Inkululeko’s mission is to provide South African township youth with the skills, support and guidance necessary to apply, attend and succeed in university; to challenge the bigotry of low expectations for township youth; and to provide sustainable, positive change; student-by-student, generation-by-generation.
The organization is structured to be heavily woven into the local community it serves. Inkululeko works with the Grahamstown community to identify challenges and opportunities in education and works within existing frameworks and systems to address those challenges and capitalize upon those opportunities. Qualified staff with knowledge of the local culture are hired from the township to help lead key Inkululeko initiatives. The Board of Directors is made up of citizens from a wide variety of backgrounds from both the USA and South Africa. The organization also has a Board of Advisors. The Board of Advisors is made up of local South Africans familiar with the township. The Board of Advisors is tasked with providing feedback as to how we can better serve the community and continually improve our processes.
Inkululeko enjoys robust collaborations with Rhodes University Office of Community Engagement and Social Development to obtain high-quality, low-cost tutors from the School of Education to work one-on-one with Inkululeko youth. It is also collaborating with other non-profit entities in Grahamstown that work with children to share ideas, resources and insight.
Inkululeko has also collaborated extensively with Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, USA, as well as student and faculty volunteers working in Grahamstown The volunteers from universities around the world support, not supplant, staff member efforts.
Here is our 2018 annual report.
Inkululeko is a space for youth from previously disadvantaged backgrounds to individually, and collectively, improve on areas of academic deficiency. It is a place where motivated students, regardless of socio-economic status, race, gender, religious affiliation, sexual orientation or nationality, will be provided with academic and moral support to perform at the highest level.
Inkululeko is a place where socio-economic disparities and bigotry will not be used as excuses for why students cannot succeed. Students, staff and the community will prove to themselves, and each other, that with support, motivation and a desire to learn, success is possible.
Inkululeko recognizes that every person has the right to pursue a high-quality education that prepares them for university, or to enter a career field of their choice.
Inkululeko recognizes that socio-economic disparities are entrenched as a result of the aftermath of apartheid. These socio-economic disparities can be combated with education and the opportunity it brings by allowing youth—born in a new, democratic South Africa—to pursue their dreams of higher education and provide for themselves and their families.
Inkululeko believes that impoverished people are impoverished—not inherently unable to succeed. Providing opportunities, support and praise for people to pursue their education can have a monumental impact on how people view themselves, and in turn, how they view what is possible in their own lives.
Inkululeko has worked very closely with Syracuse University for many years. It has worked with students in the Whitman School of Business, the School of Education, the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, the David B. Falk School of Sport and Human Dynamics, the Law School, and in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. It also has a robust partnership with the Mary Ann Shaw Center for Public and Community Service as well as Syracuse University Abroad.
Each summer, SU Abroad and Inkululeko collaborate on a short-term summer course. This course examines pre and post-apartheid South Africa through a critical lens and explores the effects of controlling education to maintain the status quo in apartheid-era South Africa. It examines the role and the impact of education in modern day South Africa and its potential to uplift previously disadvantaged populations in the young democracy.Interested in having your university collaborate with Inkululeko? Fill out this form and email to Jason Torreano.