News

Please find below a sample of our latest news stories. If you would like to know more about the work of BEFSA in South Africa please contact us or view our newsletters.

BEFSA Christmas Appeal

This year we have launched the BEFSA Christmas Appeal to raise money for children we work with who have lost their parents or who have been abandoned. Christmas is an expensive time for all of us, but if you can spare some extra cash to contribute to our hardship appeal, we will provide children who find themselves alone this Christmas with food, clothes, and toys. Thank you. As always, your support is greatly appreciated by the BEFSA team and those we work with.

Christmas Appeal


Happy Birthday BEFSA!

Come and celebrate with us at our 10th anniversary party at the Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock. Join us from 11.30am on 28th September 2014 for a hog roast, singing, dancing, speeches and prizes. There is no charge for entry or food, but there will be a cash bar, a raffle and an auction. We look forward to celebrating with you and encourage you to bring along friends and family. To help us celebrate we will be joined by; Her Excellency Mrs Bongiwe Qwabe, UK Deputy High Commissioner; Cllr. Anne Purse, Chairman of Oxfordshire County Council; and Cllr. Julian Cooper, Mayor of Woodstock.
We look forward to seeing you at the event. It’s a great opportunity to celebrate our work and thank you for your ongoing support..

School Furniture

Two containers of recycled school furniture and equipment from three closing schools in Bridgewater, Somerset arrived in the Eastern Cape on Christmas Eve 2012. In January the furniture and equipment will be distributed to needy schools across the province.

British Council Grants

On Christmas Eve 2012 BEFSA received news that four BEFSA partnerships (Waddesdon and Kama; Wood Green, Witney and Vukani; SS Phillip and James Primary School, Oxford and Balfour Primary School; and Kirtlington Primary and Dikidikana Primary School) had been awarded grants for the next three years by the British Council as part of its Connecting Classroom Programme. These grants will enable staff from both schools to travel to their partner schools to consolidate and develop their partnerships.

Walk to Freedom

In December 2012 BEFSA was invited to be one of the four founding charities to promote and participate in the Annual UK Walk to Freedom. The inaugural Walk will take place in London on 27 April 2013 – Freedom Day. It is envisaged that this walk will take place every year to celebrate Freedom Day.

Partner Visits

In September and October 2012 a total of eight UK teachers and their partners spent a week in their partner schools in South Africa. These visits were the return legs of visits made by nine SA teachers to the UK in June 2012.

BEFSA House

BEFSA has new offices and a new home in South Africa! In October BEFSA staff moved into the ‘BEFSA House’ in Fort Beaufort. It is a new two bedroom house on a secure location in the heart of the area in which BEFSA runs its programmes. Later that month BEFSA moved into new office accommodation on the University of Fort Hare campus in Alice. We now operate from the De Beers Art Gallery – one of the most prestigious buildings on the Fort Hare campus.

Fundraising Quiz Night

We will be hosting the second annual quiz night to raise funds for BEFSA. The quiz night will take place on Friday 5th July from 7pm at Cherwell School, Oxford and if it's anything like last year it looks to be a great night. Full details available on www.facebook.com/befsa.org.

Mbovane Appeal

Last week we visited Mbovane Primary School; their school roof had been blown off in strong winds leaving two classrooms uncovered. There are 70 children attending this school, but the children in these two uncovered classes have been asked to attend a different school whilst the repairs are carried out. Those children now have to walk two hours to get to their new school as there is no local transport. We are launching an appeal to repair these classrooms, as well as support the school with other challenges they face.

Speech by Keith Borien, BEFSA CEO

On 21st November, BEFSA held a fundraising event at the British High Commission in Pretoria. Keith Borien, BEFSA CEO, spoke about the poverty and inequality impacting on our young people in the Eastern Cape. He said, "The former Ciskei homeland where BEFSA works is littered with small rural communities most of which are quite isolated. What infrastructure there is tends to be poor, and economic opportunities within the area are very limited. It is estimated that approximately 82% of the local population are unemployed, half the population are illiterate and many households rely entirely on subsistence farming and government pensions and child grants to survive. The area is seriously underdeveloped and the communities which live within its boundaries suffer from significantly high levels of poverty."

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