About Mellon Educate

Founded in 2002, Mellon Educate has transformed the lives of thousands of people in South African Townships in the last 20 years.
Our mission is to bring literacy to 100 000’s of children across Africa while at the same time providing employment to school leavers in the community.

Every year, Mellon Educate organises their now renowned “building blitz” trip to Africa for volunteers from all over the world to travel and lend a helping hand building better school infrastructure in poor African communities.

Since 2013, Mellon Educate has set about improving access to better standards of education in South African townships. In 2018, the charity launched its The Mellon Educate Literacy Programme which is the key focus of the charity going forward. Its purpose is to address the appallingly high numbers of children who are unable to read for meaning, thereby vastly increasing the numbers remaining in education, while also providing opportunities for unemployed young people to become community based literacy tutors and gain a qualification.

The charity has built/renovated 36 schools over the last 10 years and to date provides improved education for 50 000 children. We aim to offer The Mellon Educate literacy programme in literacy hubs to 100 000’s of primary school children across Southern Africa over the next 10 years.

Mellon Educate Literacy Programme

The Mellon Literacy programme offers support to children struggling with the basics of literacy and language in the foundation phase of their education. One-on-one tutoring takes place in the rich environment of the Literacy Hub, built and resourced by Mellon Educate, as well as in community based libraries.


People Housed


Schools Reached



Volunteer for the Building Blitz

One week of the Mellon Educate ‘Building Blitz’ will change your life.
More importantly, it will change the lives of thousands of impoverished children who desperately need your help.

  • Volunteering for Mellon Educate is like a bug that never leaves you. The last three years I have left South Africa thinking that it was my last trip, but by the next January I can't wait to sign up again! For me the defining facts are the sense of pride that never leaves you and the friendships that will last a lifetime. It's an experience you will never forget.

    Brad Wood
  • Africa gets into your blood and calls you back year after year. Little did I think that when I signed up that it would become such a huge part of my life and that it would be on a building site in South Africa that I would meet my husband!

    Tracey Weldon
  • I became involved after seeing Niall on the Late Late Show. I can honestly say that it has changed my life. I have been exposed to the reality of poverty up close and this has stopped me taking anything for granted and spoiling my children too much. 

    Sandy Dunne

Building Brighter Futures

On this historic 20th anniversary of our charity’s Building Blitz week, we are returned to Cape Town’s township Khayelitsha and undertook much needed work at Yomelela Primary School and Injongo Primary School, jointly attended by 2,310 children.


Transition year is the perfect time to explore potential career paths, learn new skills, and achieve personal growth. Our one-week transition year programme allows you to do just that – get real-world experience while having fun and, most importantly, helping others!

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