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School of Hope

School of Hope


10 April 2020



The School of Hope

The School of Hope in Cape Town is part of the Thembalitsha Foundation. Thembalitsha means "new hope" when translated from Xhosa. The aim of the foundation is therefore to breathe new life into the forgotten, sick and vulnerable people from the Western and Eastern Cape. 

The Thembalitsha Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 with the mission to stimulate a development towards self-reliance by offering education, health care and training. In collaboration with more than a hundred volunteers, partners and full-time staff, nine projects are currently being run (September 2019), of which School of Hope is one.

The Western Cape has a relatively high percentage of early school leavers; more than 55%. Reasons for leaving school early are teenage pregnancies, gangsterism, and drugs. However, the main reason for leaving school early is the fact that little or no value is attached to education. Young people drop out of college to support their families at home or choose to live on the street by fleeing poverty and violence. If these young people choose to go back to school after a few years, most schools are not willing to hire these young people because they are eighteen years old or older. Moreover, regular (secondary) schools are often unable to offer the right guidance to these young people, who carry complex problems with them.

That is where School of Hope offers a solution.

Founded in 1999, the School of Hope is located in Cape Town, South Africa, in the Observatory district. The school has a capacity for 250 students but focuses on about 150 young people between the ages of 12 and 20 with a risky and vulnerable background. The youngest student at School of Hope is thirteen years old; the oldest is 23 years old (as of September 2019). The results of the school are well above average. Due to the limited size, it is possible to deliver more custom work. A lot of attention is paid to self-reliance, entrepreneurship and life skills.

The School of Hope focuses on developing and supporting these vulnerable young people at risk in such a way that their risk of dropout from education and thus (fall) in crime is mitigated as much as possible; the aim is that they can make a valuable contribution and become part of the future workforce. As the director of School of Hope indicates, "We are committed to breaking the cycle of crime, poverty and unemployment by giving every person the chance to complete their education."

The School of Hope employs 16 staff and teachers. In addition, there are three more student teachers from the University of Cape Town (September 2019).

The School of Hope is supported by the Learning Journey by conducting various surveys, such as; the future prospects of young people who successfully leave school, prospects for talented young people and the development of resilience training.

Date: September 2019