Since 2011, Seed Community has provided bright, young women from vulnerable backgrounds interest free, higher education study and expenses loans. In 2014 we celebrated a 100% success rate with no dropouts and all graduates gaining meaningful employment. This result presents a stark contrast to the national average of university dropouts, which is higher than 55%.
We know a supportive environment is key for these students to be successful at university. To address their needs we provide trainings, workshops and have a dedicated counsellor who the girls can connect with individually and in groups. To assist the students to pay back their loans, we have established a social business called GirlZtalk. GirlZtalk uses social platforms to connect girls to share their voice in a safe space and access unbiased information.
Today, we are connecting to thousands of girls across Southern Africa between the ages of 14-25 through our mobile platform, http://girlztalk.mobi, social media; our GirlZtalk groups and GirlZtalk educational theatre.
Working in conjunction with local institutions, girls can apply for a SEED loan as of their second year of study.
Tuition fees are paid to the institution on a semester basis.
Girls are offered an optional extra loan to cover basic expenses, such as transport and books during their school term.
The team at Seed Community believes that young women need a safe space to share our voices, to have access to vital information, and to be part of a supportive community to help each another reach our full potential.
We want to share our experiences, connect with girls and young women across South Africa and beyond so together we can be the change we want to see in the world.
So we created GirlZtalk!
Know more about the project here:
Connect to the GirlZtalk mobile space here:
Seed connects girls to local companies to offer valuable work experience during holidays. Income earned goes directly to the student.
Girls are brought together with a SEED mentor once a month during term time. The purpose of these meetings is to create a sense of community amongst the girls and help address any challenges they might be facing.
SEED mentors are voluntary professionals who have agreed to provide guidance and support for the duration of their studies.
Girls can apply for a SEED loan as of their second year of study.
By the second year of study students have shown committment to their chosen field of study and have fulfilled attendance and academic requirements.
SEED requires girls to fill out a detailed questionnaire, include a written piece and must provide copies of their academic records and a letter of referral.
Pre-selection is followed by a personal interview, after which the final group is chosen.
Those girls who are participating in the Seed School Mentoring Programme are required to begin their loan repayment 6 months after their term begins.
We invite local companies to offer students work experience whilst they study, not only providing them with valuable experience but also facilitates for their loan to be repaid.
We recognise that it is crucial we create a sustainable framework by which girls can manage their loan repayment. We work with communities we have a personal affiliation with and have direct contact with the girls through our mentor support.
This relationship is vital for building trust between SEED and the girls and for creating effective solutions to problems students may encounter during their studies.
As the loan is repaid the money will go into providing further loans to girls at the same institution.
At SEED our objective is to create the opportunity for girls to take the future into their own hands and at the same time plant the seeds for somebody else’s.
At SEED, human connection is fundamental. In 2015, we are actively engaging corporate and private partnerships within South Africa.
Girls nor the funding of their education can be seen in isolation, but rather form part of a broader social context.
However bright, capable and motivated girls are, many face social and economic challenges preventing them from completing their higher education. SEED Community addresses these challenges, and therefore invites a wide spectrum of supporters to get involved to help these young women overcome the obstacles they face.
Money donated to SEED or ear marked as a student loan to a specific group of girls form part of the SEED Fund. Girls taking the responsibility of a loan become part of the seed circle of funding. As the loan is repaid the money will return to the SEED Fund and be used to provide further loans.
The involvement of the corporate sector is vital in integrating qualified and motivated students into the job market.
SEED students can benefit from corporate involvement in the following ways:
If your company shares Seed Community’s vision, please contact us by clicking here
It is largely because of your donations SEED students are able to study and become valuable members of their community. As loans are repaid your money is reinvested to provide more girls with the same opportunity.
From a basket of fruit donated by the local grocer each month for the SEED Community meetings, to providing pro-bono support and services in the running of the organization, SEED is so grateful for all support received.
If you’ve got professional skills (ie: marketing, accounting, administrating skills etc) and share our passion for empowering girls through education, we would love to hear from you.
Please contact us by clicking here.
Girls are brought together with a SEED mentor on a monthly basis during term time. The purpose of these meetings is to create a sense of community amongst the girls and help address any challenges they might be facing.
SEED mentors are voluntary professionals who have agreed to provide guidance and support for the duration of their studies.
* If you have new ideas about how to get involved, contact us here
The girls receive motivational and emotional support throughout their studies in the form of monthly meeting with a mentor. This helps to create a sense of community amongst the girls, and addresses some of the challenges they face that otherwise may prevent them from completing their studies.
Guest speakers will be invited to the monthly meetings to share their experiences with the students, providing inspiration, guidance and encouragement.
To ensure transparency, bi-annual financial reports will be made available, as well as progress reports on the specific girls benefiting from the loan.
SEED Community is committed to keeping all administration costs to below 10%. Therefore a maximum 10% fee will be deducted from donations made to the SEED Fund. These costs will be made transparent and available, and should the amount be less than 10% the remaining will be placed within the SEED Fund.
A UK registered charity, Seed Community was founded in May 2011. We have come a long way to realising our goal and establishing the first SEED loan programme. Our vision is to continue to grow and to found new SEED programmes in South Africa and India.
We believe that girls education provides the key to creating healthy, sustainable communities.
The Seed Community Loan Programme was created to provide capable women, from difficult economic backrounds in developing nations, an opportunity to complete their higher education and to reach their full potential.
Our organization has adopted a different approach to providing girls student loans.
We believe for the economics to work, one must consider the broader social picture. By offering an expenses loan, mentor support, and work opportunities through our social business Girlztalk, in addition to the interest free student loan, we create a more secure environment whereby students can complete their studies, repay their loans and become independent contributors to society.
Having worked with women in communities in India over many years, she has witnessed first hand the outreaching, positive effect of a girl’s education on a community as a whole. Her research into girls education and student loans in developing nations and their lack of availability, brought forth the concept for Seed Community, which together with Line Hadsbjerg was founded in May 2011. In 2014 she founded GirlZtalk, a social business created to give girls across South Africa, a platform to share their voice, whilst assisting Seed loan recipients to pay back their loans.
Dorah manages Seed Community’s operations in South Africa. She has an Honors degree in Information Science and has worked with a wide range of NGOs and in different sectors both rural and urban settings level since 1997. She has been involved in issues of sustainability since 2000 and she worked with a wide range of multi-stakeholder participatory initiatives involving communities, NGOs, government and other institutions in various sectors including small-scale agriculture, environment, climate change, renewable energy, gender and land-rights at local, national and international levels.
Elsie Nyeleti Shiphamele
Elsie Nyeleti Shiphamele is first a God fearing woman, child, mom, wife, sister and cousin to everyone. She was born and raised in Chiawelo, for those of you who don’t know where Chiawelo is, it is in Soweto. LOL. She was born 42 years ago, and she spent her life living as if she was told that tomorrow will never come. She makes sure that she does not regret anything she did in life. Yes there were some regrets, but most of them were regrets that were forced by circumstances. What I liked about her, she forgave and moved on. That is why she is still alive today and beautiful as the first day when she was born.
What is it that she wants now, ES wants to live in a world where, Love, Respect, Health, Safety, Education is key and sharing is caring. Her passion of work is to give back to the community, making sure that there is a beautiful smile in that someone’s sad face. She is very much aware that she cannot Change the World, but she can contribute positively in assisting to make sure that the world is the better place for everyone to live in.
She worked in different companies and NGO’s, and wherever she was and is she made sure that her presence is felt. She if fun to be with, she knows how to adjust herself to any situations and circumstances. All she preaches to people is, “The best gift that one can give themselves is to be themselves no one else, because she strongly beliefs that there is only one of us
Working hard and playing hard while striving to achieve her goal is her GAME.
Cikizwa Gaqa: Student Co-ordinator
Cikizwa is a Seed loan recipient and is currently studying for her business degree at the Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg. Seed Community has employed her as Student Co-ordinator. Cikizwa is passionate about empowering young women to reach their goals and is also working on the girlztalk.mobi platform running the Staying Healthy sister space.
Seed Community Trustees UK:
Seed Community South Africa NPO:
Every donation to the SEED fund not only makes a valuable difference to a SEED girl’s future but will impact the next generation of school leavers:
10€: will transport a SEED student to the school where she mentors for every week for 6 weeks.
What does this mean to the students’ she mentors? Click here to find out.
35€: will fund a SEED student’s expenses loan for 1 month enabling her to attend university and cover her basic needs.
What does this mean to a SEED loan recipient? Click here to find out.
100€: will fund a SEED student’s study loan for 1 month.
What does this mean to SEED loan recipient and her family?Click here to find out.
250€: will fund a SEED expenses loan for 7 months.
500€: will fund 5 months of a student’s study loan.
“What does it mean to be a girl growing up in South Africa today?”
GirlZtalk is an award winning documentary, filmed in 2014 in South Africa by the internationally awarded photographer and filmmaker, Pep Bonet.
Based on a road trip taking 20 girls from the townships of Johannesburg into the rural heartland of South Africa, we put a face to the statistics that seem to be suffocating the voice of girls in every community of the country.
It is intimate journey documenting both the individual and communal voice of girls from an urban and rural perspective. We explore the realities of their lives and what hopes they have for the future as South Africa celebrates 20 years of democracy.
The film is an extension of our commitment to provide girls, from both rural and urban communities, a platform to share their voice.
Together with Steps.co.za, GirlZtalk has been shown in communities and festivals throughout Southern Africa.
GirlZtalk is currently being distributed internationally by Journeyman Pictures. www.journeyman.tv
Award: Best short Documentary at the Evolution International Film Festival
UK Registered Charity Number - 114 26 52.
Seed Community © 2015. All Rights Reserved.