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Education and welfare

We focus about 60% of our annual income on our scholarship programme in Grahamstown, South Africa.  This is transformative for our scholars.  We hope that they will go on to make a difference within Grahamstown.

The remaining 40% of our income we spend on more general education and welfare projects to improve the lives of a wider number of young people in Grahamstown.

You can read more about our scholarships and our education and welfare projects, below. 


Also, have a look at our gallery.

What We Do

A FOGADD scholar (now studying sports psychology at university).


We transform life chances

In Grahamstown, any student leaving school without the end-of-school qualification (known as "matric") faces bleak prospects. 

But many bright students cannot attend a good state school which will give them the qualification.  This is because they cannot afford the top-up fees charged by the better state schools.  These fees aren't for luxuries.  The fees supplement inadequate government funding, and pay for basics - paper, books, teaching staff.   


So, at age 11, the die is cast.  Poor students will attend a 'no fee' school, and leave without a qualification.  A life of unemployment awaits.

The top-up fees that stand between them and a qualification are modest - about £60 per month.   FOGADD pays the top-up fees for a number of bright students from poor families (our 'scholars'), enabling them to attend schools

delivering better results.

By giving bright kids the chance of a decent education, FOGADD transforms their  life chances.  We help break the cycle of poverty and contribute to a better future for Grahamstown.  

You can read about a typical scholar in our Stories below.

nkole luvowethu.jpg


We give a second chance

And what about the students who we cannot take on as scholars and who end up at  the 'no fee' schools?   Whilst many leave school with no qualification, all is not lost. 


FOGADD helps fund a one year "Matric School" which students can attend after the end of their state schooling.  This additional year of intensive tuition is highly successful in enabling students to catch up and to achieve Matric or improve their Matric grades.

You can read more about the "Matric School" In our Stories.


Supporting education and welfare

Our funding of scholarships and Matric School transforms the lives of a small number of students - but we also want to make a difference on a wider scale.


So we help fund the following education and welfare projects in and around Grahamstown:


        GADRA (Grahamstown and District Relief Association) is a well respected organisation which has been operating in Grahamstown for over 60 years (they run the Matric School mentioned above).  Our funding is helping them to implement an ambitious plan to improve failing schools in Grahamstown.  This has contributed significantly to a record number of students gaining high Matric passes.  Our funding also supports GADRA's mobile science lab which tours schools, enabling students to undertake practical work in biology and physics.          

        Whistle Stop is a project (run by GADRA) which provides 45 minutes of daily support to primary school pupils who are falling behind with their reading.


This project has developed from a realisation that poor reading skills at primary school are often at the root of limited achievement in secondary education.  The Whistle Stop results are excellent.    Primary pupils not only catch up on their reading skills, they often overtake their peers.   Read more about Whistle Stop in our Stories.


         St Mary's Development and Care Centre tackles the very regular problem of pupils coming to school hungry.  It provides hot meals to over 160 young people - often their only hot meal of the day.  St Mary's also provides an after school club, health screening and homework support.  All essential services to give the young people a chance to make the most of their education.         


St Marys DCC children 2.PNG

Children at St Mary's Development and Care Centre


        Child and Family Welfare  is an organisation working with children suffering abuse and neglect.  It also runs three safe houses for children up to the age of 16.  In 2019, Child and Family Welfare won an award as 'Best in the Eastern Cape' for its childcare and child protection work.

        Siyazama provides pre-school education to its young pupils, helping give them the best start in life.  Many come to school hungry, so they are also provided with food.  Siyazama also works with the community, providing workshops on AIDS, nutrition and financial planning.



Breakfast at Siyazama


Grahamstown, South Africa

Grahamstown is in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, about 75 miles north-east of Port Elizabeth.

Like many places in South Africa, Grahamstown has significant, enduring and deep-rooted problems. 


Unemployment runs at 35%.  More than 20% of the population have HIV.  Debt and poverty is rife.

But the situation is not hopeless.  


Grahamstown recently changed its official name to Makhanda.  The name hasn't fully caught on yet in either the UK or South Africa. 


So, for the moment, we continue to call it Grahamstown.

Grahamstown is also home to an active cohort of forward-thinking and energetic citizens, intent on creating a better future for Grahamstown.

Stories - how it began


How it all began

In 2001, whilst working at Rhodes University, Professor Christopher Megone of Leeds University was invited to attend  the end-of-year  prize giving at the Grahamstown Primary School. 


Many of the prizes were awarded to the same bright, young pupil in her last year of primary schooling.  

Professor Megone remarked to the head teacher that the young student had far to go - but he learned that was not the case. 


The head teacher explained that the pupil came from a poor family who were unable to afford the 'top up' fees charged by all the good secondary schools to supplement inadequate state funding.      


The little girl was destined to attend a 'no fee' school.   She would receive a sub-standard secondary education and, despite her potential, was unlikely to achieve a qualification. 

The story has a happy ending.  The 'top up' fees were paid for the young student over the next 7 years of her education.  She continued to excel, and went on to university.  She is now a qualified accountant.    


One scholar's story

Lynique's story is not unusual.


Like many in Grahamstown, Lynique lived in cramped conditions, not conducive to schoolwork.  Despite this, Lynique's abilities shone through, and she was selected as a FOGADD scholar.


The year she was due to move to high school, Lynique's mother died.  Lynique started living with her grandparents.  She enjoyed her new school, especially the sport.

However, when she was 16, her grandfather passed away.  The following year Lynique’s granny also died.  Not surprisingly, she was badly affected and her work suffered.

Initially she stayed with an uncle but the situation was very difficult.  A generous FOGADD supporter agreed to fund the extra cost of boarding school fees for Lynique.


Despite her many disadvantages, we are delighted that Lynique passed her Matric and is now studying at Rhodes University to become a teacher. 

Stories - One scholar's story


More on GADRA 'Matric School'

With youth unemployment running at 54% in Grahamstown, failure in Matric, the end-of-school qualification, has a lifelong impact.  

GADRA Matric School provides a second chance to those from deprived backgrounds who have failed Matric or gained poor grades (frequently due to poor teaching).  In 2022, 237 students received intensive tuition aimed at enabling them to pass Matric with sufficient grades to attend University.

Results have been excellent.   Almost 100% passed Matric with 83% passing

Matric School.PNG

at the highest level. 


Many of the Matric School  students go on to attend Rhodes University in Grahamstown (120 have registered at Rhodes in 2023), where the Vice Chancellor is working hard to make the university more accessible to disadvantaged, local young people.  You can read more about GADRA's university successes in this report​.

Matric School


Whistle Stop

More on Whistle Stop

In South Africa, 78% of 9-10 year olds cannot 'read for meaning'.  The percentage is increasing.


Whistle Stop is an initiative which has dramatically improved reading skills in the schools in which it operates.  You can watch a video about Whistle Stop here to learn about the Whistle Stop method, and the challenges it is addressing.

At 'no fee' schools in South Africa, goverment funding is not enough to pay for teachers, let alone school maintenance.  In 2023, after a generous one-off donation to FOGADD, we provided funding to Whistle Stop to refurbish the Grade 4 classroom at Tantyi, a poor area of Grahamstown. 


Although in daily use, the classroom had no door, broken windows, missing floor tiles and an unuseable blackboard.  Thanks to our donation, the classroom is now fit for purpose, enabling pupils to learn better.

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