partner Africa Foundation, whose generous donors enabled the construction of the first two classrooms in 2000. From there Nkomo School has grown from strength to strength and by 2006, six new classrooms had been added and the school boasted an enrolment of almost 800 children.
Identifying the need to provide additional support for children from vulnerable families, and those affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, a centre for OVCs (orphans and vulnerable children) was added to the school. Over 450 children are served by this facility that provides after-school care and hot meals.
Today the school has 19 classrooms of which Africa Foundation has built 12, accommodating the 906 children registered.