Cath Jenkin

Doing good where it counts in Durban by Cath Jenkin

I’m not here to bleeding-heart you – there’s enough of that around. I’m not here to sell you a raffle ticket and I am not here to ask you for a debit order. I’ll tell you this though – I get pretty bleary-eyed reading the news, when I see yet another organisation shutting down due to a lack of funding. I don’t want to bend your ear about how you need to do some good for your community, or hand over your hard-earned cash to some guy running a raffle because “it’s for the poor”. No, instead I’m going to list a few places that – always – inspire me. Reading their stories, and some of these places I’ve experienced up close…inspires me. In spite of every adversity, here are three examples of Durban organisations that do amazing things, often on hope alone. Whether or not you choose to go forward and help out is up to you.

Education is something so incredibly important to me. Growing up, I loved school (for the most part) and I will never forget the very moment I completed my Matric and then later graduated from University – mostly because my dad cried with pride.

I want every parent to feel that level of pride, so it comes naturally to me that when it comes to a cause to support, I look to education first. In Durban, we have a wide range of schools and educational facilities that are run entirely, or partially on donations. These schools provide focused and specialized services, with love, care and – I think – superpowers.

Udobo School is based in Montclair, and provides a Grade R education to the children of low-income families in the Durban South region. Their educational programme provides for social, emotional, cognitive, intellectual and physical growth, through the development of Numeracy, Literacy and Life Skills. They recently opened their own library and computer centre and, as a registered NPO, regularly fundraise to support and expand their programmes. Just popping into the school would show you that this is a love-driven school that provides the most important phase of education of them all. Keen to help? Check them out on or call 031 469 0029.

The Open Air School in Glenwood is a Durban institution. It’s been operating since 1921, providing care, support and a vibrant learning experience to children with special educational needs. The school also provides accommodation for pupils, through its hostel, providing a term-time home to pupils who live too far away to make the daily commute. Almost half of the pupils attending this school are indigent but that does not deter the school. They work tirelessly to support and firmly believe that every child has the potential to shine and take their place in the world. The school is also a registered NPO and undertakes regular fundraising initiatives to bolster and grow their programmes. Keen to help? Check out or call 031 205 1277

Ethembeni School is based further inland, and provides love, support and all-important education to 300 physically disabled and visually impaired children from across KwaZulu-Natal. Established in 1984, Ethembeni also provides hostel accommodation to the children in their care, and many of the children emanate from indigent families. With a holistic approach, Ethembeni provides educational, physical, social and spiritual development programmes for their children, up to Grade 7. Take a look at their website here: or call 031 783-4718

Cath Jenkin small

Cath Jenkin writes a regular column for Durban Life Magazine.

She is a columnist, media consultant and copywriter.

She will be speaking at Durban Digital Day #DbnDDay –

You can find her on Twitter:  @cathjenkin

Visit her Website

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