Louise Billett

African Angels Trust

What does your company do?

Since starting in 2012, African Angels has transformed from a school fee sponsorship program into a multifaceted social enterprise that empowers one of Amathole District's most vulnerable communities. From Humble Beginnings to Lasting Impact: I started African Angels started in 2008, ensuring underprivileged children received quality education. Today, the African Angels school (started in 2012) educates 158 students (R-7), boasting remarkable achievements: * 4 scholars at Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy * 4 Allan Gray scholars * 1 Make a Difference Leadership Scholarship recipient * Over 13 scholarship students in top high schools * 4 graduates from the initial cohort are now in university Beyond Education: A Holistic Approach In addition to the African Angels School, we: * Partner with Ikhwezilomso Educare, providing vital early childhood education and care for over 80 children (1 month to 5 years) * Established the African Angels Days for Girls Enterprise, a social enterprise creating jobs for women and providing access to sanitary pads. * Transformed Chintsa Village by facilitating the installation of 160 streetlights, bringing light and safety for the first time. * Provide free, uncapped Wi-Fi to over 3,000 residents, bridging the digital divide. * Supports and strengthens other local non profit organisations working in Chintsa.

What is your biggest success?

African Angels is not just a school, it's a springboard to a brighter and different future! Witnessing children blossom within the walls of African Angels and seeing them soar beyond – that's the fire that fuels my soul. These children aren't just getting an education, they're acquiring the power to rewrite their stories, uplift their families, and transform their communities. Knowing I've played a role in empowering them to become the architects of a better South Africa is my greatest achievement and my legacy.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

We face the same hurdles that all other non profits face - finding funding; finding quality staff when we are situated down a long, badly maintained dirt road, far from shops and cafes; managing the escalating costs of food, fuel and materials; navigating unpredictable events like scholar transport strikes that compromise our children's school time; working with families in crisis; the effects of domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, poverty, trauma. These are our daily hurdles but none compare to the hurdles our parents and families face every single day, living in shacks where the stand pipe is far; unable to find stable employment so they can support their families properly, with the daily worry of how will I get by. Our challenges pale in comparison to theirs. The true reward is seeing hope in the eyes of parents who entrust their children to us, and the joy of knowing we're playing a small part in building a brighter future and leaving a legacy of educated children. For that, every hurdle is worth overcoming.