David Rattray, pictured with our patron HRH King Charles III
KHULA Education was founded in 2007 in memory of the South African historian David Rattray, who, together with his wife Nicky, established what would go on to become the world-renowned Fugitives’ Drift Lodge, offering historic battlefield tours and accommodation in the heart of present-day KwaZulu-Natal.
Living and working in this deeply rural area where most families lived in poverty, the Rattrays saw first-hand how a chronic lack of investment in education negatively impacted local children and communities. In response, David and Nicky started using proceeds from the Lodge and guests’ donations to repair crumbling school infrastructure and build much-needed classrooms, libraries and sanitation facilities.
When David was tragically murdered in 2007, Nicky Rattray and her sons decided to honour and continue his legacy by establishing the David Rattray Foundation. With infrastructure needs largely met, the foundation’s focus shifted to sustainably strengthening the quality of education in government-run schools through: establishing a preschool education programme, training and building local teachers’ capacities, bringing modern technology and teaching techniques to classrooms and supporting students to access tertiary education and decent employment.
Today, we operate under the name KHULA Education - ‘khula’ being an isiZulu word which means ‘to grow’. And Nicky, her family and the guests of Fugitives’ Drift Lodge continue to play a vital role in continuing David’s legacy of growing opportunities and brighter futures for local children and young people, supporting over 6,450 children, youth and 200 teachers across 21 local schools every year.