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South Africa

South Africa is a place of stunning physical beauty and rich cultural history. With a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions, South Africa is one of the most developed countries in all of Africa, and is home to many of the continent’s top universities. However, despite its cultural and economic development, it was also home to some of the greatest civil injustices of the 20th century and continues to suffer from extreme inequality as a result of the commodification of it’s people and land during colonization.

With a Gini Coefficient of 65.0 (2011 World Bank Estimate), South Africa has one of the most unequal income distributions in the world.

Though the legal institution of Apartheid ended in 1994, the effects of this discriminatory political system are still evident in many spheres of South African life.

With a population of 52.52 million (2014 World Bank Estimate), the country suffers from an unemployment rate of 24.9% (2013 World Bank Estimate).

Under British Colonial Rule and the Apartheid Regime, people of color were systematically denied access to equal education. Today, public government schools average 30 learners per class and in 2012, 26% of learners failed the National Senior Certificate Examination.

(Department of Education)

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Cape Town

Kaapstad (Afrikaans)

iKapa (isiXhosa)

Population: 3.47 million (2011 census)

Cape Town is home to roughly 64% of the Western Cape’s population.One Heart Source has been operating programs in Cape Town since 2012. As we continue to develop and evolve our programs to the needs of the local schools and communities, volunteers serve as academic mentors at public government schools. Through our proven mentorship model, volunteers provide some of the most disadvantaged and underrepresented students in the world with opportunities to excel both academically and personally.

“In 2012, the highest proportion of learners in ordinary schools [in the Western Cape] was located in the foundation phase (32.3%). As one moves up to higher levels within the schooling system, the proportion of learners decreases.”
(Department of Education)

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IMIZAMO YETHU (isiXhosa)

‘Our Collective Struggle’ (English)

More commonly known as “IY” or “Mandela Park”, this informal settlement was established in the early 1900’s is unique to Cape Town as it is one of the only informal settlements that is nestled among both affluent and middle income residents of Hout Bay, whereas the majority of townships were intentionally developed in the outskirts of Cape Town city.

Hout Bay is a small valley suburb of Cape Town surrounded by mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. With a total population of about 42,000 people, the beauty of Hout Bay is juxtaposed with stark social stratification and inequality between three distinct communities that are both racially and economically defined.  

Imizamo Yethu is home to an estimated 25-35,000 people and is situated on approximately 18 hectares of land, which equals roughly 44.5 acres.

Roughly 60% of residents in Hout Bay live in Imizamo Yethu, and the majority of residents have little or no access to stable infrastructure, such as running water, adequate plumbing, electricity, and waste management. Despite the great social needs, there is an even stronger sense of community and hope amongst residents.

The G.I.F.T.E.D. Community

Greatness Initiative for Township Education Development

In 2012 One Heart Source designed and implemented a high-quality mentorship program known as the G.I.F.T.E.D. Community. Each year,we welcome approximately 20 new Grade 3 students and continue to work in close collaboration with the teachers and administration at local primary schools to officially enroll 66 students in the G.I.F.T.E.D. Community.