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  • Sumbandila Team

Dan and Kathy Kelly Visit Sumbandila

Updated: Jan 26, 2022

Dan Kelly attended the Cash & Rocket auction on the roof of The Peterson Museum in Los Angeles 2018 as a guest of Shine on Sierra Leone.

On that evening he purchased a safari in South Africa, generously donated by Seolo Africa in support of Sumbandila.

Dan, and his mother Kathy, arrived at Sumbandila on the 2nd of September to embark on that safari.

Dan gifted Sumbandila a beautiful hand made blanket from Tiffany Persons, the Founder and Director at Shine On Sierra Leone, to celebrate the long-term partnership between the two organisations.

Sumbandila loved hosting Dan and his mother Kathy and she wrote the following article about the visit:

“Have you ever known someone who seemed like a train roaring down a track? Hop on or get out of the way! For 22 years, South Africa has experienced the force of a woman, her staff and her supporters as they refine an answer to the issue of education in the Far North.

My son, Dr. Dan Kelly, and I had the privilege of visiting Sumbandila, meeting its most important resource, the students and the staff, early this September.

Sumbandila strives to change barriers in education by finding that same Power of One in its students, nurturing the special qualities of each precious student supported by Sumbandila.

A 22 year track record comprised of creating the Ridgeway School system, followed by the development of a non-profit to support the transition into university, is a model worth replicating.

Like a candle that burns bright, the Power of One, will burn itself out without significant, dedicated support. Again and again, we saw staff who juggled time with the finesse of seasoned warriors. Schedules are maintained, goals are adjusted on the fly, and most importantly, the students are always Sumbandila’s number one priority. If only the mathematicians could find an algorithm for this method.

The time we spent speaking with students at lunch and at dinner under the skies on a cattle ranch, was precious, renewing our opinion that children around the world all want the same thing. A chance.

Sumbandila ensures that children of the far North are given that chance. That opportunity. We would like to extend our gratitude to everyone involved in taking such great care of us.

It was an honor to spend time learning about Sumbandila, first-hand, and it’s remarkable students.”



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