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Tears turned to smiles at Sithembele Educare

Updated: Aug 5, 2022

PHILIPPI, 4 August 2022 - An unexpected visit to Sithembele Educare in Philippi has turned tears into smiles.

Teachers and young children at Sithemebele Educare in Philippi were left traumatized after robbery at gunpoint during the early hours of Mandela Day, Monday 18 July.

Armed men broke through the entrance of the Educare facility, locked one teacher in the shower and held the second teacher reporting for duty as well as parent and their child at gunpoint. Robbers fled the scene with appliances and valuables stolen during the raid.

South African Education Project (SAEP) paid a surprise visit to Sithembele Educare on Thursday 4 August to handover donations received in response to a public appeal for aid issued in July following the armed robbery.

Equity Analyst and member of the Corporate Social Investment committee, at M&G Investments, Ielhaam Ismail, said". We, at M&G Investments are so proud of our long-standing relationship with Sithembele and SAEP that when we heard about this terrible crime, we could not sit back and do nothing. Our staff, as part of our Mandela Day Initiatives, donated stationery and toys and we bought a microwave that we hope will ease, in some small way, the plight that the children and teachers face at this school. Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”, so we would like to salute the teachers at Sithembele and thank them for their invaluable contribution to these children and the community of Philippi. M&G is committed to making a difference, no matter how small, to the communities in which we operate. This small gesture is a demonstration of this ongoing commitment”.

The donation included a microwave oven, party packs for kids and staff, stationery, play dough, paint, crayons, paper, pencils and second hand puzzles and toys.

Head of Communications and Fundraising, Shane Everts, confirmed "The educare principal was emotionally overwhelmed on our arrival. Our work would not be possible without the generous support of our donors. We are extremely fortunate and grateful to have donors and partners like M&G Investments that come forward to help us overcome difficult challenges. On behalf the SAEP board and staff, I would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the M&G Investment staff who made this special gesture possible".

View the handover livestream and pictures below:


Mr Shane Everts, Head of Communications and Fundraising, South African Education Project (SAEP) 082 537 8721,

Technical Education-related queries:

Mr Donavan Fullard, Chief Executive Officer, South African Education Project (SAEP)


A multi-cohort program promoting access and better education outcomes among children and young adolescents.

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