Project information

International Arts & Culture: Marimba Hubs

This project addresses the huge challenge of keeping school children off the streets. Our Marimba Hubs are situated in disadvantaged communities which still suffer from the legacy of apartheid. Lack of resources and opportunities results in low morale and we find a high prevalence of HIV, drug abuse


Charity information: Friends of Education Africa

Friends of Education Africa logo
  • Need


    Education and culture should not be seen or taught in isolation. The EC interface is crucial to the development of value systems and directly linked to the development of entrepreneurship. Teaching music in schools is costly. Teachers need to be qualified, instruments are expensive and it can take students a long time to become accomplished. This excludes many children, particularly in rural areas. The Marimba is a uniquely African instrument that can be incorporated into curriculae with ease.


    Education Africa provides all the instruments and training for each Marimba Hub which in turn reaches out to around 200 children. The benefits of playing marimba are many. It triggers the synapses to link the left and right brain allowing both hemispheres to be stimulated through one activity. The children gain emotional, physical, intellectual as well as musical satisfaction and it allows them to tap into their creative potential increasing their self-esteem.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To keep school children occupied after school hours, safe, and off the streets


    » After school Marimba training workshops and provision of equipment so that children can learn

    What success will look like

    Each EA marimba hub has the potential to reach up to 300 children per year.

    Aim 2

    Development and integration of culture into education through teaching.


    » Through teaching traditional value systems, games & music, with a focus on eliminating gender disparities.

    What success will look like

    Through Marimba Tours enabling disadvantaged learners to travel abroad and perform in front of global audiences.

    Aim 3

    Entrenching peace in the Africa region by developing social cohesion through African heritage.


    » Through the International Marimba and Steelpan Festival, providing a platform to showcase student talent and South African heritage.

    What success will look like

    Success will be receiving over 1600 entrants at the Festival including international participants.

  • Impact


    - Concentration and listening skills are greatly enhanced;
    - The science of sound production can be demonstrated and studied through the marimba
    - Through singing and spelling games on the marimba, language skills and spelling is improved, as are fine and gross motor co-ordination
    - Marimba music and maths are both based on patterning - the project encourages maths learning.
    Success will be demonstrated by numbers of children reached and repertoire of pieces learned.


    There are no risks that we are aware of.


    Through our Annual Report, Updates on our website, Newsletters and e-newsletters throughout the year.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £103,485

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £26,500 Marimba Festival Workshops/Adjudicators/Organisation of Festival
      £7,000 Marimba Festival Venue costs
      £15,000 Marimba Festival Participants costs
      £26,000 Marimba Hubs Project co-ordinators & managers
      £8,321 Marimba Hubs Training & Instruments & Maintenance
      £20,664 Marimba Tours Travel/acomodation/Visas/Insurance
  • Background


    South Africa has a rich tradition of producing excellent musicians and artists drawing inspiration from the low standards of living experienced in particularly in rural areas. Africa is faced with the youngest population in the world, 200 million people aged between 15 and 24. An investment in education here leads to the attainment of achievements in health, innovation, infrastructure, construction and the private sector growth.


    Children from all 9 provinces of South Africa will benefit, including students at pre-primary, primary school, secondary school and those in tertiary education. School bands are selected to participate in international tours giving them an opportunity to experience new cultures, and we play host to a growing number of musicians who compete annually in our festival.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Education Africa is an experienced organisation which has been running successful projects for under-resourced communities since 1992. We have long-term credibility as well as sustainable success to ensure our future. We currently deliver projects in all 9 provinces of South Africa, involving some 600 schools and tens of thousands of learners. These projects address the full cycle of education from pre-school to tertiary education.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    James Urdang

    Founder and CEO of Education Africa - James has dedicated more than 25 years of his life to a cause very close to his heart.

    Linda Gould

    Operations Director of Education Africa - Linda has been with EA for over 20 years and instrumental in its growth alongside the founder.