Education for future African elites

The aim was to provide scholarships to seven promising students from disadvantaged backgrounds at the Waterford Kamhlaba School (WKS). The funding was intended to enable them to follow the two year curriculum leading to the International Baccalaureate, which gives them access to overseas universities.

Four girls and three boys from Ethiopia, Lesotho, Tanzania, Swaziland and Zimbabwe attended the two-year course leading to the International Baccalaureate and successfully passed the diploma. In early June 2012, they passed the Scholastic Aptitude Test, allowing them to apply to universities in the United States at the end of the year. Although very busy academically, the school helped them develop strong values, such as integrity, honesty, initiative and responsibility. The students thrived academically, socially and athletically, participating in all activities taking place within the school.

The Waterford Kamhlaba School was founded in the 60’s by a young British teacher who, after teaching under the apartheid regime in South Africa, decided to open a multicultural school in Swaziland. This was the second “United World College” (UWC) in the world. Today, 13 UWC colleges are scattered throughout the world, with only one in Africa.





August 2011 – December 2012


Mbabane / Eswatini

With whom

Waterford School Trust




1.4 million (2017)

Per Capita Income
USD 2,950/year (2017)

Poverty rate *
63% (2009)

Literacy rate
83% (2016)

Human Development Index
144th out of 189 countries (2018)

Eswatini is considered as a lower middle-income country but despite this, 63% of its population lives below the national poverty line. Its development challenges are primarily weak fiscal management, slow economic growth and the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS. The country is the epicentre of an HIV/AIDS pandemic. Twenty-seven percent of adults are affected and 45% of Swazi children are orphans or vulnerable children. As a result, the number of orphans and vulnerable children who need financial support to be in school has increased significantly. Chronic malnutrition is a major concern with stunting affecting 26% of children under five. Progress towards universal primary education is on the decline since 2000, with high repetition and dropout rates.

Sources: World Food Program, UNICEF, World Bank, 2016 Human Development Report, Human Development Indices and Indicators (2018 Statistical Update)

*The percentage of the population living below the national poverty line.