Posts in Category: South Africa

What Does “Back to School” Mean in South Africa?


As Fall is speeding by and children are well into their school routines again, we wanted to share an uplifting story about our Collette Cares South Africa project. Through partnership with Knysna Education Trust (KET), we have sponsored the building of a new preschool called Happy Faces – an appropriately named school as the 67 children who attended school there this past year were incredibly happy to have a safe, new environment for learning. This is the third school we have helped to build since beginning our partnership with KET in 2007.​

After a devastating fire at the Church where school was previously held occurred, Principal Elizabeth moved the ‘school’ into her own home for the sake of the children. The dedication of Elizabeth and others to making sure this community had a school after theirs was lost was inspiring. The Community as a whole is committed to the education of their children and has been participating in rebuilding this school.  The community understands that education will help their children by providing more opportunities in their lives.  In many cases, the meal the children receive at school is their only meal that day.

KET believes that “every child deserves at least one good meal a day and the right to a reasonable pre-school care and a competitive preschool education.  All children from the disadvantaged communities will be able to compete equally against the more privileged counterparts once they start attending primary school.”  This initiative is something that Collette Cares has supported since 2007 with over $170,000 in funding used to directly impact approximately 2,250 students through the KET Adopt a Child’s Education, renovating existing schools, adding Blackboards to over 30 schools, Holiday party support, backpack program and building new schools.  Our Spectacular South Africa Tours goes into the townships that KET supports and meets with the students we have helped.  Our guests have also been tremendous in supporting this endeavor while on tour as well as doing fundraisers after the tour.  We are very proud of all that we have been able to accomplish these past eight years and are thrilled to see so many Happy Faces. 

South Africa – Love in Numbers


Imagine changing the lives of 6,879 people who desperately needed it? Well, that’s what we’ve done so far — and we are so excited and inspired to do more!

In the 7 years that we’ve had active projects in South Africa, we have delivered 684 hippo rollers to the village of Kgautswane to make access to clean water easy and safe which has impacted 4,700 people in that community. 


In Knysna, we have provided 30 schools with chalk boards, built 1 preschool and impacted the lives of 1,879 children.

These projects have impacted more than 6,879 people and the numbers keep going up. These are just numbers, yes… but what counts is what these numbers really mean. And to the projects that we help in South Africa, the real impact has been life-changing. And that’s what keeps us going.

South Africa Hippo Rollers: Recent Delivery!

A group of Collette Foundation volunteers recently did a Hippo Roller drop off in the village of Kgautswane, South Africa. To date, more than 800 hippo rollers have been delivered to this community, truly enhancing the daily lives of those who live there.

From the recipients: The Collette Foundation once again personally delivered another 100 Hippo water Rollers to community members living at Kgautswane in South Africa. Clara Masinga facilitated and coordinated the handover which left an indelible mark on the donors. The beneficiaries were so grateful to receive their own Hippo roller – at last!

About this project: In South Africa, water is life. Millions of people worldwide are forced to walk long distances on a daily basis to collect the water needed for their families. The Collette Foundation is supporting rural communities in South Africa through a partnership with Hippo Water Rollers. In most communities the water is collected from afar and carried by women in small buckets on their heads. The hard, exhausting task not only leads to injury but simply does not provide enough clean water to support their families. Hippo Water Rollers were designed to alleviate the problem. These barrel-shaped containers hold, transport and store 90 liters of water. The rollers are so easy to use, children and the elderly are able to operate a full roller over any terrain. The use of Hippo Rollers in these remote villages allows for approximately five times the amount of water to be collected in far less time.

Little Rascals School Opening!

The Collette Foundation enthusiastically announces the Little Rascals School, located in South Africa, is officially open! Having worked closely with the Knysna Education Trust, we were able to revamp their initial building and develop a safe, stable and modern establishment through funding. Focusing on Early Childhood Development Centers (ECD), the Knysna Education Trust assists 26 facilities in hopes of providing disadvantaged children with the opportunity to obtain a solid education. Through their support, children receive an integrated education giving them the chance to rightfully benefit and build from their ever-progressing surroundings. Now the children of Little Rascals will be able to participate in preschool activities with a more focused approach due to their motivational atmosphere. We look forward to hearing more about the benefits of the new school!

South Africa Preschool — Construction is Underway

Good progress is being made to date at the Little Rascals Preschool in South Africa — largely in part to the funding of the Collette Foundation — and the school principal and children are very happy and cannot wait to move into the new premises. We are so excited to see the school coming along so quickly.

The focus for this week will be to get the new septic (sewage) tanks ready and finalized. The foundations for the new building, additional classrooms, will also be completed this week. Internal work  also continuing as all of the ceiling boards need to be replaced and the floor needs to be redone.

They have a wonderfully committed team of builders who are excited as well to see the children happy in their new school. The principal is currently accommodating the children in her home, and coping well under the circumstances.  She has been very involved in the upgrade and has been selecting pain colors, choosing wall murals and we are assisting her with Curtaining and other such materials.

Building a School in South Africa


The South African team is working closely with Knysna Educational Trust (KET) on the Little Rascals School.  Currently, the project is underway revamping parts of the current structure; roof cleaning, paint stripping, fixing the floor and a multitude of other task to upgrade the current structure. The Municipal approvals for the new building are in the final stages.  Once these are granted it will be full steam ahead with construction of the new school. During the construction Katie, the principal, has taken all of the children out of the existing building and is running the school from her home. Both Katie and the students are very excited about the new school.

South Africa Hippo Rollers Make a Splash

The Collette Foundation has always had a soft-spot for our Hippo Roller project in South Africa. These cylindrical containers keep villages more hydrated and allow for a much more efficient and safe transport system to get the water to the villages. In the years we have been delivering hippo rollers to the village of Kgautswane we have witnessed their positive effect on the village’s people.

Word about these marvelous containers is spreading fast… all the way to France! The Hippo Roller is one of 70 selected solutions (from over 1100 solutions) that will be exhibited at the Village of Solutions during the 6th World Water Forum in a few days in Marseille, France – the world’s largest water event!

Knysna, South Africa Student Graduates!

I love getting these kinds of letters! And what a great message to begin the week! From my friends at the Kynsna Educational Trust:

Iyema from Noluthando preschool has left and has started Grade 1 at ‘big school’.  Thank you so very much for allowing him the opportunity to be well prepared for Grade.

Zukhanyisa (pronounced ‘zoo-kun-yee-sa’) has been allocated in his place.  He was born in the summer of 2007.  He lives with his parents and siblings in a tiny home. Zukhanyisa is a very active little boy, and enjoys doing numerous activities. He is a bit shy but very excited to start school! Thank you so much for sponsoring his education – know it is so appreciated!”

South African Village Gets More Hippo Rollers

The Collette Foundation is excited to deliver 75 new Hippo Rollers in April to the village of Kgaustwane which we have been supporting consistently for five years. We have ordered them to be manufactured and a group visiting the site in April will personally deliver them!

What are Hippo Rollers? They are barrel-shaped containers that hold, transport and store 90 liters of water! The rollers are easy to use; in fact, children and the elderly are able to operate a full roller over any terrain. They are needed in many South African villages where water is collected from afar and carried by women in small buckets on their heads — a transport system that has led to injuries and did not provide enough clean water for full families. Hippo Rollers collect five times the amount of water in far less time.  The Collette Foundation has delivered over 600 Hippo Rollers to the village of Kgaustwane so far.

The Children of Kynsna Are Excelling

I receive updates quite often from our friends at the Knysna Educational Trust on children at preschools in the Knysna Township area, including Isiseko Educare and Noluthando. Through the trust, the Collette Foundation sponsors the education for at-risk children, has funded preschool renovations and provided education to the teachers to create a positive environment for the young children.

The latest news was very uplifting. The children are progressing well, and all meet the developmental requirements for their respective age groups. The preschool at Isiseko was recently gifted with a great set of educational resources including art equipment, musical equipment, math sets, language sets, fantasy clothing, books and toys. The children are happy with the new resources — and the teachers benefit from it as well!

I always enjoy receiving artwork the children make and progress reports that showcase how eager they are to learn and how far they’ve come. These messages are especially warming during the holidays.

Artwork from one of the students benefitting from the Knysna Educational Trust and Collette Foundation.