We facilitate sponsorships for students to complete their senior years (Grades 10 – 12) and prepare them for tertiary education. Our learners are placed in an academic school with good facilities for boarding and learning (there are no libraries or laboratories in our local schools). The scholarship inspires them to believe in their abilities and realise their potential.

What we do

We strongly believe that education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty that affects the area and that it can create a better future for children and their families. In addition, the programme proves that education enables children to be self-sufficient and leaders in their communities.

The scholarship

Our search for a good quality high school led us to Mthatha, where we found St. John’s College to be the best. It is a strict school, has a good code of conduct, curriculum and dedicated teachers.

The students tend to struggle in their 1st year at St John’s, because there is a radical difference between a rural, junior secondary school in Coffee Bay and an academic college in Mthatha. Despite this, a number of students have been able to maximise their intellectual abilities and go on to attend university after St John’s.

The scholarship covers the cost of registration fees, school stationery, text books, school uniform, school fees, boarding fees and school educational tours.

Every year Coffee Shack sponsors 1 child from the area for a full 3-year scholarship at St John’s College, and various guests, groups of people and a trust also sponsor children.

We are always looking to help more students and are happy to answer any further questions you may have. Please enquire for more details.

What we’ve achieved so far

The scholarship fund started in 2004 with two students, the programme has since helped 40 young boys and girls complete academic schooling. 80% of our alumni are either employed or continuing their studies. Some of our top students have later obtained degrees in Business and Accounting, as well as in Mechanical, and Mining Engineering.

We still want to…

The South African school year runs from January to December with four breaks in between. We accept support for school sponsorships throughout the year. For example, you could choose to sponsor textbooks or educational tours. Please enquire for more details. We are happy to answer any further questions you may have.

Why we do what we do

Locally, academic or career support mechanisms are missing. Career guidance and mentoring are almost non-existent in schools. Home environments in many cases even complicate our learners’ efforts to obtain a good education.

A typical journey to school can involve a 5km walk to get a local minibus taxi to get to school (assuming there’s money available to pay for both uniform and transport), and the same again to get home. These factors have led to a significant drop in the numbers of children advancing to and finishing, senior school.

Due to the abovementioned complications, Coffee Bay and the surrounding areas have one of the highest illiteracy and lowest school enrolment rates in South Africa. The majority of youth from the area have only attended school until the end of grade 9 (14 years old), due to the closest high school being 20km away from Coffee Bay. As a rule, families could not afford to send their children to high school due to transport costs or boarding fees. Only 10% successfully finish high school in our area.

Internationally, South African learners consistently perform at the lowest possible levels. An SAIRR (2010) study found that those learners in rural areas perform more poorly than their urban peers, particularly in mathematics and science, because of a lack of resources. Of all South African children enrolled in schools in Grade 1, only half reach the final year of schooling in Grade 12, and in the Eastern Cape only 52% passed their final exams in 2015; the lowest of all provinces in the country.

Our scholarships to complete high school and become active members of society can change the world of one person for the better and in turn, inspire their peers and the community they grew up in.

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