Updated Mar 10, 2020

SAILI Scholarship Programme

Our Scholarship Programme routes talented students through functional parts of the Western Cape public high school system to give them a higher chance of progressing to tertiary education.


Samuel Christie

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Stage 5: Scaling

SAILI was built to support as many students as possible without compromising on exceptional student performance. US$1,300/yr provides a student with access to quality higher education.
Registered in South Africa as Non-Profitin South Africa as Non-Profit

Focus Areas:

Workforce Development, Education, Secondary Education and 4 MoreSEE ALL

Workforce Development, Education, Secondary Education, Education Policy & Finance, Testing & Assessment, Human Centered Design and FinanceSEE LESS

Implemented In:

South Africa

South AfricaSEE LESS

Country Implemented In


South Africa has an undiscovered population of talented low-income youth. Some of our brightest young minds are prevented from adding value to our economy because of obstacles that can be easily overcome.



Our Scholarship Programme routes talented students through functional parts of the Western Cape public high school system. The emphasis is on identification of talent, system analysis to determine high value schools for placements, student monitoring and ongoing support of scholarship holders. SAILI pays for fees, uniforms, books and stationery. We also provide workshops and mentoring for subject selection, career selection and transition to tertiary.

Target Beneficiaries

The majority of the current cohort of 125 students are female and ultimate trajectories are into top-end tertiary studies with roughly even distribution between commerce, engineering and medical degrees. All our students are from low income families with average family income of under US$160/month. In many cases, they are the first in their family to finish high school and access tertiary education.

Mission and Vision

Intelligence, talent, motivation, nobility, and grit are distributed across the entire economic spectrum of South Africa's youth. In an increasingly global marketplace, South Africa will not continue to prosper unless we make best use of the latent talent brimming within our borders. A key focus area for SAILI is assisting students in the fields of science, maths, engineering and technology as a pre-requisite for tertiary studies in accounting, engineering, medicine, science and technology.

Innovation Description

SAILI students are selected for their proven academic ability. For approximately US$1,300 per year we can give these talented young people access to education that their family would not otherwise be able to afford. Selection takes place at the end of primary school, at the point of natural school transition. With a successful high school education our students will be able to go on to university and a career that will help break the cycle of poverty in their families. What SAILI Provides: • Pays: high school acceptance fees and school fees, compulsory textbooks and stationery, contributes to uniform costs, assists with tutoring if required • Facilitates: educational outings with a maths/ science focus, learning-support workshops covering topics such as study skills and career planning • Offers: a comprehensive and individual support framework for academic and psychosocial needs, with regular contact with all students and parents. Our Student’s Responsibilities: • Apply to our recommended high schools and gain acceptance. • Maintain their mark average over 60% • Take Maths and Physics and pass these with at least 60% • Submit their reports each term to SAILI for monitoring • Participate in SAILI outings and workshops each term

Competitive Advantage

SAILI has strong relationships with functional,high performing government schools.We don't fund scholarships in private schools as often this is not necessarily in the best interests of our students.Our programme seeks to maximise the number of students placed and favours schools that offer value for money either through low fees or fee discounts. We focus heavily on developing young people in the science, technology, engineering and maths fields so that they can study in the fields of accounting, engineering, medicine, science and technology;key areas that require development and investment in South Africa. Our pass rates for maths and science have continued to improve along with our Bachelor pass rate.In 2018, our 22 Grade 12 students gained a 65% average for maths and physics and an overall average of 72%.They collected 55 distinctions between them. We also work with our scholars to help with resilience,self-leadership,reflective learning and taking responsibility for problems.

Planned Goals and Milestones

We would like to continue to expand the programme in both geographic reach and diversity. With increased funding support, SAILI can offer additional scholarships to students who have the ability to progress into tertiary education with the right support. We would also like to increase our number of partnership schools in the Western Cape to so that we can serve further disadvantaged communities.
Funding Goal63,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted475
New Implemented CountriesSouth Africa

The Team Behind the Innovation

Sam Christie- Director Sam has worked in education development since 2008, initially for a philanthropic foundation before deciding to set up SAILI. Sam is an electrical engineer by training with a background in software development and project management. Katherine Morse- Scholarship Manager Katherine is a psychologist with a background in counselling, child psychology and community development. She focuses on developing programmes that bring substantial change to disadvantaged communities.



Date Unknown
Date Unknown
Funds RaisedPENDING
Unknown Amount
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
South Africa
Date Unknown
Recognition ReceivedVERIFIED
Profiled on CEI