Anna-Marie and Jan Kaars-Sijpesteijn

Founders and funders of the after-school education programme HELP, Anna-Marie and Jan Kaars-Sijpesteijn, are the recipients of the 2014 Inyathelo Philanthropy Award for Support in Education.

Anna-Marie and her husband Jan established HELP – Homework Enrichment Life Skills Programme – several years ago in the belief that it is the responsibility of all South Africans to create a generation that is literate and grounded.

HELP works in four disadvantaged communities in Cape Town, building self-confidence and self-respect so that children can reach their full potential. Anna-Marie believes that once these seeds are firmly planted, a child can flower and blossom.

The non-profit organisation runs three different programmes throughout the year – HELP which is the daily after-school programme; AMV Club (Ambition, Motivation and Vision Club) which runs on Saturday mornings and Holiday Club which is held during the July and September holidays.

Anna-Marie and Jan recently bought a property and named it HELP House. Jan personally undertook the extensive renovations needed to make it suitable for the children. This compassionate and generous couple also subsidise all the extra lessons needed by the children and have purchased a car to transport them to and from HELP House.