From Womb to Grave

The Hantam Community Education Trust is a comprehensive educational and development project situated east of Colesberg in the Great Karoo. Although it began housed in a complex built on land donated by local farmers, as a play school 28 years ago, it has grown into more than a community, a wind of hope.

Today the project holds an early learning center, primary school, and intermediate school, utilizing advanced educational methods, including innovative new approaches to achieving basic numeracy and literacy, helping its learners to complete further education and training while managing the community health and youth development program what led to multiple awards, including the State President’s Award for Community Initiative in the Northern Cape,

18700801_620205128178911_6753036361526907403_o - Copy - Copy_edited_edited.jpg




members of the local community within the framework provided by the South African Constitution.


capital through education, training, skills acquisition, and health and community care.


 to enhance the quality of life of all the people in this rural area.


models, to improve education and contribute to development more generally.

Our Approach

The Karoo is an extremely deprived region, and many of its inhabitants are very poor and disadvantaged. Our goal is to break this cycle of poverty and disempowerment and place individuals and families on a different development path.

We have learned that development must be holistic; one cannot address aspects in isolation and hope to succeed.

Therefore, we have gradually expanded our activities until they encompass the education and development of children from birth through their formal education and training to the start of their working careers. We also support their families and others in the broader community. This is the only route to sustainable development.

Our ultimate goal is to help young people in this area to maximize their abilities and become active and productive citizens. Besides benefiting themselves and their families, they also need to serve as role models, showing other young people that, if they are determined enough, they could also change their lives.

We also seek to inform education and development more widely by testing educational and other models that could be taken to scale. While we don’t necessarily believe our methods could be replicated everywhere else, we do believe they hold broader lessons for development in South Africa and hope they will be of value to policy-makers and planners.