Our Story

We are driven by a strong desire to help disadvantaged children receive a good education. Read more to find out how we arrived here.

Our journey to Sawabona Africa e.V.

Zilla Stekhoven, founder of Sawabona Africa e.V. has had a life long passion to help others. Her journey to setting up Sawabona Africa comes with years of international experience which she brings to Sawabona Africa.

Zilla, a trained lawyer in South Africa, with post graduate studies in Psychology, has worked internationally across many fields. After studying Corporate Social Responsibility at the University in Geneva while a director at adidas in Germany, she explored her path towards setting up a charity. She founded Sawabona Africa in 2021.

With solid roots and family in South Africa and now a sound foundation in Germany, her vision was to connect these two countries on a totally different level. The goal is to create a platform where Germans and Europeans can donate to South African charities with no second thought or doubt! Through building transparent and trusting relationships, backed by a sound verification (due diligence) process and clear open reporting, Sawabona Africa e.V. aims to become the trusted partner for carefully selected southern African charities.

Poverty and unemployment in South Africa continue to rise despite the number of charities in operation.  This is compounded by the stories of corruption in South Africa, and charities doing good honest work are suffering as a result due to reduced funding.

We truly believe that education is a key driver to opening many doors of opportunity in a person’s life.  With the core foundation drivers of education, we charities, we believe are changing lives in a positive and meaningful way.

We hope you will join us on our journey to transform the lives of the less privileged in South Africa. A huge thanks to everyone who shares this vision and believe in us. 

Our motivation

Our key motivator is to make a positive difference in the lives of disadvantaged South Africans. Inequality and poverty in South Africa drive us to support those who otherwise have limited opportunities for a better future. 

63 %

of youth (age 15 – 24) are unemployed in South Africa

82 %

of all 10 yr olds can not read for meaning

50 %

Nearly 50% of the black population live below the poverty line

7 %

 of adults have a tertiary education

85 %

of those with a tertiary education are employed

50 %

 of primary school teachers have limited understanding of mathematics they teach