The St David’s Marist Foundation was established in 2006, with its founding Trustees including Br Jude Pieterse, Kevin Brewer, Mike Greeff, Thierry Dalais, Tony Chappel, Gianni Mariano, Sim Tshabalala, Penny Ndlela and Kees Schilperoort.
The Foundation was established as an independent Trust and PBO to help ensure the long-term sustainability of St David’s Marist Inanda. It aims to support, through funds raised, donations received, and strategic business and philanthropic partnerships, identified development areas of the school. These include the bursary programme, as well as various development programmes (including capital development and human development through sports, cultural, educational, leadership and service programmes/ initiatives), guided by the words of St Marcellin Champagnat (founder of the Marist Brothers teaching order) that “to teach children, you must first love them, and love them all equally”.
Foundation-sourced funding supports on average 20 St David’s bursaries throughout the school at any given time, with bursaries being awarded only once funding for a boys’ full career at St David’s has been secured. The Foundation is not involved in the interview processes and decision-making around the awarding of the individual bursaries, all of which is managed by the school with funding, monitoring and reporting to donors being managed by the Foundation office.
The Foundation thrives on engagement and partnership with the St David’s parents, staff, old boys, individual private donors, businesses and corporate companies, and local and international foundations and Trusts, as like-minded donors and philanthropists.
The Foundation engages with the St David’s boys themselves, including the bursary recipients, to encourage the awareness, growth and development of the next generation of young philanthropists, doing “what they can, where they are, with what they have”, to quote Theodore Roosevelt.
In 2017 a matriculating bursary recipient established the Mizpah Bursary Fund, as a dedicated Foundation bursary fund, with a seed amount of R1 000 that he had raised through his own efforts. His wish for establishing this fund was so that boys without the financial means to attend St David’s could have the opportunity of what he had at St David’s in the future – and by 2020 the Mizpah Bursary Fund had raised funds of R75 000.
The St David’s Marist Foundation supports the school’s strategic imperatives of Excellence and Access. The school believes that it has the responsibility, as a proudly African and South African school, to be a centre of excellence, providing the opportunity for our boys, no matter their backgrounds or circumstances, to compete with the best in the world, in a uniquely South African way. Equally important, in line with our Marist values, is our belief that it does indeed “take a village to raise a child”, with the Foundation providing the funding to ensure that each boy on bursary receives the full, holistic support that is required to successfully complete his education at St David’s.