Projects and programmes to support

Waterford fundraises for:


Scholarships are a strategic priority for the college. We are focused on diversity and aim to have as many students from different national, cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds as possible. These passionate, capable and talented individuals add so much to the college community; by sharing their culture, life experiences, focus and energy. Living and learning together allow our students the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of specific nations, cultures and global issues. We support National Committees that are unable to fund students themselves and reach out to students in areas where there is no National Committee system, students in conflict zones, from developing nations and from different ethnic groups. Your support will help us reach far and wide.

We continue to offer scholarships based on merit, but we also recognise that socio-economic background is an important part of the diversity within the college. As such, scholarships are need-based as much as possible. Therefore, if a student needs a full scholarship they will receive one, but equally, if we think that a family can contribute financially then it is only fair that they do so. This allows our scholarship fund to help as many people as possible.

In 2016, twenty-nine percent of students at Waterford received some form of financial support, at IB level that is 50%. Through increased donations in 2015 Waterford provided 7 more full scholarships in the 2017 academic year. With the donations received in 2016, together with the USD 250,000 received in matched funding from the Davis-UWC Impact Challenge we will be able to provide an extra “36 scholarship years” for the period of 2018-2023. In total, 13 students will benefit from the increase in scholarship opportunities, from Form 1- IB 2.

For more information on the scholarship programme, its impact and how you can be involved, please contact Anne Rein Muller.

“I now understand that helping others is not about shouting from a mountain top, but rather that all efforts do make a small dent for the better” - Proserpina Dhlamini-Fisher (Swaziland, WK 1979 - 1983)

Scholarships ensure that students get an opportunity to acquire world-class education regardless of their economic background. Waterford invests in safe and conducive learning spaces for our students.

Capital Projects

Learning in a positive and motivating environment impacts the attitude and success of our students. Gifts to the college help transform the learning environment. We are strengthening and modernising our facilities and resources on campus with learning in mind - providing our students with inspiring spaces that help bring their learning to life.

Projects finished or due to finish soon:

Energy Hub

The Energy Hub, built through the generosity of Michael Jarvis (WK ‘69), is a collaborative learning space for use by our Earth Discipline departments in the efforts to build and stimulate awareness of Sustainability Issues. The design of the Energy Hub is such that it portrays a tree rising from the ground in order to illustrate our need to minimize our impact on the earth. The unusual circular learning space allows for vibrant discussion in a manner divergent from traditional learning spaces. Multiple screens allow for monitoring of energy consumption and renewable energy production from multiple points on campus via a network of energy monitoring software. This management tool helps the college to progress it’s ambition to become carbon neutral.

The school's Energy Hub which is used to monitor the use of energy on campus is also used for class sessions

Sustainability Projects

Permaculture Gardening at Waterford

Waterford Kamhlaba has a very beautiful permaculture garden which is managed by some IB 1 students as part of their Community service project! The permaculture garden concept combines sustainable agriculture, landscape design and ecology to grow more food, in less time, and for less money. Permaculture is based on observing natural systems, understanding how they work and then applying the same principles to design low carbon, green systems. Here we can make connections, turn our waste into useful resources and create self-sustaining cyclical systems that work together healthily. Some of the advantages of permaculture include:

  • It is easy to begin implementing on a small scale.
  • It greatly improves your food production.
  • Your soil will continue to be nourished.

Permaculture emphasizes the use of native plants, or those that are well adapted to your setting. The goal here is to plant things you like, while making sure they have a purpose and benefit the landscape in some way.

There are certain principles that are important for a successful permaculture garden, and these are:

  • Produce no waste: you need to actively look for ways to use leftovers from your garden.
  • Use the edges: make use of all the possible spaces you have for growing; no area is insignificant.
  • Incorporate perennial crops in your landscape: perennial crops do not need to be replanted every year, so they conserve energy and the soil is not disturbed as much.
  • Harvest water in the garden: you need to know how much water your garden needs each season. Plants need water for cell division; cell enlargement and even for holding themselves up.

Waterford Permaculture Gardens

All food purchased by Waterford has a carbon footprint associated with it. The carbon dioxide emissions of this food should be accounted for by the college. The establishment of organic permaculture gardens helps to reduce WK’s overall carbon footprint. The establishment of these gardens also allows Waterford to demonstrate a circular economy. The process is one of: Food to table – waste to bio-digester – gas to kitchens - fertilizer to gardens, thereby maintaining as much energy within the system without increased external inputs. The produce from the gardens is also sold to the kitchen for use in meals and to staff as a revenue generator.

The school permaculture gardens.

MP Hall and Assembly Hall Renovations

The MP hall looks totally different after the recent renovations. The interior part of the assembly hall has also been refurbished and has a new carpet.

The new-look MP hall and the refurbished interior of the assembly hall.

Classroom Block Refurbishment

The main classroom block was opened in 1965. In 1983 the music and drama department was built, since replaced with the CCLD/M. In 2006/7 the newest addition was added at the main entrance. Over the years small minor add-ons were built with little consideration of style and student flow. Very little refurbishment has been done to the block other than general painting and minor works. In terms of aesthetics, the classroom block is a mix of different styles of architecture without any unifying factor or appeal.

This is the new look of the classroom block. Lessons are already taking place in the completed blocks.

With the generous support from both the Wolfson and Vitol Foundation, the classroom block saw a major overhaul, which brought air and light to what was a dark environment. For the design of the classroom block click here.

Renovations started in April 2016 and the project is now near completion. As part of the refurbishment, the façade of the Science block has received a face-lift and the entrance and main hallway of the classroom block has been opened to allow more light. Among other things, the new design includes an educational medicinal herb space and a new teachers meeting room. The last part to be added is a covered parking space for 15 day-teachers’ cars.

Longer term capital projects

The school has put together a longer-term capital project plan, to cover renovations and refurbishment and make adjustments to the campus to better support our students and staff in the education we provide.

Ekukhuleni renovations

Next on WK’s wish list is the renovation of one of it’s oldest hostels: Ekukhuleni Hostel. Ekukhuleni Hostel was opened in 1965, around the same time the classroom block was built. It was built in conjunction with Esiveni hostel and the old dining hall and kitchens. It housed approximately 50 students in an open plan free flowing style. However, due to the demand for further student housing over the intervening years, small minor add-ons were built with little consideration of style and student flow. Storerooms were enclosed to provide extra room space and the open plan nature of the hostel was bricked in to allow for perceived privacy of students. An annex was added to the hostel to allow for the accommodation of Form 1 students and a hostel parent flat was squeezed in between the two. Within this space the lower forms now accommodate 96 students, an over 90% growth with only a 30% increase in building footprint.

An old staff flat at the end of the building was also subsequently converted into the school clinic. This lies between the Annex and Main Ekukhuleni Hostel, which breaks the flow of the accommodation. This ad hoc growth combined with a lack of planning foresight has led to very cramped conditions and an unappealing venue for students during their important years as boarding students. Very little refurbishment has been done to the block other than general painting and minor works. In terms of aesthetics, this hostel is also a mix of different styles of architecture without any unifying factor or appeal. Click here to see the site plans.

Total project costs are in the range of 8 million Rand (ca USD 600,000).

Last month Bill Brown, who has also helped Waterford build the dining hall; has pledged support in the amount of USD 300,000. In the coming months, we will reach out to find further support to rebuild this hostel and bring it into the 21st century. For further information please click here.

Should you be interested in supporting Waterford in renovating its facilities or seek more information on the capital campaign, its impact and how you can be involved, please contact Anne Rein Muller.

“Anyone of you who were wondering whether you want to support Waterford Kamhlaba UWC, know that you are investing in an outstanding institution that has produced some quite remarkable human beings.” - Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former WK parent

Ekukhuleni hostel will be renovated as part of the longer term capital projects.