Cape Town, South AfricaCape Town, South Africa
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

iNTOMBI is a groundbreaking interactive social network that combines the availability and widespread use of social media with education targeting vulnerable groups

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In South Africa, 1 in every 5 pregnant women who present at ante-natal clinics is teenagers, most of who are still attending school. In a society that prioritises the education of males over females and cultural demands that restrict female empowerment, girls often miss out on empowering themselves. In South Africa, an average girl spends less time at school because Extra tutorials after classes are usually missed due to female household chores (a cultural restriction); the priority in education is given to males, and hence if the family is experiencing financial difficulties, educating the girl is considered a waste. Their role as child bearers means they are likely to fall pregnant younger. This perpetuates a vicious cycle where more and more girls fall pregnant younger.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

iNTOMBI is an interactive social network that combines the availability and widespread use of social media with education. Utilizing the most effective forms of communication currently in hype in disadvantaged South Africa, the radio and cell phone technology – we can reach, educate, inspire and change the lives of girls who would otherwise not have access to education. By creating a platform in which these girls can access education via the radio, and via cellphone accessible social networks and/or sms messages and voice mails, all accompanied by written edu-guides designed for iNTOMBI , girls will have a stage to better their lives. iNTOMBI is not meant to replace formal education, but rather complement it. Attending school would still be ideal.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The life of a girl changes with iNTOMBI. Just because she has been told to rush home immediately after school to cook for her family will not hinder her progress at school adversely. She has iNTOMBI. Whilst the pots boil or when sweeping, she can tune in the radio at a certain time, and for 10 minutes, she could learn, revise and familiarise herself with concepts of science, math, literacy. With the aid of specially designed books to accompany the show, she can immediately put the concepts she is learning into practice. iNTOMBI will also give her practical advice (about sex, health, learning opportunities, legal advice, emotional support) that many girls lack. She will receive voice and sms messages to consolidate her learning and remind her when the educational shows air. She now meets with the school tutor twice every month as an “after school session”, to go through the iNTOMBI workbook she filled in during the shows. Every time she uses social networks on her mobile, she can access information, request voice messages about particular subjects and download texts regarding the topic. Even when she falls pregnant, she can still keep her knowledge abreast, without sacrificing her “responsibilities” as a mother. She will be able to interact with her peers on iNTOMBI and build a supportive “online/on air” family. iNTOMBI will provide a strong foundation, should attending school become difficult, and promote correspondence learning for those unable to participate at school.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Master Math and Math Whizz in South Africa provide a platform for extra classes to children who can afford to purchase DVD’s and sign contracts with the companies providing the tutorials. What they have : A system that caters for all the middle to upperclass households Shawco Education, as well as Inkanyezi are tutorship programs, run by students in the University of Cape Town, and provide extra classes for high school kids. Our service distinguishes itself, because our reach is beyond the “conventional” means of education – it facilitates IT and e-communication as a means of reaching marginalised groups of people. What we have: a system that should be no expense to them at all. our tutorship sessions are much shorter, occur less frequently, but are succicnt.

Founding Story

I have been a part of Shawco, and most times, the extra classes are dominated by the boys. This is because girls have chroes after school which the boys are lucky not to have.This had me thinking "how can we reach these girls, where ever they are, and get them to learn what they miss during the extra lessons in the afternoon?" One day, whilst surfing the changemakers website, I noticed the she will innovate competitons, and it clicked - provision of education through information technology is the next most logical step in reaching young girls, who many - have access to cellphones, and social networks, and radios, right there at their homes!! Thus I though the birth of a radio social network, this form of social media specific to underpriviledged people, should be the vehicle toward promoting education
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name


Organization Country

, WC, Cape Town

Country where this project is creating social impact

, WC, Cape Town

Age of Innovator


Gender of Innovator


How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them


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How long have you been in operation?

Still in idea phase, but looking to launch soon

Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your innovation addresses? Choose up to two

Access, Equity.

Social Impact
What solution(s) does your initiative address to better the lives of girls and women by leveraging technology? (select all applicable)

Access to education/training, Access to economic opportunity.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

The project is still in the idea phase, its impact, thus far has been imeasurable.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

Provide the iNTOMBI services to the whole of the western province disadvantaged schools, and the extension of iNTOMBI to other major Universities in the different provinces of South Africa, and the propagation of the services to the disadvantaged communities and high schools surrounding the universities.iNTOMBI becomes a household name synonymous with primarily girl empowerment, but also the provision of education via social media (including radio social networks like iNTOMBI)in South Africa.
The planning toward the next phase of social media learning - the teaching of basic skills such as computer literacy, secretariat-like training, and adult 9female)literacy - with the inclusion of health education.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

Availability of start-up funds to begin the project as a whole
Availability of resources to record the voice messages and printing of work books
Availability of “on air” time slots in radio

Assistance from local sponsors, such as Shawco, the shops in the area, and the university may assist the coverage of some costs incurred, as well as obtaining “on air” time slots on the radio. Provision of the prize money would go a long way in helping secure the pilot project.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

The foundation of iNTOMBI should be built during these crucial times to ensure the project runs as smoothly as possible

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Present project plan to Shawco education and Faculty of education in UCT for assistance. Choosing 1 school to run pilot project

Task 2

Recording and printing of materials necessary, promote iNTOMBI and hunt for sponsors, secure radio timeslots

Task 3

Opening of iNTOMBI. Distribution of media through social networks, as well as radioshows.tutorship sessions accompany shows

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Training more personnel to prepare for the expansion to accomodate anticipated demand coming from other schools

Task 2

Establishment of iNTOMBI, intense advertising targeting underprivilegded schools.Promoting e-learning, and radio social networks

Task 3

Inclusion and signing up of at least 3 underpriviledged schools in Western cape for iNTOMBI

Tell us about your partnerships

I have contacted iNkanyezi and have plans on introducing the idea with Shawco in UCT, as well as the faculties to seek their support in making the idea a reality.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list