Sitole brings adventure to education

Monde on Mt Everest textAdventurer Monde Sitole pictured here on Mount Everest. Sitole is combining adventure with education to provide world-class education. (Images: Monde Sitole Facebook page)

South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) or Vision 2030 makes provision for quality basic education for all, but it is always better when individuals or corporates get involved too.

Monde Sitole, an adventurer and social entrepreneur, is doing just that. He started the Monde Sitole Educational Strategies Foundation to develop a culture of achievement and excellence by promoting an impactful, meaningful, comprehensive, holistic, world-class education and training system that is engaging and integrated.

“Innovation and ingenuity are the missing links needed to inject life into today’s education and for youth to spearhead solutions towards solving our many troubles and challenges we face as country,” he said. “Serious change needs to take place in order to produce the quality of individuals needed to lead our country forward.”

Sitole grew up in East London but his foundation is based in Khayelitsha, in Cape Town. Through it, he is fighting to get some of the country’s 700 000 children back into the classroom.

Sitole is also a Global Youth Ambassador for A World at School. The organisation and its network of ambassadors do grassroots education work in 85 countries.

BECOMING AN ADVENTURER

He did not set out to become an adventurer but, as he puts, it “one thing led to another”.

“I have always said that there is no formula to how I’ve turned out. One thing led to another and it’s evident of the fact that when you aspire and prepare well and always avail yourself to opportunities they will come.

“I first got an opportunity via Cape Wind Jammers Sailing Trust to join the first Africans to attend school on board a tall ship on a voyage from Cape Town to Bermuda via St Helena, Ascension Island, Fernando Island, Brazil, and Trinidad and Tobago.

“It was on that trip that a friend introduced me to bouldering. After returning from the voyage I was chosen to take part in the Mike Horn Young Explorers Camp in Switzerland, where I was further engrossed in high altitude mountaineering and responsible exploring,” he said.

“After that I set off on my very own expedition to scale the highest peaks on each continent, which I succeeded with climbing Kilimanjaro twice; Mount Elbrus, the highest in Europe; Mount Denali in Alaska, the highest in North America; and now I am prepping for Mount Everest without bottled oxygen.”

BECOMING A SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR

The vision to make society a better place for all prompted Sitole to become a social entrepreneur.

“I realised that if we were to make relevant, meaningful and core strides towards impacting and developing our country and Africa, we needed to have genuine interests and part of that is approaching all the challenges we face with urgency.”

Monde and youngsters from his foundation textEast London-born Sitole believes preparation and making himself available to life’s opportunities made him the adventurer he is today. He is hoping to pass on these same lessons at his educational foundation.

WHAT HIS FOUNDATION NEEDS

Sitole’s foundation is in need of young volunteers and workshop space. “We host a series of educational and innovation showcases for the public because our other goal is to create a relationship between school and community,” he said. “As Africans say, a child is raised by a whole village.”

Its next school showcase will include the future of education and learning institutions.

“We will have exhibitions and stands of youth pioneers, innovators and inventors, for example: Thato of Repurpose Schoolbags; Shalton Mothwa of Epoch Microchips, who invented a charging laptop bag; and Ludwich Marishane of dry bath, to name just a few,” said Sitole.

PLAY YOUR PART

Are you playing your part in developing South Africa and its citizens? If so, submit your story or video to our website and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.