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Girls Scholarship Program of Esicabazini


Welcome to Girl! Our Girls Scholarship Program (GSP) invests in:

• 25 girls yearly in the rural community of Esicabazini South Africa.

• Top achievers in grades 4-7 at eSibonsiweni Primary School
and grades 8-12 at nearby Dumangeze High School.

Meeting the material needs of girls attending school, mentoring, and enrichment activities.

Opportunities for rural South African girls to connect with urban mentors and their American sponsor community.

With the help of the GSP, dozens of girls in the remote community of Esicabazini, in the northeastern corner of KwaZulu-Natal South Africa, are defying the odds stacked against them by poverty to excel and advance in school.  Supported by scholarships awarded for their academic performance, these exceptional young role models are blazing a trail at Esibonisweni Primary School and Dumangeze High School for younger girls to follow.  In the process, they are changing low expectations of girls' achievement due to cultural norms in a highly patriarchal region.  

Through the generous support of the Mark Day School (formerly Saint Mark's School) community in San Rafael, California, the GSP offers scholarships to girls beginning in 4th grade. This is a stage when family needs and pressures often end a girl's hope for education in a region where girls' domestic labor has traditionally been valued more highly than their schooling. The tragedy is that large numbers of girls leave school just when the long-term benefits of their education begin to accelerate with each year. Thus, late primary school is a critical intervention point, when incentives can tip families' calculations in favor of allowing girls to remain in school.

The prospect of continuing benefits helps keep both girls and their families interested and engaged as they approach and enter high school. In an area where girls drop out of school in increasing numbers with each passing year and very few graduate from high school, girls need all the support they can get to continue their education beyond primary school. Our program is designed with these realities in mind.

Now in our 10th year, we are thrilled to welcome 26 scholars - both new and returning -- into the 2015 program! Their GSP activities are led by teacher mentors Simangele Ntshangase and Pearl Mdluli, with help from Thulani Madondo and Nelisiwe Walaza from partner Kliptown Youth Program (KYP).


LATEST NEWS                                       See more on our NEWS page


What an exciting start to 2015 for the GSP -- when we learned that our hopes and dreams for our first two high school graduates had come true! After years of hard work and defeating many challenges, our two 12th grade scholars passed their matriculation exams and were both admitted to the University of Johannesburg!

Thandiwe and Nokuthula -- congratulations on your amazing achievements!! We are so proud of you and wish you both much success as you continue to pursue your goals at university!


As of January 2015, the GSP includes 26 scholars, including 3 at Esibonisweni Primary School and 23 at Dumangeze High School.

Group Shot of 2015 Scholars with Mentors

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