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The Sumbandila holiday school is a great favorite with our students. It allows students to pursue interests beyond academics and learn new and exciting skills, in a fun and relaxed setting. This extraordinary week is conceived and supported primarily by our partner Riverdale Country School in New York and

Lakeside School from Seattle. 


All our Residential scholars and our “Exceptionals” (Outliers) participate in this magical week. Many of our university students volunteer and all tertiary students studying Education are invited to shadow and be mentored by teachers from Riverdale Country School New York and Lakeside School from Seattle.


There are two holiday schools that occur throughout the year. The first occurs during South Africa’s winter months, in June/July and lasts 8 to 10 days. The second is purely academic and much shorter, occurring in September for 4  to 5 days.


  • Participating in activities you are passionate about increases your brain function and helps you concentrate and manage your time better.

  • Achieving success in things that you love improves confidence and social skills.

  • The wide range of activities offered is entirely new to children from village schools, these activities improve confidence and improve social skills.

  • The practical skills taught in the maker lab (welding, painting, using hand drills, making and designing functional and creative structures are not only extremely useful but they build self-esteem and support teamwork.

  • The coding skills in the IT lab teach essential skills not available to the students in their own academic environments.

  • The sporting activities train focus and build stamina.

  • Creative activities such as photography, painting, sculpture help students discover their talents in mediums they have literally never explored.

  • Drama, dance, creative writing, and poetry build confidence, help children find their own voices, and improve their ability to speak in public.

  • Mindfulness activities, yoga, breathwork, and Capoeira are wonderful tools for self-regulation, especially as many of our students come from extremely stressful home environments.

  • An extended period of time spent exploring new interests builds a sense of family and helps build friendships.

  • The foreign teachers come from extremely diverse backgrounds and the children love being exposed to both the “sameness” and the “differences” which come with these interactions, their worldview is subsequently broadened.

  • Holiday school always culminates in art and photography exhibitions, dance and drama performances, public speaking, and on occasion a street festival. The teamwork, excitement and deep bonds born out of this special time are invaluable.


To facilitate our fundraising efforts for our 2024 Holiday School, we have established Just Giving pages, and we invite you to view them at your convenience, consider sponsoring if possible, and kindly share them with anyone you believe would be interested in supporting our cause.
Additionally, we encourage you to view our Holiday School video from last year.

Sumbandila USA Just Giving Page

Sumbandila UK Just Giving Page

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