Driving Spirit

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Driving Spirit: Social and Community Development in Townships in Cape Town

Cape Town, South AfricaCape Town , South Africa
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Driving Spirit is an organisation working within the poverty-striken area of Phillipi Township. We are currently building a kindergarten in the township, and we are planning future projects to generate work opportunities for the people of Philippi.


WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

WHAT IF....every child had access to an education?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Every child should be able to have a place to where they can have a basic education, in an environment that’s welcoming and safe, but sadly there are many of children in the Townships of Cape Town that don’t. The obstacles faced by the people of Philippi are stark, and education is a commodity, with a majority of children leaving the education system at a young age. Without a basic education the cycle of poverty seems endless.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We are currently building a kindergarten for these children, and hopefully get books and educational materials for them, as well as create structure and safety in their lives. We aim to create an environment where they can do their homework and learn, so they can keep up with their peers before they reach school age. Funding will help us employ teachers to oversee their progress and we also hope to provide a warm meal for them at lunchtime. Our future aim is to provide a basic level of healthcare for the children and the community, and we will invite students and other professionals to the township to apply their skills in a challenging environment that is in need of basic necessities.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The children will be receiving a basic level of education in a safe environment; there is no facility to do this at present, and a lot of the older children in the township tend to drop out of school due to a lack of support and the means to learn and progress. After the construction has been completed, the kindergarten will have three separate structures for the children to learn in. Educational materials will be sourced to ensure that the children have the necessary tools to learn and complete homework. The children will get a sense of discipline, and we will make provisions to reward them for their hard-work and input. Other projects and initiatives can use the kindergarten’s site as a focal point and base of operations.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

When we started to clear the site before the construction began, the children and members of the community joined us without being prompted, and everyone worked hard all day to clear the site. The community is clearly engaged with our project and a teacher from the township has already signed up to run the classes for three days per week. A security guard has also signed up to oversee the site when the kindergarten is closed, meaning we have already employed two people with this project, and we intend to employ many more with future initiatives, and we have also gained the approval from the community's Elders'.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Our project’s main focus is to provide a basic level of education to a forgotten part of the Philippi Township; if nothing is done, the children of this township won’t have the same opportunities that should be a basic human right. Our first reform would see an educational structure with basic educational learning materials, and a teacher to oversee the project. We will then see where we can help the children as they grow up by teaming up with other educational organisations. We want to create self-sufficient jobs, and by provide basic health and sanitation amenities within a 5-year period.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We are registering as an NPO and we aim to create regular avenues of donations from individuals and businesses that have already donated to us. We aim to create sustainable funding by creating jobs in the community and to take a very small percentage to fund the kindergarten. We will create new initiatives when we require specific items or learning materials, and we will meet with other NGOs and NPOs.

Founding Story

John Philmon from Youth Solutions Africa has been working in the Philippi Township for over twenty years, and has a strong connection with the community. As Volunteers, Tania, CJ, Matilda and Martyn spoke to John about his dream of building a kindergarten in the township. This happened in August 2014, and just over half a year later, the kindergarten had gained funding via crowd-funding, and the structures were being planned. A shared desire to rebalance what is a drastically unequal balance of living standards, Driving Spirit aims to assist in giving the Philippi Township the chance to work themselves out of an impossible level of poverty, and that starts with a basic level of education.


First up we have John Ysa from Youth Solutions Africa, who works with various community projects, trying to raise awareness and pursue equality for those who have no voice. John knows that to tackle social problems such as poverty and unemployment, that education is vital, and he is the brains behind this project. Matilda is the project lead and hails from Sweden. She is in charge of the organisation of this project, and has pooled together a team to ensure that it’s a success, and liaises with every member of the team. And then we have CJ (Carina-Jayne), who is a photographer and takes all of the photos for Southern Ambition Africa and Driving Spirit, and is working hard on our various social media platforms to continue to gather support for our project. Tania, who is also from Southern Ambition Africa, is a huge part of the team, providing volunteers, and organising every township volunteering day that takes place in the Philippi Township. She runs homework clubs with a view to teach the children that hard work and education is important, giving them an understanding of how to progress and take control of their own lives. Martyn is from England and has be overseeing our social media strategies for this project, and volunteers with Southern Ambition Africa. He has written various documents to support our project, and is good for anything that needs words.


I love this project and it's great to see the amazing work Driving Spirit has done in such a short time. Imagine what can be achieved in the coming weeks, months, and years? 
Keep up the good work DS :D 

I love this project and it's great to see the amazing work Driving Spirit has done in such a short time. Imagine what can be achieved in the coming weeks, months, and years? 
Keep up the good work DS :D 

Driving Spirit is really making a different in areas that needs it the most. Small communities that the government forgot about and just do not pay attention to. 

I am a close friends of all the people involved and can see all of them put a big part of their time and heart into it. 

No one can do everything but everyone can do something. And the more we are, the more will be done!