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“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river.  We need to go upstream and find out why they are falling in.” Desmond Tutu

A brilliant academic, accepted into the Witwatersrand Medical School but unable to afford the tuition, Desmond Tutu enrolled at the Bantu Normal College and elected to study teaching. In 1955 Desmond Tutu started his career as a high school teacher after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Teacher’s Diploma. 

Disillusioned with the Bantu Education Act which offered black students only a rudimentary education he enrolled at St Peter’s Theological College where he studied Anglican doctrine and Christian Ethics.  He studied further at King’s College, London and obtained a Bachelor of Divinity Honours and a Masters of Theology.    Desmond Tutu was the first black African man to be appointed as Dean of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Johannesburg.  He will always be most remembered for his contribution towards the peaceful liberation in South Africa, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. After serving as Bishop of Johannesburg in 1985 and Archbishop of Cape Town in 1986, he was elected as President of All African Conference of Churches in 1987. He played a pivotal role in South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In recognition of his love of literature and education Tutu has been awarded numerous honory degrees and many schools and scholarships have been named after him. 

The Shambala Private Reserve in Limpopo has played a positive role in the lives of many young people living in the surrounding rural communities. Shambala and the EMS Foundation have, together, concentrated on educational and food security initiatives in order to bring about positive and tangible change. 

Education is the key to success. Shambala and the EMS Foundation know that increased access to education can contribute to reducing poverty.  Acquiring basic skills such as reading, writing and numeracy have a documented positive effect on marginalized population incomes. 

The aptly named, Tutudesk, is a Proudly South African product that is locally produced, supporting local employment and the development of the South African economy.   Made from a blend of materials the portable desk is child-friendly weighing less than 1 kilogram, the desks are certainly robust.

It is impossible to work hard at school if you do not have the correct tools.  Having a school desk is of the upmost importance. Shambala Private Game Reserve and the EMS Foundation have donated thousands of Tutudesks to learners in Limpopo Province. 

These images were taken by Shambala Private Game Reserve in September 2021. The desks are well loved and are serving an important purpose.

Happy 90th Birthday Desmond Tutu from everyone at Shambala and the EMS Foundation.  May you continue to inspire all young South Africans. 

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