Home - Kwadla-Kuse and Sovane Pre-schools


TRUST REGISTRATION NO. IT 944/03

BACKGROUND
The Milimani Educational Trust was established in July 2003.  
The Trust focuses on uplifting neighbouring communities in the Magudu area, northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.


There are five Trustees:
Lois Kuhle – former owner of Milimani Game Sanctuary, neighbouring these communities.
Colette Tracy – farmer, and former owner of the adjacent property to Milimani Game Sanctuary.
David Clark – Director, Clark and Associates, an accounting company based in Durban.
Carol Houghting – former teacher, now living in Durban.
Pierre Neethling (passed away in 2015) – Company Director, and Trustee for Wildlands Conservation Trust based in KwaZulu-Natal.


Milimani Game Sanctuary was owned by Ken and Lois Kuhle from 2000 to 2005.  During this time they worked closely with the neighbouring communities of KwaDlakuse and Sovane.  
The Sanctuary believed strongly in responsible tourism and the upliftment of these impoverished communities.

In May 2005 Ken tragically died of a heart attack.  During the same month Milimani Game Sanctuary (2,600 hectares) and the surrounding 12,500 hectares of privately owned land was part of a successful land claim lodged by the Gumbi Community.  The Emvokweni Trust in conjunction with the Department of Land Affairs is now managing these properties, renamed Somkanda Game Reserve.

Due to these circumstances Lois Kuhle and Collette Tracy were obliged to relocate. 
Lois has moved to Durban/ Pongola and Collette and her husband are now farming in Hluhluwe.

Despite these circumstances the Milimani Educational Trust still continues to support the communities that they had made a commitment to in 2003.

THE COMMUNITIES

The Trust is committed to helping the women and youth in KwaDlakuse and Sovane by supporting the Government Primary and High Schools in Sovane, and two privately run pre-schools in both communities.  

Sovane houses a community of approximately 3,000 people.  There are between 650-700 students in Dlakuse Primary School and 350-400 students in the High School during any given year.  KwaDlakuse is a smaller community of approximately 600 people.  Children from this community travel 14 kilometres to attend school in Sovane.

The Trust, Milimani staff and British students completing their Gold Award for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme constructed a pre-school in KwaDlakuse in July 2003.  During any given year there are between 25 – 30 children at the pre-school.  In early 2005 the Trust recognised a small pre-school in Sovane that was being conducted in what can only be described as an abandoned dwelling.  By the end of 2005 the Trust had supplied building materials to the community to construct a safe and permanent building for the pre-school.
These communities are poor, many children have been orphaned due to Aids, or are being raised by a single parent.  It is not easy to survive on subsistence farming due to the terrain and low rainfall, and employment levels are low.

As the pre-schools receive no government support they rely heavily on the Milimani Trust for all their needs.  
The teachers receive a minimal payment of R25 per student per month.
 
THE COMMITMENT

In 2004 the Trust paid for 164 children to go to school and in 2005 this was raised to 360 children.  Sadly the Trust was unable to assist with school fees in thereafter.

In addition to paying for school fees the Trust has donated second hand computers to the High School.  It is the only building with electricity. 6 computers were donated by caring people in Durban and 15 were donated by First National Bank Home Loans, Durban.  The Computer Room at Prince Bhekintinta High School has been established in memory of Ken Kuhle.

Other donations include clothing, food (3 tons of mielie meal from Tiger Brands), stationery, sports equipment, clothing, educational aids and where necessary we have supplied medication.  In 2004 the pre-school children in KwaDlakuse had terrible Natal Sores and we managed to get them anti-biotic treatment.  There are two Albino children who have been given glasses.  In addition the Trust has been key in establishing vegetable growing schemes in both communities. These two communities of nearly 4,000 people rely on 2 boreholes serviced by hand-pumps.  This area has been severely affected by the drought.

The two pre-schools receive stationery and learning aids, and most importantly are supplied with food for the children so that they receive five substantial meals per week.

FUNDRAISING

The Trust welcomes financial donations, but donations in kind such as food and clothing are even more welcome.  The Trust does not retain any costs for administration, thus 100% of the money goes straight to the community.


During 2000 to 2005 the bulk of the funds were raised from tourists that visited Milimani Game Sanctuary.  Tourists were encouraged to cross the Mkuze River and visit the community and were entertained by the children at the pre-school.

However, due to the land claim and the change of ownership of Milimani the Trust is no longer able to source funds through tourists.

Despite Lois’ relocation to Durban she remains dedicated to working with these 
communities and regularly visits the area distributing food, educational aids.