The journey of DSF...
In 2006, the Dukathole Scholarship Fund began providing scholarships that allowed high-achieving children living in an informal settlement in Johannesburg to attend quality day schools. In addition, the fund provided supplies and uniforms as well as emergency health care.
During a visit with the children in 2012, we realized that despite our best efforts the students were in danger of being lost to the streets of Dukathole. The kindergarteners we met six years prior were quickly approaching puberty and were being forced to grow up very quickly. We decided then to shift our focus to providing boarding school opportunities for the children.
In 2013 our dream to begin placing our students in top boarding schools became a reaility with our very youngest scholar being accepted into prestegious Max Stibbe School in Pretoria. The following year our first male scholar was accepted into top ranked Jeppe High, and two additional girls were accepted at Potchefstroom School for Girls. In 2015 all ten of our scholars were placed at top schools. This shift in focus has provided the children with the opportunity they deserve, but it also has meant rethinking our "small" project. As a result we have enhanced our program to include leadership training, extensive cultural experiences, and opportunities to give back to their community, thus developing a more comprehensive roadmap for their futures. We feel this goal will not only provide our children with this important next step in their education, but will prepare them with the skills to become the future leaders of South Africa.
Dukathole (aka "Dikatole") is an informal housing settlement near Johannesburg, South Africa, where close to 30,000 people live in extreme poverty. People here have limited access to proper nutrition, clean water, health care and education. Many children in Dukathole are orphaned by HIV/AIDS or simply abandoned; thus at a very early age they have the sole responsibility to fend for themselves and often their younger siblings. Without intervention, quality education would be impossible for the children of Dukathole.