The Whole Child – City Story
February 25, 2020
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The Whole Child is a partner of City Story.

In 2018, a number of people who had networked with each other through City Story, sat down with each other to discuss the problems facing education in South Africa. The problems were vast; children did not just lack one thing, they lacked a whole lot! There was a need for physical and mental health, better nutrition, sound literacy, entrepreneurship development, career guidance, spiritual instruction, infrastructure, and many other needs. The dream to find a school and set up a non-profit that would serve all of these different needs proved too big of a challenge. How could one non-profit fulfill all of these needs?

The answer lay in the proliferation of non-profits over the last 20 years that had already arisen to address so many of these different needs. What if a non-profit could act as agent and facilitator of brining these non-profits together in a collaborative manner, and begin to address these needs by helping each non-profit focus their strength on the issue. And so The Whole Child was started. With a huge vision in mind, their work began at the pilot primary school; Kwacutshwayo Primary School west of Durban. Through the partnership built through Partners for Possibility, Principal Thami Nzuza in collaboration with Lauren Coombe, architect Ian Bell, and their strong network of non-profit representatives began to put a plan in motion to tackle all of the issues that lay ahead. 

Their vision is simple; to rebuild education from within schools and through the surrounding community. They believe that quality education is about more than just learning, but about developing the whole child, which would go on to build people, and ultimately build a nation. 

Strong partnerships have proven beneficial in tackling these problems, and everybody is a stakeholder & role-player. Teachers, parents, school governing bodies, government, the surrounding community, local churches, and non-profits and businesses. Each of these players impacts on the curriculum and school campus, but they also enable under-resourced schools to access and raise the capital they need to dovetail the facilities with The Whole Child’s vision. 

We’ve been excited to see the development in the school since the commencement of these collaborative partnerships. Businesses like SBS Tanks located in the industrial area of Pinetown have given both to infrastructure development, as well as generosity through supplying the school’s thrift store. Additional partners such as Inkukukhaya have provided chicken runs that earn a sustainable income to feed over 150 orphans that attend the school, and the NEEMA Reading Program led by community churches are supplying the literacy needs of foundation phase children. It’s a simple act of focussed collaboration that has begun to prove that the future is bright for this little primary school at the top of a hill. 

We’re excited to watch the future unfold for The Whole Child, and we hope to see their model scaled and implemented in similar schools and communities around our nation.

If you lead an organization that works into Primary Schools and see a perfect need that you can meet through collaboration, or you have some resource that you can give towards the project, visit their website to find out more or get in contact with them here: https://thewholechild.org.za

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