Photo of two adults with a group of schoolchildren with banner saying 'We are celebrating 10 years of impact'

Partners for Possibility: 10 years of far reaching impact across South Africa

Symphonia for South Africa is celebrating 10 years since the launch of its flagship programme, Partners for Possibility, which was launched with the aim of developing leadership capacity among school principals and business leaders, reducing inequality in education and ultimately creating a more just, equitable and joyful future for all South Africans.

Partners for Possibility logoPartners for Possibility (PfP) is a nation building programme that partners school principals with business leaders on a carefully designed, 12-month leadership development programme, in which much of the learning and development takes place while business leaders and school principals work together in partnership to address challenges in under-resourced schools. Both partners attend a number of leadership training courses and facilitated sessions with other principals and business leaders. Through this, principals are empowered to embed their schools at the centre of their communities and to improve the quality of education being offered to our youth.

While meeting this need for skills development is a mammoth task, it is not an insurmountable one if the private sector offers its expertise and support. Without skilled leadership, schools cannot provide the quality of education that gives young South African’s the prospect of a bright future as productive members of society and the future workforce of the country.

This year, PfP marks 10 years of sustainable impact and innovation. Co-founders Dr Louise van Rhyn and Principal Ridwan Samodien courageously spearheaded this programme which has gone on to impact over a million lives across South Africa.

To put this into perspective, PfP has now reached 1,000+ under-resourced schools, 30 000+ teachers, 500,000+ families and 1 000 000+ learners, all within a 10-year period. This is of particular significance as it means that PfP is on track to realising its goal of impacting 2,000 schools by 2022. By achieving this, the programme will have reached 10% of the estimated 20,000 under-resourced schools in South Africa.

This significant milestone has coincided with the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic. When schools closed due to the lockdown, nine million children normally fed through the government-funded National School Nutrition Programme were left hungry.

A group of people congregated into an open space with food parcelsMoved by the gravity of the situation, Louise initiated the Food 4 Hungry Children project, which sought to capture data on the food needs of learners and their families from a network of over 1,000 school principals part of the PfP programme. Through collaborations with Pick n Pay, FoodFoward SA, the Solidarity Fund and many more organisations, thousands of vulnerable learners and their families were able to receive food parcels.

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