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A letter from an alumnus requesting funding for a tutoring program in South Africa

June 24, 2002

Dear fellow Tigers,

I am in my second year teaching math at the University of Cape Town (UCT) as part of the Princeton in Africa Cape Town program. Last year I started taking some of the better students from my undergraduate class to tutor at a high school in Langa township. Since then I have been seeking funding to enhance and expand the project but have found it difficult in a country with so many problems and so few resources.

The Ukufundisa Isizwe Educational Empowerment Program is a math-tutoring project in its second year of operation. As high schools in South African townships suffer from particularly low matriculation pass rates, the need for math tutors is evident. There are salient obstacles that impede effective academic tutoring for black South Africans. The Ukufundisa Isizwe Educational Empowerment Programme (U.I.) effectively combats these obstacles in three ways:

  • U.I. places first-year varsity students who speak indigenous African languages in the slot of tutor, working in tandem with high school mathematics teachers. These varsity students continue on with the tutorial program until they graduate, thereby providing the consistency and role models that are needed and deserved by the high school students in Langa township.

  • U.I. gives its learners a more comprehensive view of the world by incorporating field trip expeditions to UCT, sponsoring corporations, government forums, cultural events, or other locations deemed to have educational merit by staff.

  • U.I. buttresses its math tutorials with career counselling workshops hosted by the Zithembe Community Center in Langa (a partner organisation).

As of July 2002, Ukufundisa Isizwe needs $7,000 to meet its financial requirements for the next two years. I am hoping this letter will reach those Princetonians eager to make a contribution towards Africa’s future.

Please feel free to contact me via email (charlottestanton@yahoo.com) with further questions about Ukufundisa Isizwe.

Charlotte Stanton ‘00
Assistant Lecturer
Department of Mathematics and Applied Maths
University of Cape Town

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