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Kwasa College
9 Nalk Road  
Daggafontein,
Springs  
South Africa 
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An Independent Pre-primary and Primary School registered through the Gauteng Education Department, South Africa
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Photo courtesy of Jill Conrad - shipping container classroom

  1. Managing Director
  2. Managing Director
  3. Managing Director
  4. Managing Director
Daggafontein Mines
Our Humble Beginnings...
Early history of the Informal Settlement 
Early history of Kwasa College
Gold was discovered in Springs, South Africa in 1899 and by 1904, the city of Springs was formed as a mining community. Sir Ernest Oppenheimer purchased the Daggafontein mine in 1917 and by 1930, it reached its first profit after several false starts.  By the 1950s, Daggafontein mine was one of the most lucrative sites for gold production on the Rand. Uranium production started at the same time and by 1962, the Daggafontein Mine produced 10% of Africa's gold and 9% of its uranium. 

Yet, by the end of the 1960s, the Daggafontein mine was shut down and the plants and surrounding buildings, emptied. Out of work and no place to go, the miners took over the mining area which created what is now the Informal Settlement of Daggafontein.  Residents live in shack-like structures with no electricity, sewerage  or running water. 
The Ven. Rev. Sharron Dinnie was visiting the informal settlement camp of Daggafontein in 2002. She was moved by the plight of the residents and concerned by the lack of stimulation with no educational possibilities
​ for the children. 
​​

Mother Sharron's dream was born. Education must be a priority, but the realities of establishing a school has been anything but an easy endeavor. With much reflective prayer, Mother Sharron embarked on a mission to establish a sustainable school for the children of the Informal Settlement. She had many obstacles  to overcome including the transportation of students, resident distrust, bureaucratic red tape and the ever-present funding issues. Kwasa College is the result of her tireless efforts.

Here is where the two histories intersect to form a combined chronology of how
an abandoned/derelict Daggafontein mining area is now the home for Kwasa College.

  1. 2004
    2004
    The Daggafontein Primary School began under the Highveld Anglican Board of Social Responsibility. HABSR promotes sustainable social care and responsibility to address the social issues within impoverished communities. Unfortunately, this first attempt at establishing a school failed dismally, primarily because of a lack of funding. Not to be discouraged, Mother Sharron changes the focus of the primary school to Early Childhood Development Education.
  2. 2005
    2005
    Kwasa Centre Pre-Primary opens with 74 children ages 3 to 6 years old. The location of the Kwasa Centre is at an old Daggafontein mining area and is the first school near the Informal Settlement. The property has several abandoned buildings that are used for the school.
  3. 2006
    2006
    A little bit of paint, some donated furniture and a classroom of eager pre-schoolers - let the learning begin. These little ones typically speak 4 or 5 languages when they begin at Kwasa but not English or Afrikaan, the two languages taught at schools and used in business. English and the early aspects of mathematical literacy are critical early skills in order to progress through the South African educational system.
  4. 2007
    2007
    A scholarship programme begins as part of the Kwasa Centre services. 84 children were able to attend Primary and High Schools on scholarships paid for by the Kwasa Centre. These students are transported to their schools and return to the Kwasa Centre to attend its after-school tutoring programme. All homework needs to be accomplished during the day as there is no electricity in the Informal Settlement.
  5. 2019
    2019
    We were honored to welcome Bishop Michael Curry, the primate of the Episcopal Church, to Kwasa College. He will visit the Province of Southern Africa (ACSA) in February to meet with Diocesan Bishops at their Synod, and to give the fourth Bishop David Beetge Memorial Lecture.
  6. 2003
    2003
    "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." The first step for Kwasa College began at the St. Peter and St. Paul Church in Springs. The Ven. Rev. Sharron Dinnie is Rector of the parish. Educating the children of the Informal Settlement of Daggafontein started as a Social Responsibility project run by the parish.
  7. 2009
    2009
    The good news is that attendance is increasing each year. The difficult new is not having enough space in the existing abandoned mining building. Without funds to build an annex to the building, Mother Sharron found the solution in still usable shipping containers as classrooms. The students did not seem to care - learning was the priority.
  8. 2012
    2012
    Kwasa College provides two meals a day to its students plus snacks. However, the staff was noticing that food came up short each day. Upon investigation, it is found that several children receiving food are not students. These little orphans are living in the culverts, drains or wherever they could find shelter. The John Crane House for Girls opens this year to provide shelter, nutrition, education and love for these most vulnerable orphaned girls.
  9. 2016
    2016
    The Dedication of the Chapel-of-the-Cross at Kwasa on 6 August by +Charles, was a truly joyous occasion! The service was planned to coincide with the visit of a group from Chapel Hill, among them the donors, making it a very special The Chapel is now used regularly for worship and the cross on top of the bell tower is a reminder to all who pass by, that ours is a school dedicated to God for the care, nurture and education of children.
  10. 2017
    2017
    The building for our fifth and sixth grade classroom was completed in 2017. Building began in late 2016 by an eager group of 11th graders from St Peter’s College in Sunninghill. The Grade 11 raised enough money to be able to offer to help build a classroom at Kwasa. From 29th November to 5 December teams of 60 learners, accompanied by educators, arrived at Kwasa each day, to lay bricks for the 5th and 6th grade building.
  11. 2013
    2013
    Another vital step in the Kwasa College journey is the purchase of the school property and surrounding land, a total of 20 hectares (about 50 acres). Plans are drawn and buildings are being rehabilitated or built. The land purchase is vital to the dream of providing education from grade 1 to matrix level. As with every previous step, it isn't easy. One difficulty is removing the squatters in some of the buildings and having to erect fences and provide 24-hour security.
  12. 2008
    2008
    As part of their services, Kwasa College provides breakfast, lunch and refreshments for all the children served from the kitchens in the Pre-Primary building. In 2008, the small staff was preparing about 300 meals and snacks for the students.
  13. 2014
    2014
    2014 was an important year for Kwasa College. First, the school achieved independent school status and the children of Daggafontein have access to a quality education Also, the Mike Howe home for boys opens for 18 orphaned boys.
  14. 2010
    2010
    A critical cog to the educational success of Kwasa College lies in its ability to transport the children of Daggafontein to Kwasa as well as to local primary and high schools for older children. Our "gently used" Mercedes Sprinter van has made a tremendous impact as our program increases in size and scope.
  15. 2018
    2018
    In 2018, the derelict white building went through an amazing transformation thanks to the generosity of West Green Trust, St. Peter’s College, Ridge Line Roofing, and Trumod (a member of the Clyde Industrial Corporation). We are so grateful to all who have contributed towards making this possible. In Phase 1 the the building was sealed with the roof on, windows and doors in, and render and paint on the outside walls. Phase 2 will commence in 2019/20.
  16. 2015
    2015
    2015 was a pivotal year for Kwasa Centre. Its name was changed to Kwasa College to better reflect its standing as a private Pre and Primary School. To accomplish its mission of adding one grade each year, 4 new classrooms were built to house grades 1-4. Grades 1 & 2 moved in during 2015.
  17. 2011
    2011
    In 2011, the Pre-Primary program emphasizes the Ntataise (a South Sotho word meaning “To lead a young child by the hand”) Theme Based Program which was established for preschools and playgroups. It encourages imaginative play, like dressing up for a fashion show. This type of activity is difficult for children from a deprived background. The Pre-Primary program has expanded this year to 116 children aged 3-6 years that have been ably taught in 6 classes in 2011 by a staff of 7.

Timeline of Major Milestones for Kwasa College

2011

2007

2015

2003

2019

2013

2009

2017

2005

2012

2008

2010

2014

2018

2006

2016

2004

Click on a blue dot to view the Year in Review

With Gratitude

The milestones listed were reached were only made possible by the dedication of the Kwasa College staff, the generosity of our Global Giving Partners and individual donors who are committed to helping the vulnerable children from the Daggafontein Settlement.

Lux Vita Caritas

Light, Life, Love