“Sumbandila is looking for children with great academic, leadership and entrepreneurial potential who will embrace this unique opportunity to defeat poverty and show the way to future generations in Africa….”

Sumbandila recruits Grade 7 learners from deep rural primary schools for the Residential and Outlier programme. Only students who fit the financial criteria of a total household income of less than R3000 (225 USD) per month can apply. Once children are selected onto the final stage the information regarding the financial status of the family is thoroughly investigated by Sumbandila.

Roughly 307 schools receive application forms
Over 3000 learners tested since 2007
Roughly 400 learners are tested in the Vhembe district every year

Candidates are not only selected for financial need and academic ability but for what we call at Sumbandila “grit” and “zest”¬† (terms originated from the USA KIPP schools system).

“Grit” speaks of courage, resilience, determination and “zest” of enthusiasm, passion and drive.

Our selection incorporates three phases:

  1. From roughly 500 applications, 40 students are chosen based on Maths and English tests and financial need. These 40 students are guaranteed an Outlier Scholarship.
  2. Of the top 40, 20 are short listed based on further testing in Maths, English, perceptual skills and reading age.
  3. Of the 20 short listed, 10 (depending on funding) are selected for the Full Residential Programme based on additional background investigations, intensive interviews and workshops. The remaining students join the Outlier Programme.