The Queen Elizabeth Academy is a relatively new school, and currently relies on a range of outside organisations to support its vital work, including the Mlali Community Trust, the Memusi Foundation and Mama Hope.
But Kilines and the team do not want this to be the case forever.
The leadership of the school are always working on ideas for moving the school towards further self-sufficiency.
Here are a few of the projects that they are working on right now. If there are any that really resonate with you and you would like to find out more about them and how to invest, please get in touch and we can start a conversation about it!
The boarding house will be the biggest money maker for the school, attracting wealthier families from the city who want a quiet place for their children to study. The fees of these children will allow the school to support even more vulnerable children from Mlali who cannot afford to pay. It will also serve as a safe home for the students at the QEA who cannot pay fees and whose relatives are currently unable to give them the care that they need at home.
Athanas is working on planting a food forest around the fish pond - papayas, bananas, mangoes, watermelons, pumpkins, plums, guavas and more. This will not only increase the variety of food and nutrients that the children can access, but by planting trees, the soil will be improved, erosion reduced and more shade provided, bringing a cooler micro-climate to the school.
All of this will reduce the amount of money needed to be found for food, increasing the food security of the school while also improving the land for future generations.
The school gets regular harvests of sunflowers, sweet potatoes and maize. It has been gifted a piece of land 36 acres in size by the village, so there is so much potential for agriculture. The plan now is to expand the agriculture project, creating a tree nursery to sell seedlings to the surrounding community, while also growing nutritious vegetables for the children to eat.
The farm manager Athanas has been working with students from a nearby agricultural university and a local water engineer to create a fish pond for the school. Fish is in high demand locally, with Mlali being so far from any ocean, and with each fish harvest, the school will be able to both increase the protein consumption of the kids and make money at the local market.
The water system is up and running and has transformed all of the other projects at the school. Thank you to Greg Gehl for raising the money for the installation of the tank.
The team have a plan to build and rent out shop units in the village. This will bring a regular local income, while also providing rent-free space for the school to sell its fish, vegetables and other produce.