South Africa Outreach
In a community where material goods can be taken away from you at any moment...
the power of education and the stability of school runs deeper than simple equations or reading exercises. Our sponsorship program, in partnership with 3 local schools, ensures that each student receives the opportunity to spend the day safe from the dangers of their neighborhoods, to learn curriculum and character from dedicated mentors, and to develop dreams for the future. And in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, these schools continue to care for their communities in a number of ways. No matter what, they're reassuring the community of one thing: we're still here.
WHAT CAN I DO?
Our South Africa outreach partners are still showing up no matter what. This year we're sponsoring 415 students and 30 teachers across our 3 partner schools. You can still make a difference by donating to the South Africa Outreach general fund.
If you want to make a donation outside of a sponsorship commitment, use the DONATE button and select South Africa General Donation (not sponsorship) from the dropdown menu.
In 2007, Brentwood United Methodist Church funded the construction of a building for Brentwood Society Church in the Tumbleweed community of Howick (now known as Brentwood Methodist Church South Africa). Today, this thriving congregation has an active pre-primary school serving the children in Tumbleweed.
In 2008, Brentwood United Methodist Church partnered with Howick Methodist Church to expand Thembelihle Preschool into a primary school. Today, Thembelihle and Angels' Care Centre serve the children in Shiyabazali and Mpophomeni through education and crisis intervention.
In 2020, Brentwood United Methodist Church connected sponsors with 395 students and 30 teachers across 3 partner schools.
In 2021, Brentwood United Methodist Church will connect sponsors with 415 students and 30 teachers across 3 partner schools.
Why Should I Sponsor?
Your sponsorship will help to provide 415 students with the following resources for the 2021 school year:
“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”
– Nelson Mandela
In addition to education, our partner schools care for the physical and emotional well-being of their students.
After-school programs provide a space where every student is safe from violence.
School meals and feeding programs allow students to learn without worrying about an empty stomach.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will I get information about the student(s) I sponsor?
You can expect to get your student sponsor pairing in mid-March. The South African school year starts in January and runs through (when does the school year end?), which is different from the August–May school schedule we’re accustomed to in the United States. The teachers spend the first month of school getting their students settled into the new year, much like our schools do during the first 6 weeks of classes. They also often face the task of tracking down students that haven't been able to show up to school for various reasons associated with difficult challenges facing them at home. We receive the official class list in late February, and our stateside team spends a couple of weeks pairing students with sponsors and assembling student profiles. Once that information is complete, we send you a photo and profile of your sponsor student.
Will I be able to write to the student I sponsor?
Absolutely! This program is truly a partnership between our community and the school communities, and all good partnerships are founded on strong relationships. Once you receive your student’s profile in the spring, we’ll provide more information on how you can connect with them.
How can I follow along with what is happening at the partner schools?
Will I be paired with a specific teacher?
We are so grateful to everyone who chooses to sponsor teachers, as this program wouldn’t exist without the teachers' commitment to their communities. The generous funds from our teacher sponsorships go into a general fund that supplements teacher supplies and salaries, rather than benefitting one specific teacher per sponsorship. This allows all students across our 3 partner schools to have access to high quality education and equipment needed to succeed in the classroom. If you would like to write a general note of encouragement to the teachers, we welcome it and can send it to them!
Will I be paired with the same student each year?
We try our best to match sponsors with the same students from year to year, however we cannot guarantee that will happen for a variety of reasons. A student no longer attending the school, no longer needing sponsorship, moving because of parents' need to find employment, or aging out of the school are the most common reasons we pair a returning sponsor with a new student.
Meet Mama Malinga
"Since [Brentwood Methodist Church] preschool opened, you see miracles of God happening. Kids can eat. They can wear clothes like other children. This is what I fight for. Through the strength of God, I have hope."
Lay Leader. Feeding Program Director. Change Maker.
Our Partner Schools
Angels' Care Centre
Preschool & Crisis Centre
Angels' Care was established in 2001 by concerned residents of Howick to provide for the holistic and optimal growth of children from indigent homes in the Umngeni Municipal area. It strives to accomplish this by providing not only for the basic needs of the children it serves but through access to health care and other human services as well as by providing excellent educational services.
The preschool focuses on early childhood development by providing a loving, caring place where children receive the mental, physical and spiritual stimulation that is essential for the development of their young minds and bodies. All of the preschool children also receive a nutritious, cooked lunch every day before going home.
In 2015, Angels' Care opened The Crisis Centre to help children who are victims of gender-based violence, abuse and neglect. Angels' Care provides access to all the necessary social, medial and legal services required to ensure the survivor receives care and assistance in one location and in a timely manner. Angels' Care Centre serves students in pre-primary grades RRR, RR, and R, as well as offering a Bridging Class to help students get on track when entering school later than their peers or with different learning abilities.
Brentwood Methodist Church South Africa
Brentwood Pre-primary School provides the highest quality preschool education for grades RRR, RR, and R with a child-centric approach to teaching, learning, and spirituality. It serves the Mpophomeni and Tumbleweed communities by providing early childhood education that is responsive to current best practices and principles, in partnership with families, the church, and the community.
Preschool & Primary School
Thembelihle is an independent school providing quality education to young children from disadvantaged backgrounds in the villages surrounding Howick region, within the Province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. It is a registered non-profit organization catering to over 300 children from preschool to grade 7, covering ages 4 to 14.
"I want to be a chemical engineer, but I don't want to be a chemical engineer just to benefit myself. I want to learn to help other people who can't afford things. It's all about helping other people. That's what life is about."
Student. Servant Leader. Goal Setter.
Where Are We?
Our 3 partner schools serve the Tumbleweed community, Mpophomeni township, and Shiyabazali informal settlement around Howick. Howick is located in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa.
What is an informal settlement?
Informal settlements are housing areas that are built on municipal land. In South Africa, these settlements are found in a variety of areas and are home to a large percentage of the country’s impoverished population.
Many informal settlements in South Africa are connected to the Apartheid era, when government policies systematically segregated people based on race from housing, education and job opportunities.
Ways To Get Involved
Sponsor a child or teacher for the whole school year. South African schools begin classes in February of each year. We have reached our sponsorship goal for this year, but you can still make a general donation.
We take an annual trip to South Africa to visit our mission partners. Keep checking back for information about upcoming trips!