“Place of Life”

This weekend we were packing ‘love boxes’ for children that attend the Nokuphila School in Tembisa, and I thought I’d share a recent article I wrote on the Love Trust (Nokuphila is one of the trust’s initiatives) in Stefanutti Stocks’ Sizimisele publication. I often speak to my clients about the trust and its work, and am happy to recommend it to anyone who is looking for ‘something’ to support – be it a personal cause, or a corporate socio-economic development initiative. Why? Well, in addition to loving what they do, and what they stand for, I admire many of the trust’s principles, including the fact that every one of its trustees serves on a voluntary, unpaid basis. Education is so important to the future of South Africa, and to watch this success story unfold, is incredibly exciting! You too can get involved – from sponsoring a child, through to sponsoring a teacher, or why not build just build another Love Trust school? If you’d like to get in touch, the details are at the bottom of the article…

The Love Trust is building the best township school in South Africa

On 31 May 2015 the sod-turning event for the Love Trust’s Nokuphila school took place, and marked not only the start of construction on the school, but also a major milestone in the Love Trust journey, which started back in 2009.

The Love Trust, a non-profit organisation, was established in 2009 fueled by a strong desire to bring hope to vulnerable children living in disadvantaged communities. In order to help realise its conviction that a values-driven, world-class education is the key to a stronger South Africa, the Love Trust partnered with communities to build innovative models for the delivery of education. The Love Trust develops interventions that journey through key levers for change in education. This journey begins, as it should, with Early Childhood Development (ECD) a critical foundation to any child’s education, and the Love Trust provides accredited training in ECD to teachers and principals of 13 ECD centres across the country.

The second leg of the journey involves support for identified ECD centres (currently 19), where the trust is partnering with principals to improve the standard of education. The journey continues through to the establishment of primary schools, of which the Trust has established two – the Tembisa-based Nokuphila School and the Hillbrow Independent. These primary schools afford vulnerable children from the surrounding communities access to the very best education. They are overseen by Christ Church Preparatory School and College, an established and reputable independent school in nearby Midrand.

The Nokuphila School – meaning ‘Place of Life’ – was opened in Tembisa in January 2010 to 45 preschoolers from the township of Tembisa. “Sadly, but unfortunately typical of townships in South Africa, Tembisa faces high unemployment, crime, child abuse and poverty,” says Love Trust founder Bishop Martin Morrison. “Nokuphila was established to provide hope  to children who most need it, and the children who attend our school are selected accordingly and based on need.”

All children attending Nokuphila School enjoy:

  • The very best in Early Childhood Development and Primary School Education, founded on Christian principles and values.
  • Nutritious meals, which are critical for children living off small social grants that don’t allow for the provision of balanced meals at home.
  • Safe and reliable transport to and from school by means of a Love Trust-funded vehicle.
  • A variety of extra-curricular activities and after-care facilities.

The Love Trust’s intention is to grow with its children, and to play a significant role in their educational and spiritual growth to adulthood. In keeping with this intention, the primary schools have grown as the children have progressed through the grades. By early 2015 Nokuphila was catering for 260 children, from Grade 000 to Grade 4. 

The new Nokhuphila School that is currently being constructed forms part of Love Trust’s vision of growing the existing school to cater for preschool through to Grade 12. The R50-million school is entirely funded by contributions from a number of corporates and other supporters. The children who attend this school will come from the Tembisa and Ivory Park communities. It will cater for up to 640 children who will be taught by 70 teachers across 40 classrooms. In addition to being afforded the highest quality education, the children will also receive meals, transport and enjoy a variety of extra-curricular actives and after-care facilities. 

The Love Trust’s journey of hope is completely funded by donors, volunteers, supporters and ambassadors. Founder Bishop Morrison and chairman Jerry Gule, who serves as a general advisor to the Bishop and the trust, are constantly seeking innovative ways of raising funds which includes partnering with corporates as B-BBEE partners. Thus far the trust has entered three B BBEE transactions financed by RMB Corvest. “Making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children is only possible through generous contributions of time, services or money that the trust receives from its supporters,” says Bishop Morrison. “We are truly appreciative of the generosity and support that allow us to continue on our journey of hope.”

(written for, and published in the October issue of Stefanutti Stocks’ Sizimisele, page 39)



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