Over the past 12 months, ELE has made a deliberate and dynamic shift in focus. We have taken a good look at where we, as an organisation, stand today and have identified the most pressing needs that our country is going to face in the coming years. The conclusion that we have come to is that we will require educated, confident leaders, to bear the torch when the time comes. While we always remain hopeful, we must realistically assess the current, national, education system and find solutions for the areas where we feel it lacks in providing South Africa’s children with the tools that they need to put their best foot forward.
What does education mean to ELE?
It is for this reason that the entire team decided to pool our love, energy and time into the cause closest to our hearts; our Education Portfolio (previously, this was one of four main pillars). Along with our hero, Nelson Mandela, we know that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” and we pledge to bring more gifted children closer to an education that will teach, mould and guide them to be our leaders of tomorrow. “Education is the most important factor for the future of mankind,” says co-founder Guy Jackson, “Every human has potential inside of them to do amazing things if they are given the right environment, stimulation and teaching”.
Each member of the ELE team is at a critical point in their own lives, facing the future with a lot more responsibility than during our 20’s. We have all worked hard to reach the point at which we stand today, and it is as clear as day that our educations have played a monumental role in steering our lives down the paths we now walk.
Comparatively, we have seen and heard numerous success stories of students under adverse situations, far more complicated than our own, achieve consistently good results at school, leading to valuable rewards such as university and school bursaries without which they may not have been afforded the opportunity to continue studying at the level they require. Access to such schooling ultimately ensures a solid foundation for a child to build their lives upon and become this country’s future leaders.
Funding towards educating our youth
ELE’s task; to secure donors and investors, is never-ending and we are consistently driven to strengthen the bank balance that supports the annual tuition for our students. Before we approach young candidates’ parents, we ensure that we can fund that child’s education, transport and supporting costs for an entire year, ultimately aiming to finance their entire schooling career.
During the year we work tirelessly to secure the following year’s funding and to build on the number of students whose tuition we can support. “The results ELE sees from our efforts in education are so tangible”, Thalia, social worker and General Manager of ELE says, “we are able to show our donors the growth and results of their investments”.
We are currently working on a funding model that encourages a large number of donors to contribute smaller amounts in order to grow our capacity. This, in addition to our famous fundraising efforts and private sector, corporate donations will provide us with a pool of income that will allow us to expand our programme and bring that much needed academic financial aid to more children.
“We have been able to send some students to private schools, making a significant difference in their lives” says co-founder Jaco Rossouw. Making these dreams come true is a sustainable focus for ELE and allows each donor to see where every rand contributed is going. We provide ongoing reports on the student’s progress and allow you to connect with the student’s family if both parties agree.
Tutoring for the pupils
Another exciting, ongoing project is that of our Saturday School and tutoring sessions. We currently supplement weekly schooling with additional hours of tutoring if so required or desired, and this is another way for the public to become involved in our society. To offer your time and experience to a child’s inquiring mind is a gift so great that it is impossible to put a price on. ELE sees a long road of meaningful interactions ahead and we welcome those who would like to be included in this journey.
Our voyage is long, focused and inspired, hoping that the small difference we are making today will amount to something far greater in the years to come.