Thuso Fund profileThe Thuso Fund founded by MySchool is making a difference in the lives of learners from under-resourced schools across South Africa.  In Observatory, Cape Town, it’s helping ensure that learners at three schools eat a healthy, nutritious lunch. In Atlantis, it’s supplying much-needed stationery and food. And in the Eastern Cape, it’s giving learners some of the basic school supplies they need.


Edible Garden Brings Fun and Food to Observatory Schools

A recently installed edible garden at Observatory Junior School will yield nearly 10 kg of fresh produce every day, benefitting three schools in the Observatory and Salt River area.  Funded by MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet in partnership with Woolworths Financial Services, in response to a need identified by the school, the garden will benefit nearly 1 500 learners from Dryden Primary School, Mary-Kihn Primary and Observatory Junior School.


The 400 m2 garden includes 40 different varieties of vegetables and herbs - aubergine, tomato, spinach, leeks, cabbage, broccoli, beetroot, rosemary, thyme, basil and many more.

Observatory Junior School is hosting the garden, but produce harvested from the garden will go to all three schools, contributing to the lunch made for learners at school every day. All three schools will also use the garden as an educational resource centre, actively involving learners in managing the garden.

Adding fresh, locally grown produce to the learners’ diets has great nutritional value and added to that is the experience of growing their own food. They learn from the garden – planting, growing, harvesting and then eating the food they’ve grown.


“Learners from many different areas in Cape Town come to school at these three schools in Observatory and Salt River every day, many of them without a packed lunch and from homes where there are no gardens. The edible garden at Observatory Junior School is our contribution towards giving more learners access to fresh food and a living garden where they can learn how to grow food and take responsibility for the upkeep of the garden,” says Helene Brand, MySchool’s CSI Manager.

Says Andy Clark, Head of Transformation at Woolworths Financial Services: “We’ve worked with all three schools through our participation in the Community of Learning Principals and the Partners for Possibility initiative and wanted to continue supporting them, so they can continue on their journey to be more sustainable and independent. They are run by highly committed staff and are motivated to participate in initiatives that will benefit their learners. We are hoping to roll out more gardens at schools in the area, contributing to the communities in which we operate.”

Urban Harvest, who installed this garden, have installed over 250 gardens so far, more than half of those at schools in the greater Cape Town area. According to Ben Getz from Urban Harvest, the edible garden teaches learners that ‘you reap what you sow’. In the garden hard work pays off in many ways and the learners gain a greater sense of responsibility. They also gain a sensitivity to and an appreciation for quiet, meditative, slow time when weeding or feeding the garden. They learn about keeping space neat and organised and a respect for nature and its lessons.

Tutu desk

Over 3000 lap desk and 1300 backpacks filled with stationery will be donated to under resources schools in the Eastern Cape

Several schools in the Eastern Cape will be receiving Tutudesks (portable lap desks) to assist with classroom desk shortages in the province. As an additional donation 1000 learners from selected schools will also be receiving a backpack filled with stationery. Listed below are the Schools receiving this donation.

  • Elufefeni Primary School - 791 children being supported - 71 % desk shortage
  • Arcadia Primary School - 1 019 children being supported - 69% desk shortage
  • Kuhle Primary School Bisho - 450 children being assisted - 93% desk shortage
  • Komga Public School - 671 children being assisted - 55% desk shortage
  • Vukile Tshwete Senior Secondary - 330 learners being assisted - 59% desk shortage

In South Africa alone an estimated 3 million children do not have a classroom desk. Across the Sub-Saharan Africa region this number escalates to almost 100 million children who attend school without the benefit of a classroom desk to work at. The Tutudesk Campaign is addressing classroom desk shortages by providing children with access to portable desks, known as Tutudesks, and in so doing is improving access, supporting literacy development and enhancing academic performance amongst the beneficiaries of the programme.

Atlantis Pre School

R10 000 goes towards stationery, school books and food to a needy pre-school in Atlantis

Through the Thuso Fund stationery, school books and food to value of R10 000 was donated to Lelies van Die Duine pre-school in Atlantis. The school, which has no electricity or running water, is run by three teachers, Georgina Kastoor, Michelle Mentor and Noelene Stoffels. Yet despite the difficult conditions, these three angels have never complained.

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