Funding for communities

A Heritage Funding Summit that was held by the National Heritage Council in 2009 bears fruit today for many community projects that receive financial assistance. It was discovered that heritage initiatives require financial resources to establish projects that contribute to the protection, preservation and promotion of heritage. 

Many of South Africa’s Heritage Practitioners attached to organisations or working independently have displayed a high level of commitment to promoting culture and heritage with no assistance at all. This passion for protecting our heritage is what kept many rituals, traditional practices, cultural ceremonies, skills and techniques of arts and crafts, knowledge passed on to the youth and many other activities alive.

It is essential for the NHC to encourage communities to continue taking ownership and responsibility for their heritage.

The NHC makes funding available to, especially community initiatives that would ordinarily not have access to loans from financial institutions. The funding is mainly to assist in starting and establishing a project that can in future have prospects of sustaining itself or attracting alternative funding from other donors. 

Projects that have received funding would benefit more than just financial assistance from the NHC. The project’s leaders and participants would have exposure to formal project management skills, administration, reporting and accountability. The NHC believes that the skills in these various areas equip the projects with excellence and improved prospects to attract more funding and support. 

The NHC wish to fund other projects after being disrupted by the COVID19 pandemic for the past two years of 2020 and 2021. Funding is limited compared to the high need in the heritage sector. Currently, the NHC receives an estimated total value of R100,000,000.00 in applications from the public every time when the organisation calls for applications. The available budget for funding projects is never sufficient to cover all the applications but the best effort is made to assist proposals that make an impactful business case and bring a solution to our diminishing heritage.

Applicants can go to our funding page of this website for application forms and more information.

Messages from recipients

The funding for the Phambili Marimba project enabled Education Africa to kick-start our Marimba Hubs programme.  Our first Marimba Hub was started at Goede Hoop Primary School in Reiger Park as an intervention to get children off the streets and away from gangsterism in the area in 2013. Today we have 28 Marimba Hubs (including 8 preschool Marimba Hubs) impacting over 1500 children on a daily basis. 4 of these Hubs are in Taung in the North West, 5 are in the Northern Cape and 19 are in Gauteng. In 2016 we took the Goede Hoop Primary School Marimba Band on a performing tour to the UK. These 10 young girls were aged between 11 and 13 at the time and were in grades 5 to 7.  Today some of them are being trained to teach marimbas in our Alumni Programme which we started. 

I can’t thank the NHC enough for their initial funding which started our Marimba Hubs programme. What incredible vision you had in putting your trust in Education Africa. I am extremely grateful.  

Joan Lithgow

Marimba Specialist and Senior Manager

Director of the Education Africa Virtual

International Marimba and Steelpan Festival

We have just had a small allocation of funding from the NHC to pursue ‘Pathways through the Interior’ further in QwaQwa, exploring the ditema painting heritage and geometry learning. We are grateful to be able to make a start, with research and writing and hope, with the next call for funding proposals, to be able to execute this project plan, also embarking on the field of ICT in education.   

Drawing on this primary resource, in 2014 (with NHC funding), we piloted a Grade 9 Teacher’s Guide and Learner Workbook in 16 QwaQwa schools, in partnership with the Faculty of Education and specifically with the Assistant Dean of Education at the QwaQwa campus of Free State University, Dr Dipane Hlalele. Dr Hlalele grew up in the region and chooses to remain there, although by now he is an internationally acknowledged scholar and academic specialist in the field of rural learning ecology. So successful was our project of teaching Grade 9 algebra through the sophisticated patterns of Basotho beadwork, and teaching school learners to do beadwork themselves, that in September 2015 we were awarded the Free State University Vice Chancellor’s Award for Community Development. And, even more significantly, Dr Hlalele has joined Africa meets Africa NPC as a Director, offering us a sound academic grounding as we continue to test and evaluate our unique learning methodology.  In QwaQwa’s Grade 9 Mathematics classrooms teachers are reporting immediate and significantly improved results in mathematics learning, after just one beadwork/algebra exercise has been completed. We have found a real learning solution in Africa that meets Africa’s visual language of learning.  

Helene Smuts

Founder Director: Africa meets Africa NPC

Ashoka Fellow (www.ashoka.org)

The National Heritage Council has been playing a very important role in preserving our rich Heritage in this country since its establishment by the National Heritage Council Act in 1999. In accordance with its mandate, the NHC has funded very important Heritage projects across the country. 

Personally, as a Heritage practitioner, I had a privilege to interact with the NHC as a funding beneficiary, and also at various platforms of Heritage preservation and development. The projects which I led, which were funded by the NHC, had a huge impact in terms of Heritage, particularly in terms of communities being aware of the significance of the richness of Heritage resources in their localities, and the importance to preserve them.

The Heritage projects which I was involved in, funded by the NHC, were implemented in poverty-stricken rural areas of Limpopo Province, and they really made a very remarkable impact. In addition to the rural communities having been made aware of their rich Heritage, the NHC funded projects also empowered the local youth with valuable knowledge regarding Heritage – because

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