Outreach & Upliftment Projects

ELF MTT strives to uplift and improve the quality of education in impoverished areas. Working with partners like Stop Hunger Now, Life Church, Catholic Welfare Development, Wheat Trust, Launchpad and Volkswagen.


Siyafunda Ukufunda (Learn to Read)

Project Leader: Mandisa Mamputa

Funded by: Ackerman’s Trust and ELF MTT

Materials development: H Tayob and M Pienaar

Date: Feb – May 2016

The Siyafunda Ukufunda pilot project developed on the pre-literacy programme introduced to the Kosovo Educare forum group in 2014. The pilot was to address the key problems of poor Literacy levels in the foundation phase of learning (0-9 years).

This pilot project worked with four teachers and preschools from Samora and Kosovo. It included an intensive six days of workshops and mentoring during which participants had the opportunity to learn and implement the ELF reading programme.

Each participant was given a kit of language activities and a set of readers appropriate for beginning readers. The main outcome was for the teachers to use their newly learned skills and materials in their classroom environment to encourage writing, reading, and listening. The mentor will provide support and evaluate the programme application on a weekly basis.


Outreach Projects in Cape Town

Jo’s School – a project of ELF MTT 

Funded By: Department of Social Development and private funders

Date: Ongoing from 2016

Jo’s School – a pre-school situated in the heart of the economically destitute community of Vrygrond, Cape Town provides a safe and nurturing learning environment for 60 Aids-affected and vulnerable 3 to 6 year olds.

ELF graduates ensure the use of the internationally proven Montessori teaching methods to provide the children with three years of full pre-school education upon which they can build when they enter the public schooling system.

The children also receive a nutritious cooked breakfast and lunch as well as two snacks daily, and there are secure facilities and toys for play during the after-school care period.

Housed in the Vrygrond Centre built by the Elton John Aids Foundation, Jo’s School has a positive influence within this impoverished community where there is a very high incidence of Aids, unemployment and substance abuse.

In addition to the three ELF graduates who manage the school and work as the lead teachers, the school employs five women from the Vrygrond community.

These adults provide support as classroom assistants, preparing hot meals, and maintaining the environment.

The school is dependent on funding to ensure that the poorest of poor and most vulnerable receive quality preschool education and access to good primary schools.

The children at Jo’s school are a constant source of inspiration to us. Truly against all odds they come to school each day and embrace all that is Jo’s School and are happy in the stimulating, secure and caring environment created for them by our dedicated staff.


Lifechurch/ELF MTT Project: Montessori Pre-Primary (3-6 years) Workshops

Project Lead: Mandisa Mamputa & Aisha Mohammed

Funded by: Life church/ Wheat trust/ ELF MTT

Date: October 2013- October 2015

This project addresses the key problems of lack of infrastructure and training with implementation in Early Childhood Development in the “township” pre-schools. While LifeChurch replaces “shacks” with a more stable zinc structure, ELF MTT provides training workshops for the facilitators.

The fifteen participant facilitators are members of the Kosovo Educare forum and principals of their ECD centres.

The workshops aim to provide the facilitators with knowledge, skills, practical experience and support for working with children ages 3-6. All the workshops include a theory and practical component with material making, followed by mentoring in the classroom environment. This creates an opportunity for the transference of knowledge and skills with support.

The process of application and mentoring is slow and continuous.

After each module, the facilitators are expected to set up the classroom environment to include what they have learned. The mentor supports them in this process.

In the first year – the programme focus is on understanding the Montessori paradigm and applying it to the Practical Life (Life skills) and Ladder to Literacy modules. The next two years follow the same rhythm.


Stop Hunger Now/ELF MTT Project: Montessori Pre-Primary (3-6 years) Workshops

Project Lead: Mandisa Mamputa


Date: March 2016 – November 2016


The Arts Project

Project Lead: Nina Hendricks

Funded By: NLDTF- ARTS and Culture

Date: September 2015- June 2016

The ELF Arts project in collaboration with the Children’s Art Center developed a unique opportunity for ELF Alumni to develop their skills and art techniques. The Art programme was developed in collaboration and included practical easy to implement ideas with young children. The theory focussed on the development of art in young children. The practical sessions were hands-on activities that involved getting their “hands dirty.” Many of the activities used recycled and scrap materials that would be easily accessible to all participants from the different communities.

The major outcomes included developing skills to do art with young children; developed self-esteem; the opportunity for the adults to relax and learn at the same time; exposure to art materials, art language, and art technique.


Financial Support to Young Women

Project Lead: Hawa Tayob

Funded By: The Tayob Family and SANZAF

Over forty percent of the young women and mothers who attend ELF MTT training programs are in need of financial support. Financial support means different things to different people.

For some, ELF MTT with its all “women staff” is the only opportunity for gaining a qualification; For others, it is an opportunity to homeschool and develop parenting skills; yet for others it is seen as a change of career opportunity where new mothers can work and be with their young children; for just out of school matriculants it creates the space to earn while you travel.

Studying at ELF creates opportunities for:

  • employment in the city
  • work and travel overseas
  • developing parenting skills
  • working with children with cognitive disabilities
  • and for the more entrepreneurial – opening their own centres for young children ages 0-6 years.

We, the ELF team, endeavour to never turn away potential “teachers” who have the drive to make a difference to themselves, their families, their communities and the world.