Our Story

1972

Education without Borders Founders, Ruth and Cecil Hershler, decide to leave apartheid South Africa but want to make a positive impact before immigrating to Canada. They seek out a black township school to work with. A lasting relationship with Fezeka Senior Secondary school begins. The original site of Fezeka is Phillipi township, outside of Cape Town, South Africa.  

The school is in great disrepair. Over the next two years, a library and science lab are created, a hall and fence are built and the roof is repaired.

1976

Fezeka Senior Secondary school burns down in the Soweto riots. The school is relocated to its current site in Gugulethu township, outside of Cape Town, South Africa. Half of the school is housed in temporary portables. 

2001

Over the next two years, EwB builds eight new classrooms at Fezeka Senior Secondary school. 

2003

Over a three year period, EwB raises funds in Canada to pay off the building loan.  During this period, EwB plans the next phase of assistance. 

2005

Education without Borders implements a volunteer program.  The first volunteer Canadian teacher arrives at Fezeka Senior Secondary school and teaches Grades 10, 11 and 12 English.  The volunteer’s experience helps EwB gain a deeper understanding of the challenges in township schools. 

2008

Education without Borders launches a six-week mathematics after-school program, with six teachers and 150 Grade 9 learners. This initial after-school program provides the foundation for a more extensive after-school program. 

2009

Education without Borders creates an after-school program in mathematics and English for Grades 8, 9 and 10. The program uses university students as tutors. Education without Borders funds photographic arts and dance programs.

2010

Over two years, EwB funds a library project coordinator. 

2011

Education without Borders builds a school garden.

EwB launches its first South African Film Festival (SAFF) in Vancouver, Canada.

2012

A fully functioning library is created at the Fezeka school campus by EwB with support from EwB’s library project coordinator and other partners.

2013

Education without Borders expands its programs to Mseki Primary school in Gugulethu township.

2015

Education without Borders applies its experience in township schools in South Africa to the Canadian context. It begins to serve Indigenous children and their communities in British Columbia.

EwB expands its South African Film Festival (SAFF) to Toronto, Canada.

2018

Education without Borders expands its program to include the Nobantu After School facility in Mfuleni township, outside Cape Town, South Africa. 

2019

Education without Borders creates an after-school program at their fourth site in Bellville South Primary School in collaboration with the Building Bridges organisation.

EwB expands its South African Film Festival (SAFF) to Australia.

2020

Education without Borders expands to a fifth site - Bellville South High School and supports feeding programs in Gugulethu, Mfuleni and Bellville South to provide relief for COVID - induced food shortages.

SAFF Canada and SAFF Australia convert their festival online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2021

In response to COVID-19 pandemic, EwB pivots some of its programs to online, tablet-based learning.

EwB holds its first virtual South African Film Festival (SAFF) in the USA.

2022

Education without Borders continues to offer hybrid learning programs in South Africa, including tablet-based learning alongside small group tutorials.

EwB launches a new partnership with PeerLab Tutoring, where South African students receive virtual one-on-one homework assistance from tutors in the United States.

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