Education Without Borders

A short film by Elise Fernandez, 2019 SAFF committee member, shows the difference EwB has made in the lives of two students.

The South African Film Festival is part of a larger group of international South African Festivals all supporting Education without Borders (EwB), an education foundation operating in SA since 2002.

EwB (Australia) is a registered charity (ABN 11363125088) with Australian Charities and Not for-Profits Commission (ACNC). In 2020, we achieved Donor Gift Recipient status which means we can issue tax deductible receipts for all donations.

EwB Australia has a fully functioning board which liaises with EwB Canada and South Africa. It is responsible for accountability and transparency of funds raised as well as ensuring compliance with ACNC requirements.

Bellville South Project

Education Without Borders (EwB) provides tutoring and other support to help disadvantaged children in the Western Cape overcome educational and life hurdles. In addition, holiday programs are offered to provide an immersive learning experience. 

In 2019, SSAFF raised sufficient funds to enable EwB (SA) to launch its 4th site of operation: Bellville South Primary School. This economically marginalized community has an average household income of under R3,000/month ($300). The main social distress issues include substance abuse, domestic violence and gangsterism.

As a result of the success of the pilot phase, 2020 saw an expansion of the program to include more students in the primary school and an introduction of the program in Bellville South High School.

The orientation of the tutoring program is:

  • Small group focused – learner to tutor ratio that maximises
  • Shared infrastructure – to maximise efficiencies
  • Mentorship – to help tutors learn from experienced mentors
  • Coordinated – with the in-school curriculum and existing educational objectives and policies
  • A nutritious meal is provided to each student before sessions

School in a box (SIB)

In 2021, EwB is introducing SIB to each of schools in which they operate including Bellville South Primary and High Schools. Each box contains 15 tablets and provides academic support for up to 100 children, from age 5 to 18 (Grade 1 to 12). From English to Computer Coding, SIB can help learners to achieve their full potential. Students also have access to a vast library in South Africa’s 11 official languages.

  1. Portable and easily secured.
  2. Can be used in conjunction with EwB Assessments.
  3. Can be used in class or outside.
  4. Provides progress reports for each student in relation to the peer group and for the peer group itself

EwB’s response to Coronavirus

In 2020 EwB diverted a portion of funds for food for students and their families at each of the 5 sites. Worksheets are provided to enable students to continue with their studies. Please read this letter from the Principal of Bellville South expressing his appreciation for the support of EwB during Coronavirus in 2020. This support will continue in 2021.

To hear more about this work, please email Di on

“The team of tutors which I work with have been dedicated to this program and seeing them grow with the learners has been amazing to witness. In many ways, EwB has been a beacon of change for the learners, the school, myself, the tutors and the community at large.” 

Mickayla Smith, Site Coordinator and Bellville South Primary School