OUR PROJECTS

This is a project close to Co-Founder, Rachel Kolisi’s heart. Grace helps abused women and looks after neglected children from the community, of which she is already fostering four children permanently in her home. Grace for Grace is supported on a Back-a-buddy donation system of which Rachel stewards the funds and navigate it to ensure Grace can continues the good work in her community.

Siya’s partnership with Freedom of Movement gave birth to the Mbekweni project. The project, which was started in 2019 dedicated a portion of the profits from the “Green Kolisi Vellie” shoes towards the Mbekweni project.  Each pair sold contributes towards the levelling and grassing of the Mbekweni Youth Centre’s rugby field this initiative will offer the youth of surrounding communities a safe place to nurture their talents and empower themselves through physical activity.

To respond to the increased levels of food insecurity especially during the outbreak of the Covid-19 in South Africa, the Kolisi Foundation, Nelson Mandela Foundation and Imbumba Foundation have partnered on an initiative called #Each1Feed1.

The initiative intends on supporting families for a minimum of 3 months to combat food insecurity during this time.

Through our partnerships R600 can provide a family of 6 with food support for a month.

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A request for community support was received from Chief Livhuwani Matsila, Founder and Director of the Matsila Community Development Trust in the Vhembe District Limpopo.

The Kolisi Foundation, together with our partners Imbumba Foundation and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, assisted the Makhado Village with a borehole to address the water shortage the community is facing.

The area is one of the most vulnerable in Limpopo with families unable to purchase protective amenities, let alone manage to provide sufficient food. The donation of boreholes as a means of increasing water supply in communities serve as a great relief as absent, inadequate, or inappropriately managed water expose individuals to preventable health risks

In August 2019, staying true to his desire to always give back to his community, Siya partnered with iStore and iSchoolAfrica on an iPad learning programme. The project focused on building an iPad lab within his childhood school in the Eastern Cape township of Zwide. The iPad learning programme offers curriculum relevant apps, teacher training, regular monitoring, and evaluation.

Many South Africans in rural areas unfortunately do not have a stable supply of electricity and therefore do not have lights and charging points. Siya, in partnership with Panasonic, supplied a vast amount of solar-powered lights which additionally acted as power banks were handed out to residents in rural areas. Up until that point, school children relied on candles and paraffin lamps to complete their homework and people had to walk great distances to charge their cellphones.

This a project that is very close to Rachel’s heart as she is especially touched by children who are in need and who have had a rough start in life. Bophelo Orphanage in Kimberley contacted Rachel requesting that she please visit the children at the orphanage. The facility is split in two, one section houses the babies and toddlers and the other the older children. While there, Rachel heard many heartbreaking stories, two of the babies had been dumped in rubbish bags in bins and another had been left alone in a field at the age of one. An older boy shared his deep concern that he would never be adopted and given a chance to be in a family as he had been in the orphanage since he was a newborn.

These stories and experiences left a big impact on Rachel and she left a large part of her heart at Bophelo. To this day she is still in close contact with them and helps in whatever way she is able to. She has plans to make more regular trips to visit the children.

In February 2019, Rachel pledged her support for Meals on Wheels by taking part in an extreme ride for hunger. The arduous journey from Kimberley to Cape Town helped raise funds for the organization and in turn shed much-needed awareness on the hunger plight that so many South Africans face on a daily basis.

Rachel showed her dedication to the cause by spending 6 grueling weeks training for the ride. The bicycle ride took place over 6 days and covered total distance of 1000km. At the end of each day’s ride the group of riders and support team would stop to deliver food parcels in the surrounding rural areas. This experience really opened Rachel’s eyes to a massive issue and need in South Africa and has motivated her to not stop helping those around her.

This project is something that the Kolisi family hold very dear to their hearts. Rachel and Siya’s firstborn, Nicholas, was born two months premature, both mommy and baby nearly lost their lives. The journey after the birth was challenging and nothing short of a daily battle, Rachel and Nicholas thankfully pulled through and are happy and healthy. Due to their personal experience, Rachel and Siya have a passion for supporting families who are going through a similar experience. They have been involved in numerous fundraisers in support of the Newborns Trust Group which is based at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Groote Schuur Hospital. They regularly spend time with babies and mothers at the hospital.

Siya & Rachel have been privileged to have numerous opportunities to shape the minds of the young people. They have given motivational talks at youth camps, and schools encouraging young people in different spheres of life. By sharing their personal stories of growing up in different environments and the struggles and victories they experienced, their hope is to encourage young people to make wise and healthy decisions. They are firm believers in shaping the minds of the next generation and inspiring them to make positive changes at a young age in order to set themselves up for a victory in their adult years.

In July 2019 a Grade 6 teacher from Vanguard Primary School, contacted Rachel via social media, requesting assistance with her classroom floor, it was in very bad condition and she requested assistance to repair it. After visiting the school, Rachel recognized a big need for the bathrooms to be fixed up and painted, the library had to be updated and organized, and the rundown vegetable garden needed to be revived. Rachel reached out to the public via social media requesting assistance with supplies needed to fix the classroom and bathroom and stock up the library.

The response was incredible. Over 300 books were donated, the library was cleaned and organized, and the boys’ and girls’ bathrooms were cleaned, repaired and painted. The volunteers also ensured that the vegetable garden was functional and refreshed. Some of the children who were at the school on the day, did a litter collection competition and won some money for their efforts. Thanks to the Kolisi family, the classroom received a new floor.

When the learners entered their newly refurbished class the following Monday morning, they were utterly amazed and overcome with emotion. Some learners even chose to complete their classwork on the floor for the rest of the week. Rachel was fortunate to be sent videos of the children’s positive reactions.

The Bombers Rugby Club played a huge role in the development of Siya’s ability and skill has as a world-class professional rugby player. Siya recalls that numerous teams had to share the same jersey between games and by the end of the day some jerseys had been worn by three or four different players. He always had a dream to supply each team with a dedicated playing and travelling kit, this dream was realised with the help of Adidas and the Kolisi family. Thanks to the help and support of the Kolisi Family, the Bombers Rugby Club were able to travel to Cape Town to participate in the 10’s rugby tournament – which they won!

In October 2018 a school in Port Elizabeth reached out to Rachel via social media requesting help with obtaining netballs. Many of the schoolgirls enjoyed playing netball during and after school but had to use makeshift netballs made of scrunched up newspaper wrapped in sticky tape. Valuing the importance of sport and recreation in a child’s life, Rachel reached out to the public via social media requesting netball donations for the school. Offers started pouring in from all across the country for not only netballs but rugby balls, sanitary pads, school shoes, and sports bras. With the help of the courier company, DHL all the donations were sent to a central point in Port Elizabeth. Rachel & Siya personally delivered over 1000 pairs of school shoes to Emsengeni Primary School, and over 50 netballs and rugby balls, and more than 1000 sanitary pads to Ndzondelelo High School.

In March 2018, a Grade 1 teacher from Zeekoevlei Primary School reached out to Rachel via social media. The teacher had a great desire to take her Grade 1 learners out on an excursion. The school is situated in Lotus River, which is one of the most gang-ridden and dangerous areas in Cape Town with severe socio-economic obstacles. Very few young people are able to live stable lives as they have daily battles such as poverty, teenage pregnancies, and gang violence.

Rachel was moved by the teacher’s request and visited the school as soon as she could. She identified a host of additional needs beyond the initial request and quickly mobilized the public and her social media followers for support. With the incredible support of the public and some companies, Rachel was able to spearhead a few life-changing projects at Zeekoevlei Primary School.

Here is a list of the projects:

  1. The Grade 1 learners enjoyed full day excursion. Transport and a lovely lunch were arranged and provided for each child.
  2. Signature Container very generously supplied the school with a much-needed storage unit.
  3. The school had an unused library, the books were all extremely outdated and not age appropriate. Rachel invited members of the public to assist the school by donating books over 500 books were donated. More than 60 volunteers repaired broken books, organized and decorated the library over two days. The library is now fully functional and serves the learners in the most beautiful way.
  4. A vegetable garden was planted at the school, this was an incredible initiative as it ensured that the learners were able to receive fresh and nutritious vegetables.
  5. Most of the children walk over 10km to and from school wearing broken school shoes or no shoes at all. New school shoes were donated to the school so that this basic need could be met.
  6. R10,000 was donated to the school.