Business leaders inspire change through ground-breaking PfP initiative

In marking #10YearsofPfPImpact, Symphonia for South Africa calls on business leaders in Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Saldanha Bay and Johannesburg to contribute to education by joining its Partners for Possibility (PfP) leadership development and principal support programme.

The PfP programme was created to empower school principals who have not been sufficiently well prepared for the demands and challenges of leading an under-resourced school. Within 10 years, the programme has reached over 1,250 schools across all nine of South Africa’s provinces and has touched the lives of over a million learners.

“In stark contrast to well-funded schools, principals at these schools have to function without adequate training or the required support from parents and a well-resourced school governing body. This ultimately impacts the quality of education the school’s learners receive,” says Louise van Rhyn, CEO of Symphonia for South Africa (SSA) and founder of PfP.

PfP creates an opportunity for business leaders to use their knowledge and skills to help strengthen leadership capacity in under-resourced schools in a year-long collaborative and practical journey. It offers business leaders a hands-on learning experience within an educational environment that is fraught with complex challenges. Both partners are supported by a professional coach over the course of a year and receive world-class leadership training.

In post-programme surveys business leaders typically express very high levels of satisfaction with the programme, with many reporting that they have grown as leaders while making a difference, giving back and gaining insights into the challenges that educators and learners face.

 “The value that the PfP process has added to my personal development is far beyond that which I anticipated,’’ said chartered accountant Wynand du Plessis.

“The area in which I have grown the most is influential leadership  ̶  leading without having direct authority. Additionally, the workshops and prescribed books have opened my mind to new possibilities and stimulated an appetite for learning,” he added.

After her 12-month journey, senior IT Manager Charmaine Singh said: ‘’I got such immense value from the programme. I had no idea what was going on in schools. When you are closer to the system you see the complexity of the problem.’’

Nedbank Executive Head Grant Kelly praised PfP as ‘’much more than an incredibly successful education initiative.’’

‘’It is one of the very few true leadership development programmes which focuses on creating higher-order, socially conscious, empathetic and inclusive leaders in both the public and private sectors,’’ he said.

The PfP programme has grown in stature and reputation since its inception in 2010 and has been endorsed by prominent South African thought leaders including former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu. The programme has also received local and international accolades for its work in education and leadership development.

Interested business leaders can make contact at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Alternatively, if you know someone who may be interested, please forward our details to them.

Visit www.PfP4SA.orgfor more information.

30 November -1, 00:00