Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world ~Nelson Mandela
Ukulapha is a grassroots community outreach project currently working in the impoverished township of Slangspruit, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa.
In partnership with Slangspruit Primary School, and therefore the Slangspruit community, we endeavor to nourish and enhance a holistic teaching and learning environment for pre and primary school students.
With our province suffering the highest rates of HIV/Aids and Tuberculosis in South Africa, leading to a high death rate, many children are orphaned and vulnerable and frequently destitute. There are grannies raising their grandchildren and children raising their siblings.
Slangspruit Primary School is a microcosm of this community and beyond - most all the children live in poverty, are bereft, and hungry yet have ready smiles and thrive on love, attention and hope - we feed and nourish this hope!
Ukulapha was founded and is presently managed by South African, Carolyn Burns, who also spent 25 years of her life living in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Our mission is to engage and support disadvantaged Pietermaritzburg Township communities through education and community development. Ukulapha works in solidarity with the community to achieve this goal.
Slangspruit Primary School presently has a student enrolment of 1040 students from kindergarten to grade 7, all housed in 27 classrooms in dire need of repair and maintenance of basic accomodation to enhance and further the student's learning experience.
Ukulapha's relationship with the school over the last 6 years, and most directly with Principal Mr. Msomi, has been able to make great strides in creating an environement where students have a better chance at higher learing, hand in hand with greater self-esteem, feeling of accomplishment and enhanced nutrition.
Partnering with like-minded, supportive and collaborative groups is a crucial component to the vision of Ukulapha.
Over the years, partnerships have been established in South Africa as well as abroad which has aided in the beginnings of establishing basic nutritional needs and supplementation, provision of books, basic computer introduction and school supplies to the primary school, as well as plans to create self-sustainability, strength and healing for the community as a whole.
The generosity of our partners is invaluable to Ukulapha's goals and we value the spirit of Ubuntu with which they share their generosity.
Ukulapha works closely with Slangspruit Primary School in Slangspruit Township, to improve teaching and learning conditions.
Through the work of Ukulapha and various invaluable partners, the leaners, their families and the teaching staff, benefit.
We work at grass roots, on the ground, interacting with the school principal, his staff and all the learners. It is a collaborative, harmonious and fun relationship.
Ukulapha provides scholarships to the top girl and boy grade 7 students to attend Alexandra High School, an annual incentive and reward for focused studious work and overall leadership behavior.
Ukulapha commences a Teacher of the Year award in 2016.
Over the years, Ukulapha, along with Slanspruit Primary School, has built a solid relationship with Alexandra High School, due in large part to the collaboration, and support of former Headmaster Andrew Graaf.
Ukulapha facilitates the sponsorship of two Slangspruit Primary School graduates to Alexandra High School each year, affording them the opportunity to experience a high school learning and life experience that gives them every opportunity to reach and surpass their goals and future ambitions for themselves as well as their families.
Students from the township consistently rate within the top 50 learners at Alexandra High School.