Educational activist creates an innovative and accessible education for all
David Fu is an educational activist and philanthropist aiming to change the education system in South Africa for the better. Streetlight Schools, which has been running for the past three years for scholars from grade R to 4, is creating innovative education and making it accessible to youths in need.
The first of these schools is currently available in Jeppe Park.
“A core driver for me is empowering people educationally and economically such that they can actualise their potential and can become self-reflective, confident citizens and leaders,” says Fu.
Fu found that children in inner cities, townships and rural areas tend to have little access to educational opportunities that would enable them to uplift their families and communities. Students at Streetlight Schools are encouraged to learn in a much more impactful technique.
Fu shares that one of their students often acted out emotionally but through the safe and loving environment provided by the school they have empowered him to build strong leadership skills. Now the student has become one of the leading coders at the school.
To ensure what is being taught at school is alleviated when the kids are at home, Fu shares that the school builds a relationship with parents to build trust from both sides. Through constant communication, the school advises on how to implement healthier living for those who are able to.
“We supplement where we need to. “We build positive relationships with them and we found that the most powerful examples of students’ growth and change in our schools happen when the parents have that mind shift as well and they truly see themselves as partners.”
With access being a focal point of Streetlight Schools, the fees are kept at a minimal and the required amount is leveraged through fundraising.
“We have worked with parents before where even the fees are challenging. They volunteer their time helping the school; helping to keep it clean, helping to feed our learners in lieu of paying those fees," says Fu.
Fu hopes that Streetlight Schools will inspire more parents to play a vital role by being involved in their children’s education.
“If you have hopes and dreams for your children and you want to give them a shot at a great future, then see your kids at Streetlight Schools.”
With their first graduating class in 2021 moving on to grade 7, Fu hopes that they can find more funders and partners who will help them build more classrooms to accommodate even more students in the future.