We provide access to education for deprived & isolated children in South Africa helping them to achieve their potential

Without education there is no hope, without hope there is no future

David Rattray

KHULA in South Africa & the UK - A David Rattray Education Initiative
KHULA in South Africa & the UK - A David Rattray Education Initiative

What We Do

KHULA works closely with communities and schools in the Umzinyathi District of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa in providing the resources, skills and opportunities that the pupils need to succeed in life.

KHULA in South Africa & the UK - A David Rattray Education Initiative

Where We Work

The Umzinyathi District of KwaZulu Natal is home to approximately half a million people, the majority of whom are Zulu. It is a wildly beautiful area riven with deep and often impenetrable valleys. Roads are few, there is little employment, almost no industry and distances are great.

The vast and barren landscape dictates much of what happens in the area. Travel between the isolated villages is difficult and so people eke out a subsistence living from the land on small plots that are barely sufficient to feed their families and have small herds of goats and cattle for trade or consumption.
Whilst the problems of the area are many, the Zulu people are a proud nation with a fascinating history. The children of today, the pupils we help, are the great-grandchildren of the very same warriors so admired for their courage and nationhood a short century ago. The Zulu people are resilient and, when given the opportunities that others take for granted, can be inspirational.

Who we are

Renamed in 2016 to KHULA, The David Rattray Foundation was founded originally in 2007 to commemorate the work that was initiated in the schools by David Rattray and his wife Nicky. David was an internationally recognised historical raconteur on the Zulu nation and the Anglo Zulu War of 1879.

David was passionate about helping local Zulu children through education. We have continued his work, helping these children through the provision of additional classrooms, computer labs, libraries, school kitchens, teacher and school management training courses and many other interventions. Since inception, through partnerships with the management teams of under-funded, under-resourced rural schools, we have supported 19 schools and over 13,000 students.

About us

The Scale of the Problem

  • 60%
    of the population of Umzinyathi District live in poverty
  • Up to 80%
    rural unemployment
  • 22%
    of the adult population have received no formal schooling
  • 46%
    functional literacy rate in adults who completed Grade 7
  • 40:1
    Student:Teacher Ratio

The definition of KHULA

‘KHULA’ is an isiZulu word meaning ‘to grow and increase’ as well as 'to develop, mature and thrive', and through our work with the rural schools of Umzinyathi, we bring new opportunities to the children, opportunities which would otherwise have been unreachable, enabling them to grow and thrive with success.

Using the name KHULA we are bringing to our audience a deeper understanding of our mission and the reason our organisation exists, while at the same time acknowledging the Zulu heritage of the communities we serve.

KHULA in South Africa & the UK - A David Rattray Education Initiative

A child without education is like a bird without wings

Ancient proverb

How we have helped over 13,000 children already

48% Improvement in pass marks across all areas
32% Increase in students going to university
56% Improvement in student retention at our schools

Get in touch