Canon Collins Trust

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United Kingdom

About Us

Canon Collins Trust works to build a community of change agents across southern Africa who create and use research for social impact. Our unique approach to ‘scholarship in action’ fosters collaboration and learning between scholars, activists and civil society organisations. We fund postgraduate studies and research, make grants to education and human rights NGOs, and run an international events programme aimed at exploring the role of the ‘activist scholar’ in southern Africa. Our approach is underpinned by a spirit of solidarity rooted in our history in the anti-apartheid struggle.

Since 1981 we have awarded over 3000 postgraduate scholarships to southern African scientists, human rights lawyers, civil servants, educationalists, doctors and other professionals. Many have gone on to become leaders in government, the private sector and civil society. We also support community-based projects in southern Africa to increase access to education.

Our regional network of 3000 alumni is sustained by our conferences, retreats and alumni associations. Many of our scholars have gone on to become leaders in government, the private sector and civil society. They include Peter Katjavivi (1985), who set up Namibia's first university, later becoming the Namibian Ambassador to the EU; Zubeda Dangor (1996), Executive Director of the NISAA Institute for Women's Development, a South African women's and children's rights NGO; and Grace Chipalo-Mutati (2005), Consultant Ophthalmologist and Head of the Eye Unit at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia.

Our project partners share our commitment to education as a tool of empowerment. They include the Adolescent Girls' Literacy Project in Malawi, which reintegrates young school dropouts into the secondary school system; the Small Projects Foundation, which trains community health workers in the Eastern Cape; and the Giyani Science and Careers Centre, which strengthens science and IT education for thousands of rural South African students.