Message from the Founder

Back in 2007 we created an organisation dedicated to improve the lives of the impoverished community living in the rural area of Bainsvlei, situated 15km to the west of Bloemfontein.

Tjhabelang Primary School was established based on the belief that a child’s experiences in the first six years of his or her life are fundamental to shaping his or her attitude and approach to education in general. Economist have also shown the benefits that early childhood services bring for young children. Intervening later is more expensive and less effective.

Bloemfontein is home to some of the best schools in South Africa. However, disadvantaged rural children face several barriers to access these excellent  educational opportunities; their parents cannot afford the school fees, transport to school, uniforms and other requirements. Furthermore, rural children generally lack the academic and social foundation to compete with learners from more privileged backgrounds. It is this foundation that Tjhabelang is providing. Our greatest happiness comes from seeing minds open to the possibility that life offers unlimited opportunities, that the right skills and attitude can lift people out of poverty and onto a path of purposeful self-determination.

It is a tremendous responsibility to facilitate the process of instilling out core values “compassion, optimism, respect and excellence” within our learners, for such values will provide them with motivation and guidance throughout their lives. Our motto “By the grace of God” encourages us to seize every opportunity to teach and model the values. Our vision “guiding children on a journey towards confidence, independence and meaningful lives” can only be realised by people who see the learning process as a mutual experience and by working in close partnership with all stakeholders.

I would like to thank the team for their tireless commitment and hard work as well as the many supporters and donors, without whom we could not keep the dream alive. Tjhabelang, a Sotho word meaning “to shine and to keep on shining” continues to shine brighter than ever!

On behalf of the Tjhabelang community, thank you.

Engela Fourie (Founder / Project Director)



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