Help us tackle South Africa’s education crisis,
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, based in Florida, United States of America. Calabar foundation began supporting rural schools with technology and basic-needs resources in early 2008. As the 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 employs full-time staff members as managers at our partner schools. Our programs impact the lives of over 4,000 primary and secondary school students on the Eastern Cape.
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
Sifunda Kunye Program Manager
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.
Andrew Summers spent twenty years in the investment management industry with Morgan Grenfell, Morgan Stanley, and Silchester International Investors – a company that he co-founded in 1994 – before retiring in 2006 to pursue projects focused on education and golf.
In 2008 Andrew co-founded the Calabar Foundation with Ben Pauluhn and in 2010 he co-founded the Middle East Leadership Academy (MELA), which develops leaders in the Arab world and now has over two hundred graduates from its seven annual academies.
Andrew is passionate about education and is active in the communities in which he is a local. He has served as Chairman and Finance Trustee for many years on the local private school in Hilton Head where he lived, and he now owns a private high school in Hilton Head that serves over one hundred and twenty students with a passion for sports or the arts.
Andrew’s other love is golf. He is a majority owner of two junior golf academies and the real estate and service companies that supports them.
Benjamin M. Pauluhn
Benjamin Pauluhn was the first Project Manager of Sifunda Kunye Educational Project. Ben earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Math and Economics from Furman University in Greenville, SC in 2006. In 2008, he re-located to the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa to begin the Calabar Foundation’s Africa Project which subsequently grew into the Sifunda Kunye Educational Project. Upon his return to the United States in 2010, he remained actively involved in the management of Sifunda Kunye, its programming and staff recruitment.
Ben the CEO of Bishops Gate Sports Services, LLC which provides operational, finance, housing, golf and development services to sports academies located in the Southeastern United States. Ben is the owner of Optimus energy Solutions in Florida, United States.
He has served on the Calabar Foundation Board since 2010 and, because of his passion for education, also serves on the local private school board in his central Florida community. Additionally, he serves on the board of directors of the Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF).
Sifunda Kunye Volunteer
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.
Computer Lab Facilitator Volunteer at Hendrik Kanise Combined School
Thandile Mazukwe is a volunteer of Sifunda Kunye project since 2017, Thandile believes in our rural development and support all the initiatives Sifunda Kunye offers over our six school. Thandile is full time at our partner school Toise Senior Secondary School but he supports hand on with The Presidents Awards, community Reading clubs (Literacy project) chess and sports days. Thandile is the founder of Drangons Rugby development that seeks to find great rugby players and develop their talent0 There are great talent in our youth and rural learners don’t always get the opportunities to develop and get to the next level. Through outreach and full time support the learners are benefited. They are deserving to get all the benefits offered and together we can make a change that will prosper our youth. It shouldn’t matter from what background you come, we should work hard to great equal and fair opportunities for all.
This is Gando Stenge (Gandowentshaba Balfour) a proud associate of Sifunda Kunye Educational project. Gando has volunteered her time to be part of our team and is dedicated to fundraise for sustainability for 2023 and beyond.
Quoted from Gando:
I live by this mantra “Be the change you want to see””
I am a proud associate partner at Sifunda Kunye Education Project. Our aim is to have a positive impact on education and individual lives of learners of all ages through the implementation of technology programs, literacy programs, and capital projects at deserving rural schools in the Eastern Cape with hopes of having a nationwide reach in the future. We have successfully funded, implemented, monitored and maintained e-labs, ICT educational programs, libraries, matric camps, winter camp in various rural communities in our province. We are looking for like minded indivuals who are willing to finacially support our projects be it donations or donors. With coolaborative work, we can reach each and every rural comunity in the Eastern Cape. We are committed to being Goal keepes of United Nations SDG 2030 goals. Ubumntu ngumntu ngabantu; part of the UBUNTU project. I am proudly part of the Sifunda kunye team. I thank you in advance.