Squash + Education, A Great Match

Last weekend on a snowy Sunday in the suburbs of Boston, 43 athletes played squash to support two South African organizations: Education Africa & Egoli Squash.

Our USA-based organization teamed up with Cross Courts Squash, an athletic club 30 minutes outside of Boston, Massachusetts, to hold a benefit tournament for these two great causes. In just 5 hours, the Cross Courts community raised almost $3,400 to support South African youth! 


Why squash and education? Why South Africa?

Joey Roberts, the head squash professional at Cross Courts, deeply understands the benefits of squash and education in a young person’s life. As a young athlete in Belfast, Ireland, he learned the rewards of hard work by playing squash and earning a scholarship to Yale University.

Mike Tootill, Joey Roberts & Geoff Moorhead.

Mike Tootill, a squash professional and coach at Cross Courts, also knows the power of squash to provide opportunities. As a South African himself, Mike has represented South Africa for squash for many years, earning numerous titles and serving as a volunteer for Egoli Squash, an all volunteer program in Johannesburg that helps disadvantaged youth succeed through squash.

Both of these professionals are now coaches that mentor young squash players, both on and off the court. They decided to give their time and effort to planning this tournament for us and Egoli Squash to teach their community about the challenges facing South Africa, and how both sport and education provide essential solutions for uplifting our youth.

A Tournament with South African Spirit

The tournament was a huge success! There were 43 participants and four brackets. Each winner took home a prize, and all players were given safari-themed bandanas and t-shirts to celebrate the day. Importantly, Cross Courts invited six athletes from SquashBusters, a local urban squash program, to participate in the tournament.


Thank you for supporting our mission

At Education Africa, we believe that the success of our youth will depend on every child finding their own passion and having the opportunity to pursue that. Whether it be music, debate, cooking, dance, or squash, we are excited to have partners across the world who also believe in our vision.

Thank you to everyone who donated and participated! We cannot do the work we do without you all! You have helped give hope and opportunity to the most disadvantaged children in South Africa.

An extra special thank you to our event sponsors:

How our Model UN program changed Nqobile’s life

Nqobile Augustine is an alumna of our South African Model United Nations (SAMUN) program. She went to Mashishing Secondary school and has written this post to share how her SAMUN experience has helped her develop into the young woman she is today. 

“Opportunities I got from SAMUN make me wake up every morning and see reason to live. They show me that there are still many opportunities out there waiting for me.

Giving up is not an option; things didn’t go as I planned but it is going according to God’s plan. After the debate, I had experience on how to present, and organise and research information in a compelling fashion.

The experience I had taught me a lot about myself. I got to socialise more with different people from around the country and the world, and I had my first time experiences of being on a plane and a boat through SAMUN.

I got more interested in what’s happening around the world and through the debate, I learned how some places of the world are suffering. I would one day like to have my own campaign that helps the less fortunate around the world.

In the next few years, I would like to become a Chartered Accountant and I’m enrolling at Tswane University of Technology (TUT).”


Interested in supporting students like Nqobile? Join our mailing list here




Niël, a SAMUN student inspired by his mother

This post is written by Mami, a South Africa Model United Nations (SAMUN) 2016 student. She is profiling the 2016 SAMUN experience and sharing stories of her peers. This post features Niël Carlson.

“I am trusting God to open big doors in 2017 and 2018.”

Completing a medical degree (MBcHB) aNiel.jpgt the University of Stellenbosch is what reminds Niël Carlson, age 17, to keep preserving through all situations.

“Always work hard, to be successful. Always work hard, to be what you desire. We all have dreams, be it big or small. In order to achieve these dreams, hard work and sacrifice are essential.”

The young, promising future SAMUN tutor was filled with nerves, thrills and disbelief when he was announced as one of the eight debaters that would represent their province in New York City.

Niël’s biggest motivation is and will always be his mother. A woman who against all odds wrote her Matric. Believing in the value of a good education, she kept studying. Now she is the Executive Director of the very same company she worked as a secretary.

Hard work, hard work and more hard work has kept this young man going. S.A van Wyk High School has provided South Africa and the world at large with leader who is humble in nature and is not afraid to do the tough job.

He has a goal and no man can stop him. World watch out!

Thabo, a SAMUN student ahead of his years

This post is written by Mami, a South Africa Model United Nations (SAMUN) 2016 student. She is profiling the 2016 SAMUN experience and sharing stories of her peers. This post features Thabo Rathaba.  


  • Speaker of office at the local junior council
  • Junior Cluster Commander for SAPS
  • An RCL Executive who is currently in his final year in high school at Leseding Technical Secondary school
  • Just 15 years old


With a bright future and an eye for the stars, Thabo is just an example of the mass of young people who know and understand the term “hard work.”

“The level of knowledge that one can obtain intrigues me,” Thabo says. Being intellectually challenged to make wise decisions is what kept him going in one of South Africa most prestige debate competition, SAMUN.

Thus, when asked what he wants the whole world to know about him he says:

“Learners my age are in grade 9. I am hardworking and am going to be on Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

Thabo has a dream, a dream with a deadline, a dream that highlights the importance of serving and protecting our world peace and advancement. He wants to fulfill his duties as a global citizen.

Thabo says,

“For a conducive global environment, countries need to work together even if it means working with the enemy.”

Remember when a person dreams there are no limits. Thabo Kelly Rathabo defines the every essence of having a vision.

Vusi, a SAMUN student filled with purpose

This post is written by Mami, a South Africa Model United Nations (SAMUN) 2016 student. She is profiling the 2016 SAMUN experience and sharing stories of her peers. This post features Vusi from the Kwa-Zulu Natal province. She is a student at Ridge Park College.






The girl with a humor that outshines her fierce outlook on politics. When asked about her views on debate, she left no rock unturned:

“Debating just makes me happy because it indirectly trains me to work cohesively with others. It inspires consensus building aimed at bettering our society.”

These words come warmly from “Mama Africa”, a name she proudly wears after winning the hearts of every debate member of SAMUN.

The presence of a tomorrow drives Vusi:

“I don’t know what it is but the fact that I get up and see meaning every morning in my life is a reason to go out there and fulfill my purpose.”

This young lady, who has a great passion for food, is currently in her final high school year with a vision to The University of Cape Town to study Political Science or Law. She hopes to be a leader in law in South Africa and across the globe.

Vusi is your average young lady with above average purpose.

SAMUN through the eyes of Mami

This post is written by Mami, a South Africa Model United Nations (SAMUN) 2016 student. She is profiling the 2016 SAMUN experience and sharing stories of her peers.

When writing about my fellow delegates I know we are intrigued by knowledge, motivated by the smile of an orphan and inspired by the love of a mother. Thus, do the youth of our nation lack motivation or zeal to dare dream of a better tomorrow?

SAMUN brought together over 30 young minds. Minds that questioned policies, highlighted the importance of a united front, not only in Africa but in the world at large and minds that gave path to proactive solutions to global issues.


The team representing the USA debates at the national conference in July.

A platform has been laid, a platform that enables young people to aspire to a goal, no matter the background. There is an inevitable growth in our young minds. Growth that changes ideologies, economies and limits in society.

It is time to make known to the world that prosperity, change and global development lays in the hands of the youth.

The world belongs to those who can vision a tomorrow.

Follow along for stories about other SAMUN delegates through my eyes!


Meet Mami, a SAMUN student & guest blogger!

To bring you an inside view of our South Africa Model United Nations (SAMUN) program, our new blog series will be written by Mami Bizimana, a 2016 SAMUN delegate from the Gauteng province. While others enjoyed their December breaks, Mami worked with the Education Africa team to interview her peers to share their stories and honor their potential.

Mami was born and raised in Burundi. After recently fleeing her home country, she has created a new life in South Africa filled with ambition and vigor. This year, Mami won an award at SAMUN for her debating skills while representing the country China. Let’s get to know Mami better!


Mami wants to study medicine at a global university

What excites you about SAMUN?

I was so excited to have the opportunity to get involved in global issues and think logically about issues that I only see on TV.

What was the toughest lesson you learned during SAMUN?

While I really enjoy debating, I now realize debating is not about who speaks the loudest. It is about who comes up with solutions that are doable and for the benefit of others.

SAMUN also taught me how to approach any issue with discipline and speak with confidence.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I have a passion for medicine. It was never my first choice because I always believed that too many people wanted to be doctors for the wrong reasons. It was not until my aunt had problems with her lungs that I realized that this world needs people who can serve others without making others feel guilty for being sick. I am willing to serve and learn.

I can only study medicine if I get a scholarship. I want to study abroad so that I can serve on a global scale.

If you could say anything on an international platform, what would it be?

I would say:

“Fellow delegates, the time has come where talking about the problem stops. It is time to place the solutions into action. Anyone can be a refugee. When we remain treating people like me like a little refugee girl, it becomes a burden. Instead, we need to educate her, feed her and remember it takes a village to raise a child. The very same girl you see as a burden will cure HIV, will provide breathtaking research in astronomy and will transform an economy. Let us have leaders who believe in the potential of their people.”


Mami, on the far left, debating at SAMUN 2016

Stay tuned for posts written by Mami about her SAMUN peers!

Want to support students like Mami? Make a donation to Education Africa and support the SAMUN program — Donate here!