Last updated: 22/06/2019
In 2006 the Bambisanani Partnership emerged from a British Council/Youth Sport Trust initiative linking UK and South African Schools through physical education and sport. The link between St. Mary’s High School in Leeds and Mnyakanya High School, which serves one of KwaZulu-Natal’s most deprived rural communities, went on to become embedded in the lives of both schools, inspiring young people in many areas of the curriculum through joint learning activities.
Bambisanani is a Zulu word meaning ‘working hand in hand’ and aptly describes the work and vision of this inspirational partnership that uses sport as a catalyst to promote education, health, global citizenship and leadership.
Now a multi-award winning charity, the pioneering partnership has gained international acclaim for its work. Despite the most challenging of circumstances this project has not only been sustained it has grown and expanded to involve other schools and indeed universities.
Significantly, the University of Leeds and Leeds Trinity University are now both heavily involved in the partnership and like St. Mary’s School regularly have students out in South Africa to extend and develop the partnerships various programmes, including ‘Leadership Through Sport’, ‘Literacy Through Sport’ and ‘Cycling For Success’.
A fundamental aim of the partnership has been to create genuine ‘two way’ learning between both countries with a key focus on ‘working together and learning together’. The Bambisanani story is testimony of the power of sport to change lives and has served as a reminder to many just why they became a teacher.
Please see links below to four critically acclaimed books by David Geldart that chronicle the remarkable journey and work of this partnership: