CommunityDigital LearningKruger National Park, Sabi Sand - South Africa
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Without access to technology, the teachers and learners of many schools in rural areas are at a significant disadvantage compared to their urban counterparts.


In 2015, Singita Lowveld Trust, our conservation partner in South Africa, made a commitment to bring the benefits of digital learning to the communities near Singita Sabi Sand. We first partnered with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Mpumalanga Department of Education in a teaching and technology project that equipped all 19 primary schools in the Ximhungwe district with satellites, connectivity and a number of laptops, tablets and projectors. Over 300 educators completed educational technology and literacy courses via an e-learning platform and received facilitator-led Microsoft training. In 2018 the technology and teaching initiative was fully integrated into the Mpumalanga Department of Education’s programming.

This allowed us to focus on learners through a partnership with internationally recognised NGO, the Good Work Foundation (GWF). GWF’s model delivers digital-era literacy education and career training via community-driven digital learning centres of excellence, of which there are currently five around the Sabi Sand area. Singita Lowveld Trust made a three year commitment to GWF as primary sponsor of the Justicia Digital Learning Campus (JDLC), located in the village closest to Singita Sabi Sand.

Key Successes:

For both English and Maths, learners participating in the Open Learning Academy improve by at least 40% on internal benchmark exams.


Over 120 previously unemployed rural adults have graduated with internationally recognised qualifications in IT, English and hospitality management through the Bridging Academy.

How it works:
  • The JDLC operates an Open Learning Academy for school-aged learners and a Bridging Academy for high school graduates.
  • The Open Learning Academy allows local schools to outsource their digital, English and mathematics literacy and supports learners from Grade 4 onwards. Conservation, coding and robotics subjects have been added as recent enhancements to the curriculum.
  • The Bridging Academy creates an access bridge between school and work or further education, preparing rural school leavers for life in modern business environments. Youth on the Bridging Academy programme work with a student counsellor who assists them with a career interest profile and a career journey plan.
  • Further training is available at GWF’s Advanced Career Training Academies offered at the central campus in nearby Hazyview. Accredited courses respond to the needs of the community, and include Conservation, Hospitality and ICT.
  • Another key component of the programme is the Coaching for Conservation programme. The “Rhino Rap” workshop is a fun, soccer-based, interactive experience that builds awareness for our natural environment as well as the long-term negative effects of poaching.
  • Singita is opening the eyes of Grade 6 learner to the wonders of wildlife and nature through educational game drives. Despite the children growing up in just outside the gate to the reserve, for most this is their very first exposure to these animals and is a great platform to bring conservation to life.
  • On completion of the Hazyview Cluster of digital learning campuses in 2020, GWF aims to provide access to digital learning to 26,500 youth and scholars who live adjacent to the greater Sabi Sand reserve.
How you can help:
  • Make a contribution to enhance the opportunities available to children in the Open Learning Academy.
  • Donations will go towards the provision of Boogie Boards (innovative, affordable eWriter tablets) or robotic kits through which students learn to assemble and code - encouraging computational thinking and creative problem-solving.
Other Areas of Conservation