The school with a difference: Zambesi Akademie, South Africa

Image: Founder Rita (centre) with her daughter-in-law and husband.

Although gifted, Rina Coertze’s son struggled to read and write at school, showing signs of dyslexia. It was then that Rina decided to address this problem directly and started remedial school Zambesi Akademie in 2008 in Magalieskruin to help students like her son.
Due to the effective application of her remedial knowledge to her son, Rina decided to implement the solution on a larger scale, adopting the attitude “if you can read, you can learn”.

Zambesi Akademie caters to students who do not fit into the normal public schooling system as they have physical or learning disabilities such as ADD / ADHD, apraxia, autism and dyslexia.

Starting with 6 students, the number of students at Zambesi Akademie has increased to 83 over the last seven years through word of mouth referrals. However, by early 2015, the school started experiencing a bottleneck due to physical constraints imposed by the small size of its premises.
It was then that GroFin came to its rescue, providing a loan of USD 320,000 to help Zambesi Akademie purchase a large residential property and convert it into a school which can cater for 150 students.
On a business support front, Grofin has been instrumental in aiding the school’s understanding of all relevant regulatory requirements, from protecting the client in property issues through to registrations required by the government. Finally, the investment will help maintain 11 existing jobs, while creating 16 additional jobs.

“The usual bank finance was never the preferred option for us. GroFin’s mission to help entrepreneurs aligns well with my goals and I see a clear fit between how I wish to achieve my objectives and the way GroFin partners with funded businesses to help them achieve their targets,” notes Rina.

Testifying to the far-reaching impact of the finance and support extended by GroFin, the school opened its new premises in January 2016 and has already enrolled 123 students.