South Africa

South African youths overcome their learning challenges

Sparrow schools’ innovative educational program offers new perspectives for school dropouts: Teenagers can start their vocational training there. Besides learning theoretical and practical aspects of their chosen skill, they are getting extensive learning support and counseling.

Sparrow Schools

The Deutsche Bank South Africa Foundation enables a wide range of educational programs to prove that with the right kind of support, young South Africans will make the best of an opportunity, succeed with their studies, join the economic mainstream and contribute to their communities.

Around 300 previously disadvantaged youth with learning disabilities aged 14 to 18, annually participate in the Sparrow Combined School and Sparrow Combined FET College, which Deutsche Bank South Africa Foundation has been sponsoring since 2003.

The teenagers start their vocational training in the fields of mechanics, carpentry, hotel keeping, clothing production and creative design. They spend 40 percent of their time learning theory and practical aspects of their chosen skill. The remaining 60 percent is devoted to basic education, including math and reading. The vocational students are offered extensive learning support and counseling and have the opportunity to participate in cultural and sports activities.

“Parents get back to us and say how much their children have changed in growth of confidence. We can even send some previously disadvantaged learners back to normal schools, because they have done so exceptionally well.”

Lize van Vuuren Fundraising assistant at Sparrow Schools

“Unfortunately, we are sliding into a fatherless society, so we try to provide father figures here.”

Melanie Malema Sparrow Schools Business Development Manager


If you have any questions about the Sparrow Schools in South Africa, please contact our colleagues per e-mail at:


Environmental and Social (ES) Policy Framework (PDF)

Sustainability at Deutsche Bank – information for investors (PDF)

Further Information

Sparrow Schools South Africa

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