Foundation - St Mary's

The Foundation Trust

The St Mary’s Foundation Trust strives to change the lives of girls to walk our school corridors and ensure the sustainability of our school legacy.

By investing in a girl‘s education through a bursary or contributing towards the essential Foundation Trust Endowment Fund, you ensure the St Mary’s school legacy lives on for many more years.

We want to empower the girls of today to be the leaders of tomorrow. We believe we can have a tremendous impact on women’s education and, by creating future leaders, can truly influence South Africa.


The 3 pillars within the St Mary’s Foundation Trust where we focus our fundraising efforts are:

  • Endowment Fund
    This is a core pillar of our fundraising where the key outcome is sustainability. All money is strategically invested for growth so, in time, the interest from this can be used for bursaries and infrastructure – without the capital being depleted. By donating towards our Endowment fund you invest in the future of St Mary’s.
  • Bursaries
    Either an individual girl or collectively through a class fund.
  • Campus Development infrastructure

Grace – The St Mary’s Statue

Statue Grace is a life-size statue made up of bronze butterflies which was unveiled in 2016 and has already become an integral part of St Mary’s life.

The girls are often seen congregating around her, as if she is part of their conversations and fun. Grace is a St Mary’s Foundation Trust initiative to change the lives of girls still to come and to continue the school legacy of inspiring girls to become remarkable women. When creating the statue, Helena Vogelzang, the sculptor looked to nature and said “butterflies and girls seemed to perfectly merge as they transition from one state to another.”

“Leave a legacy, create a future…”

Become part of the history of the school and contribute to future girls who will be supported by the St Mary’s Foundation Trust – a way to truly leave a legacy and create a future. With a donation of R1000, your name and Matric year will be engraved on a plaque at Statue Grace, creating a memory which you can return to for many years to come. Your contribution goes a long way to help the Foundation inspire girls to become remarkable women – one girl at a time.


At St Mary’s we believe in giving every girl the opportunity to be the best that they can be. Our girls are given the tools to make the most of their talents and are encouraged to take advantage of all the activities on offer. We offer a limited number of bursaries to deserving candidates entering Grade 8 and Grade 10. Enquire about this opportunity today.

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Bursary stories

Veronica Mubangizi

Class of 2016

Veronica, who was identified as a girl with talent, joined St Mary’s in Grade 9 in 2013. She finished her time at St Mary’s as the Head of Gavel Club (the school’s senior public speaking society) and was awarded both an Academic Certificate of Merit and the prestigious Principal’s Servant Award for servant leadership at the final prize giving in 2016. Veronica has gone on to study Law at the University of Cape Town and has close contact with her sponsor – who even visited her at University.

Wendy Mbili

Class of 2017

As the child of a domestic worker, it was financially impossible for Wendy to even dream of attending a school like St Mary’s. She worked hard in her previous schools but it was in this nurturing environment where she flourished. Her life changed with the help of a generous benefactor who enabled Wendy to join St Mary’s half way through her Grade 10 year. It was clear from the day she arrived that she was going to do the very best she could in all spheres of school life. She worked diligently and consistently to achieve high academic results; she was Read more involved in a number of outreach activities – taking to heart the school’s motto “Service before Self; God before All”; and her personal growth in terms of confidence and self-worth was evident for all to see. As a boarder, Wendy had the opportunity to develop strong friendships that will go beyond her school days. We at St Mary’s could see her potential and encouraged her to make the most of this and in achieving her personal best. Wendy obtained Academic Half Colours in 2016 and an Academic Certificate of Merit in 2017. She was also awarded Half Colours for Science and as a result of her outstanding Matric results in 2017, Wendy went on to study Medicine at UCT. Although finding the work and environment challenging, she is confident she is on the right track. In Wendy’s words to her sponsor, “As a Saints girl, I have had the chance to learn skills that other people may never learn. I have had teachers who have gone the extra mile to help me do my best and they have made my experience at St Mary’s extra special. If it weren’t for your kindness, I would not have had a high school experience as amazing as the one that I have had. It has been life changing so I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Class Funds

In establishing a Class Fund, all funds received go towards the St Mary’s Foundation Trust Bursary Fund. These Class Funds give Old Girls a way to create and build a legacy that will last for many years. We hope they continue to add to the Fund over the years so that the investment grows and has a long-lasting impact: for as little as R100 per month, a life can be changed. So far, we have Class Funds for the years 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. The opportunity extends beyond the girls leaving school and any year, especially a returning reunion year, is able to start a class fund. Through once-off and monthly donations, these funds will grow towards awarding a promising young girl the opportunity to study at our phenomenal school in the future – a girl who otherwise would not have had the experience of attending St Mary’s. For more information about starting a Class Fund for your year – please contact us below.

Bequest programme

By leaving a bequest, or ceding an endowment or insurance policy to the St Mary’s Foundation Trust, you will ensure the legacy of this school for years to come. For more information – please contact us directly.

Contact foundation

Sisters in song

In 2018, the St Mary’s High School choir travelled to Pretoria where our successful participation in the 10th World Choir Games resulted in us being crowned the World Champions in Scenic Folklore. In total, 16,000 singers in 300 amateur choirs from 60 countries took part in the Games, which were hosted in Africa for the first time. The repertoire chosen by our choir for the Scenic Folklore programme were traditional songs that were reinterpreted. The songs and choreography raised awareness of Human Trafficking and modern-day slavery. In 2020 we are taking our proudly South African All Girls’ Choir with a message of hope to the World Choir Games in Flanders, Belgium to defend our title as World Champions in the Scenic Folklore category. Be a part of our Sisters in Song and contribute to help fund tours and uniforms.

Contact foundation


Over the years, St Mary’s has clearly demonstrated their commitment to the upliftment of communities through education. In 1991, St Mary’s DSG launched S.M.I.L.E. (St Mary’s Interactive Learning Experience).

Now an independent NGO and Public Benefit Organization (PBO), S.M.I.L.E. now provides:

  • Hands on Teacher Training and Support in Community Primary and High schools.
  • CAPS approved English Language Learning and Teaching Support Material i.e. Learners, Textbooks, Core Readers and Teacher Guides for daily English lessons from Grades 4 to 12 working with over 70 community teachers, over 50 community primary and high schools, across 4 provinces and reaching over 7000 learners.
View SMILE website