Sithokozile Sustainability

It's crazy to think that I have less than two months left working at Sithokozile Secondary School with these amazing kids. To say that they have changed my life would be an understatement, and the hardest part of leaving this incredible country is going to be saying goodbye to the learners. 

I have never been so privileged to work with such motivated kids in my entire life- they work tirelessly, always "striving for excellence" (our school's motto for the year), despite the obvious, inherent systematic oppression that they face. 

Most of these kids come from difficult family situations, while they are incredibly resourceful, they might not have the books to study (or power, and might have to study by candlelight...) or a place to study, when they live in spaces shared with so many people. They do not have the same support networks so many of us were lucky to have- there is no counselor at the school, and very few learners still have both of their parents. These activities we have worked on, from speaker events to inter-school debates, give them confidence, and show them they have the skills to succeed. 

I have seen them grow so much over the past year from a myriad of opportunities, from their participation in Model United Nations (where they compete against learners from far more privileged backgrounds but still blow everyone else out of the water- I'll show you their awards), to Zandile and Duncan's chance to attend a leadership conference in Joburg, to the way that the copies of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's essay "We Should All Be Feminists" have inspired my tenacious grade 8 girls. 

However, there are still so many more opportunities that these kids deserve, and I wish I had more time to make them happen. My hope is that the programs I have grown will not disappear when I leave at the end of October, and that's where you come in. My current focus is now on the sustainability of these programs, and on providing other role models/mentors who will continue to help the kids once I leave. However, to do those things, I need money, as our school truly has no funds to spare. 

These are the projects I am hoping to fund with your donations: 

-Publishing an official copy of our Sithokozile Digest
The learners are the most incredible writers, and pour their hearts into their work- from their poems to their research, which will finally be published! 

-Creating the framework for a Women's Empowerment Network
I am in the midst of working with power-women from KwaDabeka who are excited to mentor the learners and help them with applying for university, teaching them interview skills, and discussing topics like healthy relationships. However, we need money for materials and transporting the mentors. 

-Creating a Transportation Fund
So that learners can attend more extra-curricular activities, and learners will not be prohibited from participating because of their family's finances 

-Providing Scholarships for Specific Learners
There are several specific learners whom I work with that have concerns about their abilities to attend school next year because of school fees and other costs, such as uniform and school supplies 

-Library Up-Keep
We are in need of a new cabinet because our books have to be locked up to make sure they can be checked out and are not stolen, so that future learners can enjoy them! 

-Data for Assisting Seniors with Financial Aid and University Applications 
The applications for universities and financial aid are online, but learners do not have access to computers or internet, so I am setting up a program to create opportunities for them to do so at the school, but need internet access

-Fans for the Food Tent
Our school has a feeding program, but the women cook each day in a tent with no ventilation, and it becomes unbearably hot for them where many women grow faint from the heat. But they still cook over a stove each day to make sure no child goes hungry. 

We are sponsoring a readathon for grade 8, 9 and 10 learners to promote their interest in reading and increase the usage of the library

-Soccer Balls (For the Girls!!!) 
Currently there is only a soccer team for the boys, but many girls have an interest and other teachers are keen to help them play

There are an infinite number of programs that I want to continue implementing, and the list could go on and on and on... But I am accepting the limitations and hoping these can be key in continuing to grow the opportunities available to learners. The kids are amazing and deserve the very best- please help me to give them the world.
  • Vic, Patty, and Madison McMurray 
    • $500 
    • 59 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 60 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 60 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $55 
    • 60 mos
  • Linda Jones 
    • $200 
    • 60 mos
See all


Sarah Jurgensmeyer