Social TV
Public Relations

Nokuphila School’s 14-Year Legacy: A Chronicle of Love and Learning

The Nokuphila School in Thembisa has spent over a decade establishing itself as a beacon of excellence in the local community. As well as a pillar of hope for those who wish to reach for better opportunities through education.

The inspiring school is run by the not-for-profit organisation The Love Trust, which aims to successfully uplift local communities by providing quality Christian education.

Starting in 2009, they have been fulfilling their mandate to upskill black females by becoming qualified ECD (Early Childhood Development) teachers by obtaining their NQF levels 4 and 5 respectively. This qualification allows them to teach Grade 000 and Grade R respectively, and most importantly, gives them the knowledge to start their own ECD centres. Ultimately, making quality education more readily available to the wider community.

Along with their goal of teacher training, they founded their school in 2012, starting the pre-primary school at Nokuphila with just 45 pre-primary learners. Their vision to nurture a generation of servant leaders, along with their mission to deliver excellent quality Christian education to vulnerable children has remained unwavering and lies at the core of everything they do.

A journey like theirs is filled not with lessons for the learners alone, but for the teachers and organisation alike. Growing a solid facility that can be relied upon by its community while it rapidly develops has not been without its challenges but through perseverance, love, and faith, their success can be widely felt in the community of Thembisa.

The Love Trust’s CEO, Erik van den Top, and the Principal from The Nokuphila School, Mabel Sikhakhane share their insights into 14 key learnings since The Nokuphila School first opened its doors on the 12th of January 2010.  

Exploring the heart of knowledge: 14 valuable insights from Nokuphila’s leadership

1.    Grow slowly

Although at times it seems tempting to go ‘all in’ when developing a school, it’s better to forge ahead slowly. Nokuphila has found great success in growing year on year, with just one new grade per year. This allows time to focus and assess what is working well in that year, and what could be improved upon.

2.    Consider financial sustainability

As a non-profit organisation, it’s essential to stay on top of your finances. There are operating expenses, as well as, salary costs. All decisions need to be measured and there needs to be contingency plans, as well as, planned cost-saving initiatives.

3.    The importance of transport

At Nokuphila, all their learners are safely ferried and collected from home from school. This is one of their biggest expenses and it can’t be overstated that finding the right, reliable service providers is key. The school considers the children’s welfare paramount and believes part of this involves providing safe transport.

4.    The importance of food

Nutrition is a very basic need that unfortunately many learners in South Africa battle with daily. All learners at Nokuphila are provided with two meals and a healthy snack per day, ensuring that they are alert and have the energy to learn.

5.    Qualified and experienced teachers

Nokuphila believes in not only having teachers qualified to be in their posts but also values their experience. They find their experience brings with it a wealth of knowledge, along with the patience and compassion their learners so badly need.

6.    Psychosocial support

Nokuphila believes in providing a well-rounded education that is holistic, seeing not only to their educational development but also to their emotional and physical needs. Teaching them to be resilient and emotionally aware is a big part of their psychosocial efforts, and they engage with a social worker, an occupational therapist, and a remedial therapist to provide them with the insights they need.

7.    Community engagement

Engaging with the local community is crucial for building and fostering a sense of belonging. Every person needs to feel they belong to something important, so encouraging learners to identify strongly with their school provides a solid start in life.

8.    Trust and transparency with donors

The donors are the lifeblood of the school and the organisation as a whole and without their funding and support, none of the initiatives would be possible, so understandably they want to see where their donations are invested. The Love Trust builds trust with its donors and partners by showing them complete transparency, with annual reports sent to all.

9.    Stick to your mission

Your mission is the foundation. It is the reason why people donate. It should be unwavering and remain the same, no matter who is running the organisation. This is your main driver, and occasionally it’s important to ask yourself, ‘Why do we do what we do?’

10.  Parental involvement

Involving parents in their children’s education creates a supportive environment for learning and creates accountability. If a child knows that their teacher and guardians are on the same page, they stand a much greater chance of succeeding.

11.  Remain adaptable

Always remain open to change. You need to be able to adapt both your curriculum and your teaching methods to get the best results for your students. A great example is during COVID where learners had either to collect weekly packs or adapt to online learning.

12.  Cultural awareness

At Nokuphila, they embrace and celebrate the diverse cultures that make up their student body and teach the learners the importance of inclusivity. In teaching their learners to be more accepting of each other’s cultures, they have found that compassion and understanding come a lot easier to them.

13.  Collaboration

Working closely with other educational institutions and collaborating with them and stakeholders has great benefits to their students. Not only are they keeping a finger on the pulse of what’s going on ‘out there’, but also they are building strong relationships for long-term partnerships.

14.  Community Impact

Recognise the power that your organisation has to make a difference in the local community and beyond. Acknowledging that you are part of a wider positive impact is wildly empowering and deserves recognition. As part of your impact, consider imparting your knowledge and lessons learned to others on a similar journey.

Embracing a future fuelled by love and equal opportunity

As we reflect on Nokuphila School’s remarkable 14-year journey, it becomes clear that their vision is not just about imparting knowledge but instilling a profound sense of hope. In a world where opportunities often elude the underprivileged, they stand as a beacon of change, proving that quality education is the key to unlocking doors and shaping destinies. Let us remain steadfast in our commitment, for it is through education that we truly sow the seeds of a brighter, more equitable future.

May Nokuphila’s legacy continue to inspire and guide us, reminding us that each child’s potential is boundless, and with the right education, they can defy the odds.

Related posts

R1 million up for grabs for non-profits as MTN rewards effective M&E

Mpofu Sthandile

Walking Bus programme keeps children safe

Amanda Mkhize

Dis-Chem extends e-learning to clinic staff

Viwe Tyolwana

Zakat Fund for refugees launches in SA

Amanda Mkhize

Hollywoodbets announces the launch of the Hollywood Foundation

Mpofu Sthandile

R1 million shared among non-profit organisations in the MTN Awards for Social Change

Amanda Mkhize
Social TV
Translate »