A fair start in life

Press Release

June 2024

A fair start in life: Sawabona Africa launches new partner charity for early childhood development classrooms

Munich, June, 2024 – Sawabona Africa is now supporting the charity Impande to provide children in the poorest regions of South Africa with better educational opportunities. The new partnership will kick off with a fundraising campaign to raise money for infrastructure projects.

Promoting early child development (ECD) plays an important role, especially in countries where girls and boys are denied access to good education due to poverty. ECD centers are critical in the provision of learning and play environments in which society’s youngest children are prepared for the start of school. In South Africa, nearly two-thirds of children 0-5 years (3.3 million) do not have access to an Early Learning Programme.  (ECD Census, South Africa, 2021).

Mission: A fair start in life

An important player in this environment is Impande Yotshani (Impande). The charity operates in the rural areas of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, both of which are among the poorest regions in South Africa. Impande supports local ECD centres to provide quality learning programmes to ensure greater educational equality. To fully qualify based on government standards and to receive subsidies for learning centres, appropriate and safe infrastructure needs to be provided. This ranges from a classroom with age-appropriate learning materials and toys, a hygienic food preparation area (kitchen), an area where a sick child may be temporarily isolated from others, safe, toilet facilities, and fencing to enclose outdoor areas.

Goal: Building new classrooms

As part of the partnership with Impande, Sawabona Africa is seeking donations for infrastructure projects. The goal is to build new, suitably equipped classrooms and the required infrastructure.

In line with Sawabona Africa’s specially developed due diligence process, Impande’s model was fully examined and verified. All donations collected go directly to the program. Sawabona Africa charges no administration fees and reports regularly and transparently on the progress of donations.

“This partnership is another important step towards our goal of giving disadvantaged children in South Africa a better life,” explains Zilla Stekhoven, founder of Sawabona Africa. The South African-trained lawyer worked internationally in many areas before founding Sawabona Africa in 2021. “With Impande’s expertise, influence and capabilities, we can ensure that financial resources are used effectively and achieve long-term impact in the education of Africa’s youngest children.”

inside a preschool

Images: Many regions in South Africa lack classrooms with age-appropriate learning materials, cooking facilities for meals and sanitary facilities. (Source: Impande)

Impande after

Image: ECD Centres create high quality learning and play environments in which the youngest members of society are prepared for the start of school. Source: Sawabona Africa

Sawabona Africa:


Press Contact:

Natalie Burkhart
Sendlinger-Tor-Platz 6
80336 München
Tel.: 089/59997-804