About us

We launched BEFSA in November 2004 to reduce poverty  in the rural and township areas of the Eastern Cape in South Africa. We strongly believe that education is the key to getting people out of poverty and into employment, and is the route to improving peoples' lives.

Our MISSION is to:

  • provide education for the people of South Africa who have been excluded
  • Reduce poverty in the poorest communities through economic development
  • Enable rural and township schools to become agents for change

The challenge

The reality confronting national and provincial governments in South Africa today is the sheer enormity of the challenges facing them to bring about major improvements in people's lives. Equally local communities have come to realise that there will not be an instant solution to the years of poverty, and to the decades of neglect and educational impoverishment associated with conflict and social injustice.

Families watch as generations of children miss out on a basic education either as a consequence of an unqualified teaching force or because of an absence of teaching and learning materials or because of sub standard teaching and learning environments. In many areas of South Africa it tends to be a combination of all three. 

The effects of apartheid

Despite the best intentions of local authorities, positive interventions are often hampered by a lack of resources, by a lack of consistent and effective leadership, by a lack of management and by an absence of specialist support staff working in the field. It has become increasingly evident that the gap between schools in the developing world and the developed world is becoming wider. In South Africa these two worlds have coexisted uneasily since the dawn of apartheid in 1948 to the present day. The legacy of apartheid is such that today enormous differences exist between the opportunities available to children living in rural and township areas and children growing up in the former white areas.

In the midst of the poverty of the rural areas and the townships in which the majority of South African people live today, there is an urgent need to create and to nurture centres of educational excellence to counter the perception and reality of two worlds and to provide opportunities for children to reach their true potential.

Learn more about the range of BEFSA programmes at this link.

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