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Project information

Phetoho Education Project

Phetoho meaning 'change' in Sesotho, is a pilot project to support the education of disadvantaged and orphaned children in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg. Township schools are failing children, a lack of resources and poor teaching standards are a continuing legacy of apartheid.

April 2014 - March 2015

Charity information: The Gumboots Foundation (UK)

The Gumboots Foundation (UK) logo
  • Need


    Education can provide a route out of poverty. The poor standard of teaching in South Africa's township schools means few children leave equipped for employment, further education or the means to support themselves. 58% of pupils leave without a matric or school leaving certificate. Attainment levels in mathematics and science subjects are particularly low. 31.6% of 15-24 year olds are not in training or employment, leaving many young people vulnerable to crime as a means of survival.


    Phetoho will provide supplementary education out of school hours on three sites across Alex. This will also include access to computers, the internet and educational resources. Building on the success of our 2012 Challenge project providing a learning centre on the Ratang Bana site, ( now established and well used), we wish to extend to two more sites as well as piloting extra tuition. With a small pupil to tutor ratio the focus will be on improving individual children's areas of weakness.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To establish two additional learning/resource centres on separate sites in Alexandra Township


    » Equip a room in the two existing buildings occupied by Leratong Nursery and Sigya Sonke Youth projects with computers the internet and a small library
    » Build on the success of the 2012 Challenge in the UK and attract additional in-kind donations in South Africa of computers and furniture.

    What success will look like

    Success will be at least 30 children a week using the facilities at each of the centres and the number who previously had nowhere to do homework, study or access the internet.

    Aim 2

    Pilot a supplementary teaching scheme for orphaned and disadvantaged children in the township.


    » Through the three Gumboots projects identify vulnerable children requiring educational support and assess their individual needs and areas of weakness
    » Recruit skilled teachers on a fixed term contract to provide supplementary tutoring for the children identified through the three projects.

    What success will look like

    Success will be 20 children benefiting from extra tutoring and a resulting measurable improvement in their understanding of and attainment levels in their weak subjects.

  • Impact


    The long term changes will be improved school attendance and educational attainment levels for the children participating in the project. Leaders at each site will work with the tutors to assess the impact of additional learning support for the first cohort of children. They will monitor their attendance, improvements in subject grades and overall performance. The demonstration of success will help attract future long term donors to continue Phetoho, particularly South African corporations.


    There is a risk that IT equipment could get stolen and tutors may pull out before the end of the pilot period. The buildings housing the learning centres have additional security on doors and windows and the presence of a caretaker.
    Tutors will be recruited through an Educational Support agency, the contract will ensure the immediate replacement of any tutors who do not prove suitable, reliable or for whatever reason pull out before the completion of the pilot scheme.


    Gumboots Foundation produce a newsletter 3 times a year distributed to all our donors/supporters. It provides an update on the progress. along with photographs, on all the projects we support. In addition the Gumboots website is kept up to date through social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £8,500

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £5,545 Tutor Fees 14 hours a week for 44 weeks
      £2,000 IT/Workstations IT/Workstations
      £955 Admin Office costs, insurance, tutor recruitment
  • Background


    The project will operate on three sites; Leratong pre-school, Sigya Sonke Youth centre and Ratang Bana Learning Centre all based in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg.
    Covering an area of around 3 sq. miles with a population of 4 to 500,000, Alex is overcrowded. Poor housing, high crime rates, teenage pregnancy, failing schools all help make it a difficult place for children to grow up. Aids has also had a devastating impact leaving many households headed by illiterate grandmothers or children.


    Vulnerable children from households with no working adult and those orphaned through Aids. Whilst established in 1912 Alex was neglected during the apartheid years. This legacy lives on and it still lacks the infrastructure needed to support its ever increasing population. Overcrowding is extreme with over 20,000 living in temporary shacks without adequate water and sanitation. A lack of public open space and recreation facilities contributes to the difficulties faced by children living there.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Established in 2002 Gumboots UK with its sister organisations Gumboots SA and Kidlinks USA have over 10 years experience of working effectively with grassroots projects in Alex. Our policy is to work alongside local leaders in an enabling role. We adhere to the principles of successful community development, supporting initiatives which grow out of the community rather than imposing ideas from outside. We have been effective at raising funds, providing financial accounting and admin support.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Peggy Chauke - Leratong Pre-School And Kadey Kids Orphanage

    Peggy a Gumboots partner, is the leader of a well respected pre-school and small orphanage. She will oversee the development of Phetoho on her site.

    Jack Letsoela - Partner And Project Leader Of Sigya Sonke Youth Dance Project

    Jack and his wife Beauty run a youth dance project and will encourage and support the involvement of young people in Phetoho monitoring their progress

    Ingrid Moloi - Partner And Project Leader Of Ratang Bana Learning Centre

    Ingrid a qualified Social Worker supporting child and granny headed households will develop the supplementary teaching scheme in the centre.

    John Lightfoot - Partner And Trustee Of Gumboots SA

    John a qualified accountant provides advice, administrative and financial support to all three projects. He will oversee the development of Phetoho.