Inanda Seminary – Infrastructure and Resource Revitalization
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United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA)
Inanda Seminary was founded by American missionaries in 1869 and is an independent school under the auspices of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA), a longtime partner of Global Ministries. As an all-girls school, Inanda Seminary has as its core a holistic educational program that upholds Christian values and philosophies and embraces African tradition and heritage.
The school, which lies 25 kilometers northwest of Durban and forms part of the KwZulu-Natal Tourism Route, is a leading independent black boarding school for girls in southern Africa. It provides quality education, which emphasizes independent thinking and freedom of expression. The school has produced a number of highly successful women who today occupy high profile positions in government and business. Since its founding in 1869, over 8000 girls have gone into the world remembering and exemplifying the schools motto: “Shine where you are.”
Inanda Seminary’s popularity is attributable to its high quality value-based education and the success of its graduates over the years. Fees for tuition and board are at very affordable levels. As an independent school all, “members” are full boarders. Instruction is offered in Grades 7 – 12 encompassing both the Senior and FET (further education and training) phases. Values are reinforced and strengthened in a cultural context that is proudly African.
Much has been achieved at Inanda Seminary largely through the passion and commitment of its alumnae and staff. In 1997 Inanda Seminary was on the verge of closure brought on by reduced government support, deteriorating infrastructure, a decrease in enrollment, and diminishing international support. Intervention by former pupils of the school, ‘the Old Girls,’ prevented the closure and the school was re-opened in January 1998 under a new Board of Governors. With the assistance of supporters, Inanda Seminary has completed a number of major restoration efforts in several classroom buildings, the museum and archive building, and the teachers’ cottage. Donors have contributed building restoration work and materials at cost or reduced cost.
With a growing enrollment, the school has been able to meet its operational budget through paid tuition and a KZN Education Department subsidy. The board has attempted to retain fees at an affordable level and at the same time manage to cover operational expenses. However to meet the growing enrollment, additional restorations and renovations are needed as well as equipment and supplies. Moreover, there is a real need to support students from families who find themselves in financial difficulties. Several students excel academically but fees for tertiary education are prohibitive. Financial support of students entering university level studies is necessary. The Seminary has a strong outreach commitment and is involved in different community projects not the least of which is supporting local children impacted by HIV/AIDS with Anti-Retroviral (ARV) treatment.
Specifically, in order for Inanda Seminary to continue to meet its mission, it needs special support for tuition subsidies, textbooks, laboratory equipment, and classroom materials. The school believes in holistic education with a strong emphasis on physical and athletic activities. In this area, a variety of sports equipment and improved facilities for swimming and tennis are required. Other infrastructure in need of repair or restoration includes the Edwards Hall media center and lecture theatre that burned down in 1993.
In addition, the school can continue to sustain the needs of the community by funding ARV treatments to adults and children at McCord Hospital. The hostel sponsored in part by the Seminary needs mattresses and cubicle curtains. While the school continuously endeavors to broaden its financial base the Inanda Seminary’s partnership with Global Ministries through the UCCSA continues to be an important part of the school’s support.
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