Education grant to transform the lives of South Africans in the Winelands

Wednesday, 2 August, 2017
Doug Carew
Through a fund directed by James Walton, the Walton Family Foundation has approved an initial grant of over R4 million to the Indaba Education Fund, which provides early childhood teacher training, learning materials and infrastructure to transform the education of young, at-risk children living in the South African Winelands.

“In partnership with the Indaba Education Fund, more children in South Africa will have the opportunity to experience Montessori education at its finest,” offered Nora Flood, Education Director for James Walton.

The IEF, a fully accredited 501(c)(3) nonprofit organisation, was established by New York based wine importer Cape Classics to dramatically improve educational opportunities in the South African Winelands, by training and certifying teachers to world-class Montessori standards. The training takes place at the Indaba Montessori Institute near Stellenbosch in the heart of South Africa’s wine industry.

“IEF transforms the lives of young South Africans by providing quality early childhood education, the aim is to ensure children can realise their full potential, broadening their career and life opportunities,” said Andre Shearer, Founder and Chairman of the Indaba Education Fund.

Shearer said the grant from the Walton Family Foundation would be used for Association Montessori International accredited Trainer and Assistant training, and to fund bursaries for deserving students.

“We know that 50% of South Africans under 5 are subject to abject poverty and 70% of those under 4 don't have access to early childhood education, with the inevitable result that less than 50% of learners enrolled for Grade 1 in 2002 graduated Grade 12 in 2014,” explained Shearer.

“Coupled with research which found the most rapid brain development occurs before age 5, there is a dire need to provide children with access to a world-class foundation of learning. The grant will assist the IEF in ensuring thousands of children will have better school preparedness, setting them up for future success and the opportunity to realise their dreams.”

Interested parties can call +27.218813196, email admin@indabamontessoriinstitute.org or visit indabamontessoriinstitute.org for more information.

Andre Shearer, Founder and Chairman of the Indaba Education Fund
Andre Shearer, Founder and Chairman of the Indaba Education Fund

Story time at the Lynedoch Early Learning Centre in the Winelands outside Stellenbosch
Story time at the Lynedoch Early Learning Centre in the Winelands outside Stellenbosch

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