Eduvator is a new crowd-funding platform for educational needs. It is the brainchild of Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellows Jacqui Watson, Mbali Sikakana and Batandwa Alperstein, and was founded on the principal that anyone can contribute to solving the infrastructural issues that affect the education sector in South Africa. The project identifies schools that are desperately in need of resources and through a network of NGOs it uses multimedia storytelling to motivate and unite citizens in solving problems that hinder the children’s education, particularly in the early learning phase.
Three Sisters Educare in Philippi, Cape Town, is Eduvator’s pilot project. They hope to raise R1 million in two R500 000 phases.
Three Sisters Educare, a school for impoverished children in Phillipi, was set up by Zanele Mguqi. She started the school with nothing but a love of children, passion for education and a heart bigger than her bank balance. It stands amongst the shacks and dusty playgrounds of Philippi, an informal settlement in Cape Town that is home to approximately 191 000 people.
“Before the Educare it was dangerous for the kids”, says Mguqi. She describes an extremely painful time for the community when three children from the area were raped, and two were murdered.
Mguqi has always felt a passionate protection over the children of Philippi. “Someone who is hurting the kids, is hurting me” she says fiercely.
Eduvator’s campaign would enable the building of two double classroom blocks along with toilet and kitchen facilities for Three Sisters. This amount of money seems like a lot to ask. But Eduvator offers an easier fund-raising strategy: they ask five thousand people to donate only R100 each. It’s less than the cost of a single restaurant meal, but all together it could pay for a school.
In the mean time, Mguqi dreams of unlocking each of her students’ potential.
“If we get a swimming pool, we would be glad. Maybe one of them is a swimmer, we don’t know. There could be sailor, we don’t know. When you teach children you have to think of their careers. They can be pilots, they can be teachers, and they could be a president. They get a better future from their roots, and the Educare is their roots”.