Updated Mar 29, 2019

Molo Mhlaba Schools

www.molomhlaba.org

Sonibare Rethabile

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Thope Foundation has launched Molo Mhlaba Schools which is pan-African network of independent schools for girls to improve quality education in safe learning environments in underserved communities.

Crucially, unlike most outreach programs, the project focuses on early childhood development and primary school education (Grades R - 7) to ensure that the girls can adjust their academic choices early enough to be able to realistically work towards a career in STEM. The schools provide the girls with access to a STEM-focused curriculum, as well as hands-on extra-curricular activities that ...
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Crucially, unlike most outreach programs, the project focuses on early childhood development and primary school education (Grades R - 7) to ensure that the girls can adjust their academic choices early enough to be able to realistically work towards a career in STEM. The schools provide the girls with access to a STEM-focused curriculum, as well as hands-on extra-curricular activities that directly engage the girls in science, engineering and computationally-based challenges, boosting their confidence and problem solving skills. Through the schools, the girls are also offered academic and career guidance on how to pursue a career in STEM, and given access to the support of a network of professional female scientist mentors. Families in financially limiting circumstances, in fact, may often discourage their children from pursuing careers in research, as these are seen as ill-suited to providing good employment prospects. Direct exposure to research professionals through the school, on the other hand, enables learners and their parents to understand how a career in STEM provides skills - both direct and transferable - which are highly sought-after in research and industry. These not only increase the girls’ future employability prospects, but place them at a competitive advantage when seeking to enter sectors at the forefront of technological and economic innovation.
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Stage 4: Transition to Scale

Molo Mhlaba Schools has moved from the start-up phase after having launched in 2018 and is currently operating two campuses: primary and high school in Khayelitsha Cape Town. We are looking to expand and scale into Gauteng in 2020.

Focus Areas:

Education, Gender and Leadership Development

Education, Gender and Leadership DevelopmentSEE LESS

Implemented In:

South Africa

South AfricaSEE LESS

1
Country Implemented In
95
Customers
8
Employees
$120,000
Funds Raised to Date

Problem

Children can't dream of a career they have never heard of. Underserved communities in South Africa, due to the failure of institutions to provide adequate access to educational and economic opportunities, are almost entirely employed in low-skilled sectors. New generations of South Africans in these communities grow up never knowing that STEM could have been an option for them, being able neither to develop the skills required to pursue a career in these fields nor their full potential.

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Solution

Molo Mhlaba strongly believes there is no reason these girls shouldn't be inspired to dream about a career in STEM, and that they have a right to be given a safe, enjoyable and supportive environment in which to work hard towards achieving their goals.By establishing local, low-fee, independent girls schools in disadvantaged communities, Molo Mhlaba provides South Africa’s most vulnerable social group with access to quality STEM-focused education and career orientation.

Competitive Advantage

The first school has already been opened in Khayelitsha, Molo Mhlaba will eventually become a network of schools across South Africa, and will collaborate with other primary schools in their communities, ensuring the expansion of its impact across the country. The unique model offers parents an alternative education to the ones offered by underperforming public schools and is affordable as opposed to the expensive private schools. Molo Mhlaba is the first single sex STEAM school in Khayelitsha and therefore will continue to have this as the competitive advantage. While the first school has already been opened in Khayelitsha, Molo Mhlaba will eventually become a network of schools across South Africa, and will collaborate with other primary schools in their communities, ensuring the expansion of its impact across the country. All schools are staffed by local and highly qualified teachers enrolled in Continued Development Programs, and recruited from the same community where the schools are located. In doing so the schools create job opportunities, uplifting local women from poverty, and boosting women in the township economy.

Planned Goals and Milestones

The next milestones are to launch two campuses in Soweto in 2020 and 2021 while exploring the feasibility of opening campuses in the eastern Cape. Moreover, we need to make substantial investments in the career development of our faculty and operational support team in order for the network to succeed. This includes the recruitment of a Master Principal who will support all the other principals in their campuses.
Funding Goal220,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted16,000
New Implemented CountriesSouth Africa

The Team Behind the Innovation

Xolisa Guzula, is a biliteracy teacher and community trainer, researcher, storyteller, author and translator of children's literature. She is one of the founders of the network of community literacy reading clubs emerging across South Africa.Sibongile Khumalo, for 9 years, Sibongile worked with a high school scholarship programme where she focused her time on providing support to underprivileged children who were awarded scholarships to attend affluent schools. . She holds a Master of Science degree and currently heads The Learning Trust. Portia Lujabe is a long serving volunteer of the Thope Foundation. She is currently in her third year of study reading towards a Psychology degree at Stellenbosch University. She is a social activist and advocate for girls education. Mica Townsend, Treasurer, is originally from London in the UK, Mica Townsend has been living in Cape Town for the past 2.5 years. She graduated with a first class honours degree in Economics and Management from Royal Holloway, University of London and has been working in the finance industry since 2010. Rethabile Mashale, Board Secretary and Program Director, is a registered Social Worker and PhD graduate at Stellenbosch university. She holds an MSocSc in Social Policy and Management degree from the University of Cape Town. Athambile Masola, Board member, is a PhD candidate and lecturer in the School of Education at University of Pretoria. She completed an M Ed as a Mandela-Rhodes Scholar at Rhodes University.

EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN

Milestone

Mar 2019
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
Sep 2018
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
South Africa
Date Unknown
Recognition ReceivedVERIFIED
Selected Venture

Supporting Materials

molo-mhlaba-booklet-3-.compressed.pdf