Three students holding each other in Cape Town South Africa


Breaking the cycle of poverty through better education, one student at a time.

Image of makeshift wall of township in Cape Town South AfricaPeople picking up trash next to makeshift wall of township in Cape Town South Africa

barriers to education

Completing school is a challenge for students from poor households, approximately 60% of learners will drop out before reaching matric. Many of those that do complete matric fail their exams and are unable to find jobs or further their education, reinforcing the poverty cycle and perpetuating inequality.

breaking the cycle of poverty

Endemic failings in South Africa’s education system result in a high rate of matriculation failure for underprivileged youth. The consequences of the high failure rate include increased youth unemployment, poverty, violence, and gangsterism.

Why are poor students more likely to fail?

Scarcity of resources icon purple and white rain droplet

Scarcity of Resources

The lack of basic learning necessities leads to poor academic performance

Role Models Icon Purple and White North Star

Absence of Role Models

Students face peer pressure to join gangs to find support and acceptance

Violence Icon Broken Heart purple and white

Violence in the community

Witnessing violence on a daily basis leads to mental health issues and a lack of motivation

Lack of opportunities icon purple and white plant growing

Lack of opportunities

Limited chances to succeed in life reinforces poverty and a sense of hopelessness

What We do

Ukhanyo Foundation provides a 'second-chance' multi-faceted support programme to learners from disadvantaged backgrounds who have been unsuccessful in their matric examinations. Within the youth development landscape in South Africa there is very little support for learners who have failed their matric exams.

As a country we have failed our youth. We have one of the worst education systems and the highest youth unemployment rate in the world.

Whilst recognising that matric is not a determining factor of success, we believe that it is the first step in breaking the poverty cycle by providing access to education and employment opportunities to lift students and their families out of poverty.

Academic Support Icon green and black graduation cap

Academic Support

We provide students with tutoring, technology, and resources to attain their Matric Diploma

Self development and mentorship icon green and black compass

Self Development & Mentorship

Life Coaching and mentorship programmes help our students develop the confidence, self-esteem and ambition to succeed

Career Guidance Icon green and black business briefcase

Career guidance

Post-matric, we provide our students with computer skills training, career guidance, CV building, and networking opportunities to help them find employment or secure admission into a tertiary institution

Hear Stories From our students

Invest in a better future for our youth

Ukhanyo Foundation provides a 'second-chance' multi-faceted support programme to learners from disadvantaged backgrounds who have been unsuccessful in their matric examinations. Sponsoring a student through our program can change their lives and help to uplift them and their families out of poverty. By making a donation today, you are investing in a better future for our youth.

Siphosethu student in Ukhanyo Foundation frowning

Get Involved

We are always looking for volunteers to assist in the creation of online learning resources, tutor matric subjects, or help with homework and curriculum design.


Tutors who are looking to get more involved can apply to join our mentorship programme and become a mentor to one of our program participants. More information regarding the mentorship programme can be found on the tutor application form.

Become a Learner

If you are a student in Cape Town from a disadvantaged background who has failed your matric examination, you may be eligible to join our second chance program.

About Ukhanyo Foundation

Ukhanyo Foundation is a Non-Profit Organisation based in Cape Town, South Africa. It was founded by local businesswoman Sandiswa Gwele in 2018. Through her work in youth development, Gwele identified an urgent need for youth mentorship in township communities, especially those who fail matric and are left without support from government or NGOs.

She started Ukhanyo Foundation with the dream of a future in which South African youth in townships can pursue their ambitions, confidently seek to better their lives, and break the cycle of poverty.

Group of Students in Ukhanyo Foundation in Cape Town South Africa