The Umckaloabo foundation charity run

Running for a good cause

The project scope entails the upgrade of some existing facilities as well as the construction of new ablution facilities to cater for students at Northmead Secondary School. The school is located in Phoenix, which is situated some 30km north west of the major city of Durban in South Africa.

South Africa is an emerging country in which a wide gap exists between the wealthy and the poor. This gap continues to grow wider. 65% of inhabitants live in urban areas as opportunities, development and survival is even more difficult in rural areas.

Even 25 years after the end of apartheid, a large part of the population still lives in poverty and without access to running water, sanitation or electricity. The informal unemployment rate is around 50%. Many previously disadvantaged people have to make do with the minimum wage as workers in agriculture, in factories or as domestic helpers. The consequences of HIV + / AIDS are still affecting people's lives.

Although approximately 75% of high school graduates pass their final examinations, the socio- economic climate only sees few achieving university degrees. Prior to reaching matric, about 40% of the year’s total student count drops out of the school system for a variety of reasons.

The Project

History of the School
The Northmead Secondary School was founded in 1979 under the conditions of the then apartheid government. The area was demarcated for occupation of the Indian community and was a result of the infamous “Group Areas Act” which segregated living areas for people of different races in SA.

The Students
Since the beginning of Nelson Mandela's presidency and the advent of democracy in 1994, students from the surrounding areas of Inanda and KwaMashu, constituting a mix of formal and informal housing have registered as students of the school. Currently about 500 students from this previously disadvantaged communities in the immediate vicinity attend Northmead Secondary School.

School Funding
School budgets constitute government funding and school fees. Government funding is limited and many students are unable to pay their school fees due to financial constraints. This places a huge financial burden on the school. The results of this financial shortfall can be seen in the latent state of maintenance of existing infrastructure. The facilities also do not cater sufficiently for the large number of students which number just over 1000.

Our Objective
We would like to assist Northmead Secondary to improve learning and teaching conditions so that all children can have the opportunity to learn in a comfortable environment.

Requirements (in order of priority)
1) In addition to the necessary repairs and renovations, there is an urgent requirement for new ablution facilities. Currently there are only 10 toilets available, five (5) for male and five (5) for female students. We are looking at doubling this infrastructure given the number of students at the school. This excludes the facilities available for staff members, which is also in a poor state and is inadequate.
2) Learning material is required. This includes library books, school text books, materials for the science laboratory and sports equipment.
3) Additional teachers would have to be hired to give tutoring to weaker students. These costs have to borne by the school.
4) Upgrade of the resource centre with steel shelving to house the resource material and library books. The previous wooden structures were damaged by parasites and results in students having no access to any resources either digital of as a hardcopy.

At Northmead Secondary School, 82% of the graduating class passed their exams in 2017. Only the best get a recommendation for the university or can afford to go to an institution of higher education.

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Of course there is also the possibility to donate directly for Scout projects for early childhood development. This donation will also be doubled by the company Sr. Willmar Schwabe up to a total amount of €50,000!
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Republic in Africa – independent since 1931
Capital: Pretoria
Area: 1.219.912 km²
Inhabitants: 55,6 Millionen (2016)
Population density: 42 Einwohner pro km²
Population growth: 0,99% pro Jahr (2013, Weltbank)
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The Team

Rani Schmidt (Chetty)

Rani Schmidt, a former teacher at Northmead Secondary School, has never lost touch with her old school. Six years ago, together with some of her ex-students, she founded an NPO, Northmead Ex Students and Staff association (NESS) to improve the situation at the school. At public schools you will hardly find such an association. Since then the team tries to raise funds for the school through various activities. Funds raised are then used to fund a wide variety of projects and to award scholarships to gifted students from a poor financial background that wish to study further at a tertiary institution. NESS has assisted in various initiatives at the school and since 2012, up to nine students have received scholarships. However, the money raised by NESS is insufficient for the big challenges ahead. The state has limited resources and needs to divide resources among many schools. With the Africa Run we want to promote the initiative of dedicated teachers and students. On the occasion of the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela, we want to launch and implement this project together. In addition to the acquisition of material, the renovation of some parts of the building for pedagogical aspects should not be neglected. Teachers should be able to educate themselves and improve their skills in order to be able to teach even better and most importantly is that students should be given learning opportunities in order to not only qualify in academic subjects, but to be able to develop themselves holistically. Especially when the family structures are no longer stable, it is important to develop a perspective for one's own life. For this purpose learning camps and workshops could be used and this is often not in the classroom. If the framework conditions are right, students can develop better.

With the help of the Umckaloabo Foundation, we foresee the following to be renovated and completed: New ablution facilities for students - Laboratories for biology, chemistry and physics - Library – Computer Room

There is also an urgent need for equipment Books - Biology Equipment – Chemistry Equipment - Physics Equipment - Computers

With the help of the Umckaloabo Foundation, we foresee the following to be renovated and completed:
• New ablution facilities for students
• Laboratories for biology, chemistry and physics
• Library
• Computer Room

There is also an urgent need for equipment
• Books
• Biology Equipment
• Chemistry Equipment
• Physics Equipment
• Computers

All donations will be matched up to a maximum of 50,000 Euro by the Schwabe group of companies.

100 years Mandela

On the occasion of the 100th birthday of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, we want to support the Northmead Secondary School near Durban.

Madiba, as he is respectfully called, is like no other statesman and human being known for peace and reconciliation. Despite 27 years of imprisonment, he reached out to the hitherto ruling white minority and ensured the return of South Africa to the world community. He would have been 100 years old on 18 July this year. In his spirit we want to work for better educational opportunities and make South Africa a little fairer. An important motive of his time as President of South Africa is:

Education is the most powerful weapon that u can use to change the world.


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