Bright Start Education Support Programme was founded in 2008 as a non-profit organisation based in Hout Bay, Cape Town. Bright Start provides opportunities for children from Hout Bay's poor and underprivileged communities to attend schools with a good track record.
Paying for school fees alone is not enough to guarantee success for the child. Therefore we take a holistic approach that includes mentorship, guidance of the parent and child, extramural activities, cultural enrichment, additional math lessons and medical care through supporting partners. The aim of our programme is to address the cycle of poverty at the start by offering qualifying families the opportunity for their children to graduate from school with confidence and self-esteem, thereby becoming economically active and valued citizens of South Africa.
Bright Start works within two townships located in Hout Bay: Imizamo Yethu (IY) is a diverse community that is home to 36 700 people, while Hangberg has a further 14 000 people reside in the fishing community. South Africa’s oppressive past, which excluded people of colour from equal opportunities, has left Hout Bay’s poor trapped in a perpetual web of systemic poverty. Bright Start’s response is to offer quality educational opportunities to the children trapped in poverty and destined to receive only limited opportunities in under-resourced schools.
Our Education and Mentorship Support Programme addresses youth unemployment and bridges the socio-economic gap between the rich and the poor by funding the scholarships of previously disadvantaged learners. The programme commits to seeing each learner from preschool to high school to improve their chances, both socially and academically, to access tertiary institutions and the labour market.
Currently we have 36 Bright Starters from the Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg community. Since 2016, we have received more than 70 applicants and have a lot more on the waiting list. With more funding, we are hoping to increase our intake. Bright Start is making an impact by exposing children from disadvantaged communities to best-practice education opportunities and these children have risen to the occasion by consistently achieving a 100% pass rate.
The additional tutoring and psycho-social mentoring (weekly) has resulted in 90% of our children producing above average results. Reputable secondary schools are enrolling learners who have completed Primary School on the Bright Start programme. No one has ever dropped out of a Bright Start programme.
Visit brightstart.org.za for more information