Since 2000, the Student Sponsorship Programme (SSP), a non-profit trust, has provided educational opportunities to 1,500 talented South African learners from low-income homes to attend the best secondary schools in Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Eastern Cape.

With the generous contributions of institutional and individual donors from South Africa and the US, SSP gives five-year high school scholarships to academically distinguished Scholars from financially disadvantaged backgrounds. SSP Scholars are carefully selected following our competitive recruitment process that begins when they are in Grade 6, based on academic excellence, emotional intelligence, financial need and leadership potential. Successful candidates are then placed at our Partner Schools when they are in Grade 8.

SSP’s commitment to our Scholars is financial, however, we go far beyond this by providing a suite of services to our Scholars, including psycho-social support, and providing for their personal development needs. We do this through SSP Scholar Programme Officers (SPOs), who monitor the academic progress of the Scholar, as well as their psycho-social well-being. We also have the SSP Mentorship Programme, where each student is paired with a Mentor, who is typically a successful professional. The Mentor provides additional guidance throughout the mentee’s high school career. When this relationship is properly nurtured, mutually-rewarding friendships that have lasted well beyond the Scholar’s high school career, have emerged from this programme.

The final component of the SSP model is leadership development. SSP’s vision is to develop “Leaders for South Africa” who are committed to the creation of a non-racist, non-sexist, democratic, united and prosperous South Africa as articulated in the South African Constitution. Our hope is that once our Scholars become Alumni, they will remain committed to public service, and become people of influence and leaders in their respective careers.

For almost two decades, our Scholars have flourished and overcome their disadvantaged backgrounds,. Nearly all SSP Scholars matriculate with multiple distinctions, and attend or have attended a variety of esteemed tertiary institutions in South Africa, the US, and the UK.


SSP identifies academically distinguished learners from low-income homes and gives them the opportunity to attend and excel at South Africa’s top private and public high schools.


SSP develops leaders for South Africa, who are committed to creating the society reflected in the South African Constitution: a non-racist, non-sexist, democratic, united and prosperous South Africa. SSP Scholars will become people of influence who will advance these values, wherever they find themselves.


The Staff, Trustees and Scholars of SSP must demonstrate leadership, integrity, excellence, professionalism, and commitment to public service.