The Khanyisela Project

We believe that the only way to make a real contribution to our community is through education and The Cavern family has long been involved in providing aid to schools, crèches and communities in the Amazizi area. Together with donations and assistance from other resorts, guests, friends and businesses, we hope to give the local children a sound foundation for future learning.

We support 10 crèches in the Amazizi Village by providing porridge for each child daily, organising teacher training and teacher workshops, and by purchasing educational equipment and games. We have also helped with on-going maintenance of school facilities.

For more information:
Khanyisela Projects Website

Royal Drakensberg Primary School

In addition to the crèche project we have helped establish an independent school just 500m from the Cavern. At the turn-off to Sungubala, there stood a roofless sandstone barn. Built with blocks from the surrounding hills, this lovely old building had stood empty for many a year. It has emerged as our beautiful new primary school – The Royal Drakensberg Primary School. Standing proud and glowing in the sun, this double-storey thatched building looks out over the valley it hopes to serve.

There is a great need for holistic education of a world class standard in our area. Conditions in these rural areas are poor and the teachers lack resources and infrastructure. We feel that an established private school, which is properly staffed and managed, will go a long way to giving children the necessary grounding to reach their maximum potential.

Providing children with an excellent foundation will help them to gain access to good secondary schools in kwaZulu Natal and so give them a chance to excel in life. Hopefully they will then be able and willing to give back in some way to the community in which they grew up.

The other important role that Royal Drakensberg Primary plays in education in the whole area is that it serves as a model of what is possible. Often as more and more people become aware of how a situation should be, they become less inclined to accept a poor standard for themselves. If parents and teachers in the area can see what is possible, they may strive to attain a similar standard in their own situations. The Royal Drakensberg Primary School staff is involved in out-reach training for teachers from the local schools where they share ideas and resources aimed at providing a higher quality of education for all.

For more information:
Royal Drakensberg Primary School Website

The Aim of the programme is to assist in the creation of a network of educational facilities that are in keeping with national and international standards. We hope to give learners a solid foundation for life-long learning, ultimately creating a community with a sense of self-respect and empowerment.

Our Team

We work as a dedicated team in the Northern Drakensberg and have a small committee:

NAME Company Position Website
Megan Bedingham The Cavern Director
Loretta Mecklenborg All Out Adventures Managing Member
Catherine Carte Montusi Mountain Lodge Front office manager
Dave Thurlwell Hearts of Hope Admin & Fundraising
Daphne Thurlwell Hearts of Hope Admin & Fundraising

Administration and Corporate Governance

We have a large support network of family and friends and we endeavour to keep the administration costs down by doing the ground work ourselves. All donations received go straight to the cause where they are most needed.
Khanyisela is part of Hearts of Hope (HoH), a Section 21 Registered Non-Profit Organisation, which assists in providing financial support to social projects. HoH assist us in a number of ways:

  • Phased project management.
  • Financial controls and financial infrastructure.
  • Tax exemption status for educational donations.

The details of Hearts of Hope are:
Section 21 Company Registration: 2003/005003/08
Non-Profit Organisation Registration No.: 033-126-NPO
Public Benefit Organisation (PBO)
Section 18a Tax exemption status

How to Make Donations

Donations can be made to Hearts of Hope or contact Dave or Daphne or Tel: (+27) 36 438 6270} for a credit card authorisation form if you would like to support this wonderful community.
Account Name: Hearts of Hope
Account Number: 022972188
Bank: Standard Bank
Branch: Rivonia
Branch code: 001255
Please use the following reference: “Drakensberg”
If you require a tax certificate please indicate this and it will be forwarded to you from Hearts of Hope.

If you are donating from the UK please advise us, as you can donate through the Retford Rotary Club and receive a tax certificate.

Mailing list
If, like us, you believe that the only way to make a real contribution to our community is through education, join us on this journey as we provide aid to schools, crèches and communities in the Amazizi area. Sign up to receive updates on the projects: Khanyisela Mailing List

Contact Us:

Dave and Daphne Thurlwell – Administration and Fund-raising.
Tel: (+27) 36 438 6270 – e-mail:
Dave: (+27) 83 512 0146
Daphne: (+27) 83 653 3830

Pack for a Purpose

We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and bring supplies for area schools or medical clinics in need, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Please click here to see what supplies are needed for our project/projects.

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