Stanley Allies, a principal at Bridgeville Primary School in Cape Town, understands that the vast majority of the learners from his school come from broken homes. As teachers, it is their duty to cater to the needs of every single child, or at least try. As a working class community, there are a lot of single parent households where the grandmother might be the caregiver. At the heart of his work is the recognition of the varied and often difficult conditions most of his learners come from and the commitment to providing a safe and nurturing environment for their learning.
“To me, it’s about making a difference,” he says of the work he and his colleagues do. Part of doing his job diligently requires a partnership with different stakeholders to provide the necessary training to develop teachers and/or principals and to create an opportunity for everyone to thrive.
For Allies, he did not have to wait too long for a development programme to recognise the thankless work he does at Bridgeville Primary School. Wealth management company Citadel has always had philanthropy at the heart of their business. They are committed to making a sustainable difference in the lives of many through their programmes. Much of this work is achieved through the Citadel Philanthropy Foundation and the Citadel Talmar Impact Foundation. The CPF is a donor-advised fund, which matches donors with sustainable projects that have a huge impact.
One such is The Principal’s Academy, which personally and professionally develops principals from underprivileged schools. This leads to not only empowering their staff members, but their learners too. Schools play a major part in our society, as such; it is of great importance that school leadership and teaching quality are at the forefront of every school’s effectiveness. For schools to thrive, we need strong, competent leaders. Thankfully, at Bridgetown, most do not have to look too far.