In striving to “unlock rural futures”, the Buffelshoek Trust takes a holistic approach to social change and prioritises a community centred value asset mix of Education, Health and Well-being, Technology, Leadership, Environment and Enterprise Development.

The Trust works with the villages of Utah, Dixie and selected other rural communities and schools in the Gottenburg, Seville A, Shortie and Hluvukani areas. Community partnerships with the structures most relevant to driving interventions, for instance the Community Development Forums of the villages, ensure that our work is effectively aligned with local initiatives and needs.

The Trust is committed to ensuring that the partner schools and communities receive the support they need to equal their urban counterparts. With a focus on long-term sustainability, the Trust endeavours to ensure that each partner – be it a school, business or community based organization – receives all the support they need to unlock their future.

Without creating dependencies, the Trust respects the fact that each community partner has its own development trajectory. It therefore aims to exit from schools and communities once they are not only able to meet all of their own needs, but act as mentors and supporters for their neighbours. In this way, an exponential return on the investments in communities, schools and village businesses is achieved as well as reaching out and supporting the surrounding communities.

To date, we have built over 200 classrooms and granted bursaries to 436 students, 82 of these being from the Sabi Sand communities. Other projects include providing water to schools, clinics, and community centres in the form of the distribution of Hippo Water Rollers, boreholes, pumps and water tanks. The other focus is on the building of centres for volunteers to offer home-based care and support for orphans and vulnerable children; support for a craft centre; the establishment of vegetable gardens to support nutrition programmes and in general on the improvement of the quality of life in these communities.