Help us tackle South Africa’s education crisis,
one school at a time!

Our Mission

The mission of Sifunda Kunye is to have a positive impact on education and the individual lives of learners of all ages through the implementation of technology programs, literacy programs, and capital projects at deserving schools across South Africa.

Who We Are

The Sifunda Kunye Educational Project was officially founded in February of 2010 in East London, South Africa. Prior to its establishment as a registered South African Public Benefit Organization (PBO), Sifunda Kunye’s activities were carried out under the Calabar Foundation’s Africa Project, which began supporting rural schools with technology and basic-needs resources in early 2008. As the Africa Project grew and added more and more partner schools (eventually reaching the six that we support today) Sifunda Kunye was created to ensure full-time operational and managerial support. Sifunda Kunye now employees 9 full-time staff members as managers and facilitators at our partner schools, as well as two interns and assistants who help with our various outreach programs. Our programs impact the lives of over 3600 primary and secondary school students on the Eastern Cape. With plans to expand to 15 partner schools over the next two years, our programs have the potential to impact thousands more.

What We Do

The goal of Sifunda Kunye is to combat many of the historical, systemic, geographical, and cultural challenges faced by certain communities and learners through unique, dynamic, and hands-on educational development programs. Sifunda Kunye focuses on three separate program categories: 1. Technology 2. Literacy, and 3. Basic Needs, which can take the form of special programs and capital projects. These programs are implemented at each of our partner schools; of which we currently have six: St. Matthew’s High School, Xolani High School, Richard Varha High School, Toise High School, Good Shepherd Primary School, and Hendrik Kanise Combined School.

The primary focus of our support is to introduce technology into high schools and primary schools in the form of computer or tablet labs, training learners and teachers in the use of computers and the internet, and providing English and Math learning software on the computers to enable students to supplement their classroom

Our second focus is literacy.  In 2010 we began the Sifunda Kunye Literacy Project, supporting Saturday morning book clubs, writing clubs, drama, music, and dance in order to foster a love of reading and learning outside of the classroom.  The literacy project is now based at St. Matthew’s High School and attracts over 100 learners from St. Matthew’s and the broader community, including Richard Varha High School, Keiskammahoek Children’s Home, and the Nomzekelo Primary School.  Earlier in 2015 we opened the Literacy Center on St. Matthew’s campus, giving us a permanent space out of which to run all of our various clubs and activities.

When the project was initially envisioned, technology implementation was our main goal.  However, it soon became clear that installing state-of-the-art computer labs at schools without access to many basic facilities and amenities was not fulfilling the needs of the learners we were so eager to support.  And so we launched the idea of special and basic needs projects. These take many forms and vary based on each of our partner schools’ needs.  We have helped refurbish teacher’s homes, built safe walkways, improved access to clean running water, installed security fencing, improved dangerous classrooms, built libraries, and the list goes on.  In addition to these capital projects, we also introduce and manage various activities for the students where they can develop as individuals and build personal initiative.  These include supporting the President’s Award, Young Academics Club, school newsletters, school websites, competitive sports tournaments, leadership summits and many more

Our Team

Zander Hampson

Sifunda Kunye Project Manager
zander.hampson@sifundakunye.org

Zander grew up  in Pretoria and East London, South Africa and graduated from Eldoraigne High School.  Zander comes from a successful business background but wanted to do something different with his life.  He knew he wanted to help people but he wasn’t quite sure how.  He entered the medical field shortly after graduation from high school and, after earning his certification, he worked as a paramedic for two years.  He enjoyed the adrenaline rush that came with saving lives but still felt professionally unfulfilled.   He wanted to go in a different direction but still help people in some way.  In 2011 he accepted the position of lab facilitator at Xolani High School with Sifunda Kunye.  During his tenure as a Sifunda Kunye facilitator, he was promoted as the first Senior Facilitator and again to the position of Facilitator Manager.  One of the highlights of his promotions was the opportunity to visit the United States for additional management training.   He developed a passion for computer education and management, realizing he could make even more of a difference as a manager. In 2014, Zander was promoted to Sifunda Kunye Project Manager and is now responsible for overseeing all of Sifunda Kunye’s technology and special needs projects at each of our partner schools in addition to helping coordinate the Sifunda Kunye Literacy Project.

Zander says “I have a real passion for what I am doing. I feel like I am making a real difference and  I am also happy to be a part of the Sifunda Kunye family.  I could not be happier at the moment; I was given an amazing opportunity by Sifunda Kunye. I am passionate about my role and my plan is to take the organisation to the next level and reach out to even more schools, which then impacts even more students in need.”

Zander currently lives in East London with his wife. He enjoys taking his dogs to the beach, fishing, surfing, motocross sports, and spending time with family and friends.

Jolande Swartz

Sifunda Kunye Program Manager
jolande.swartz@sifundakunye.org

Jolande was born in Bloemfontein and grew up in East London South Africa, and graduated from George Randell High School. Jolande has always had a passion for enriching lives through empowering individuals through training. Jolande’s working career kicked off in the department of justice, and then pursued a career in catering management. Jolandes true passion was realised by working for the East London Children’s home for many years. Jolande then went on pursuing a career in the business world where she was a training coordinator; she was in charge of setting up training facility to assist to train potential new employees. Jolande went a step future after leaving the business world to fur fill a lifelong dream of teaching. Jolande worked as a high school teacher, teaching grade 8 to 12, focusing on Computer Application Technology Grade 10 to 12.

Jolande joined Sifunda Kunye Educational project in 2013 as a Lab facilitator at ZK Matthews High School, and in 2014 assisted at both ZK Matthews High School and Xolani Senior Secondary School. In 2015 Jolande became full time Lab Facilitator at Xolani Senior Secondary School, and promoted to Senior Lab Facilitator in 2016. In 2017 Jolande started her role as a program manager, consulting with all partner school to encourage and assist in imitative based projects like The President Awards, Chess clubs, Book Clubs, Reading Clubs, writing clubs, libraries and Cami English and Maths.

Jolande says that working with the partner schools to implement and encourage good quality clubs and assist in the computer labs brings fulfilment to her life. I enjoy what I do, I have a passion to change lives and I believe that every child is worth it, if I could change or assist any child in any way to impact their lives and futures in a positive way, it makes every second worth it.

Jolande currently lives in East London with her husband, two children and five dogs. She enjoys family time, and loves outdoors and nature.

Support Staff

Yonela Swayi

Computer Lab Facilitator at Hendrik Kanise Combined School
Grahamstown Cluster

Sanga Mabulu

Literacy Project Coordinator
Sifunda Kunye Literacy Project
St. Matthew’s High School