About us

Masicorp was founded in 1999 by John and Carol Thompson.

Our work is for the people of the Masiphumelele Township which according to the most recent Government census has a population of 21,904. Earlier research for a PhD thesis suggests that the population is closer to 38,000.

What is undisputed is how all of the community has been disadvantaged by the historical legacy of apartheid. Our approach has been to ask the community where and how they need support and, from this, we know the residents want a hand up not a handout. All agree that education is the route out of poverty.

|Masicorp Seedlings project A better future - thanks to Masicorp

In 2009, after giving 10 years of active involvement in Masicorp, the original USA team handed over to a South African Board. John and Carol Thompson and Jane Philippi continue to be involved in overseas fund raising activities and keep in close touch with the SA team.

Since 2009 Masicorp has grown; we have developed most of our established programmes and projects and added many new; the total number of beneficiaries have gone up from approximately 1500 to over 4000 each year and we have established some highly effective partnerships. All this has been made possible through our growing teams of volunteers working in the township; our support teams helping to raise funds in US, SA and UK and our generous donors.


  • Everyone in Masiphumelele will have access to quality education, training, advice and support


  • To work with the people of Masiphumelele, and key partners, offering opportunities, through education and enterprise, to help residents progress out of poverty towards a sustainable livelihood


  • Utmost respect for those we serve and for each other
  • Participation in decision making by all those affected by our actions
  • Empowering all involved to take ownership of their own development
  • Integrity and transparency in all our operations
  • Long-term sustainability


  • The City of Cape Town

    Masiphumelele's library was built in 2003 by Masicorp and opened its doors on 15 September 2003 as a satellite of Fish Hoek Library. It has since been extended twice and was handed over to City of Cape Town in 2008. Library space is still provided to us free of charge to use for our programmes. (Masicorp continues to provide the equipment and human resources for its educational programmes.)

    We also work closely with the City on our Seedlings ECD projects and in Ukhanyo Primary School

  • Department of Social Development (DSD)

    We are working with South Africa's Department of Social Development (DSD) to improve the standard of all pre-school facilities in Masiphumelele by provision of staff training and improvements to nutrition, with the aim of getting facilities registered with the DSD so that they can receive financial subsidies for infant daycare.

  • Evangeline Ministries

    At the Chasmay Road site, Masicorp, working in partnership with Evangeline Ministries, provides a ‘Life Skills’ course for women with little or no previous education. The course takes six months and teaches Basic English, Computer and Sewing Skills. All these topics are highly relevant to the women’s everyday lives and the course helps them gain self-confidence and a pride in their own work. Successful students receive a new sewing machine at graduation.

  • Fish Hoek High School

    Fish Hoek High School have provided facilities for Masicorp to run after school maths lessons for learners from Masiphumelele High School. The success of the program can be seen by the 15% increase in the Maths pass rate by matrics in 2016 at Masiphumelele High School.

    Find out more about Fish Hoek High School here

  • Gap Year SA

    Gap Year SA provides projects for volunteers in communities such as Masiphumelele. Some of Masicorp’s education projects have benefitted from their volunteers who are able to stay in the community on a long-term basis.

    Find out more about Gap Year SA here

  • Hokisa (Community support)

    HOKISA (Homes for Kids in South Africa) is a Cape Town based NGO that began working in Masiphumelele in 2002. They provide community support to the families of the learners on our educational programmes.

    Find out more about HOKISA here

  • Ikhamva Youth

    HOKISA (Homes for Kids in South Africa) is a Cape Town based NGO that began working in Masiphumelele in 2002. They provide community support to the families of the learners on our educational programmes.

    Find out more about Ikhamva Youth's work here

  • Joint Aid Management

    JAM partners with Masicorp to provide healthy food to pre-school children in Masiphumelele. JAM supports more than 1,700 pre-schools in seven provinces of South Africa. As of January 2014, JAM SA introduced nutritional assessments to measure the impact of their programmes.

    Find out more about Joint Aid Management's work here

  • Knowledge 2 Share Foundation

    Knowledge 2 Share bring world-class entrepreneurship training, mentorship and business assistance to disadvantaged communities in developing areas. Together with Masicorp they deliver structured business training at our Business Hub.

    Find out more about Knowledge 2 Share Foundation's work here

  • Living Hope

    Living Hope is a Christian charity working in Masiphumelele to improve the living conditions of the residents. Masicorp has worked together with them particularly on ECD projects.

    Find out more about Living Hope's work in Masiphumelele here

  • Mellon Educate

    Mellon Educate is an Irish-based African development charity founded by developer & philanthropist Niall Mellon. Since 2002 the charity, thanks to the enormous collective effort of some 25,000 volunteers, has built houses for 125,000 homeless people in Africa’s poorest townships.

    Find out more about Mellon Educate's work here

  • MercyNet

    MercyNet provides disaster relief to communities during natural or man-made disasters. Masicorp has worked with MercyNet to support the families of learners affected by disasters (e.g. fires and floods) in the township.

    Find out more about MercyNet's work here

  • The Principals Academy Trust

    The Principals Academy Trust administrates donor funding for an executive management programme for school leaders, with the goal to turn schools into centres of excellence in underperforming areas. In Masiphumelele they are providing funding and mentorship to Ukhano Primary School Headmaster, Michael Thyali to attend the Postgraduate Diploma in Management Practice for School Leaders at UCT. Masicorp has encouraged Michael to undertake the course and is also helping him progress with the aim of seeing long term benefits to the school’s administration and management.

    Find out more about the Principals Academy Trust here

  • The Sewing Café

    This skills training centre operates free of charge to unemployed and unskilled members of our community with the aim to equip students with the skills necessary to join the job market or start a small business.

    Find out more about the work of The Sewing Café here

  • Stop Hunger Now

    Established in the USA in 1998 Stop Hunger Now is an international organisation that coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid worldwide. In Masiphumelele, Stop Hunger Now SA provide a feeding programme that assists the families of learners on our projects.

    Find out more about the work of Stop Hunger Now here

  • The Unlimited Child

    The Unlimited Child directly supports and promotes quality ECD by providing an integrated, rapid impact programme that trains crèche caregivers in disadvantaged areas Several ECD teachers at pre-schools receiving help from Masicorp are currently being trained by The Unlimited Child.

    Find out more about The Unlimited Child here

  • Valley Development Projects (VDP)

    Valley Development Projects (VDP) seeks to improve the lives of people in the Ocean View and Masiphumelele communities. Masicorp has worked together with them particularly on ECD projects.

    Find out more about Valley Development Projects here

  • Wordworks

    The children of Masiphumelele are generally not well prepared for learning how to read and write when they start formal schooling; their parents want to help, but often do not know how.

    The children's first school is the township school, where they are taught in their mother tongue, Xhosa, for the first three years. After that, they have to make the switch-over to English. The children who attend schools outside Masiphumelele face the task of learning to read and write in English, their second language, right from the start.

    Help is needed! And it comes in the form of a wonderfully effective English literacy and language programme from our NGO partner Wordworks SA - the Early Literacy Programme. This highly effective and established programme helps establish good English language and literacy skills in our youngest students.

    Volunteers link up with children from Grade 1-3 and work through an organized reading enrichment programme.

    Parent Programme:
    Wordworks has trained library volunteers and staff to run a seven week programme helping mothers to get their toddlers school-ready. 

    School Readiness programme for Grade R:
    Trained volunteers prepare Grade R classes from the local crèches with skills for Grade 1.

  • Work for Love (Early Childhood Development)

    Work for Love is a community-based organization that is active in connecting and uplifting local communities through initiatives focused on education and health care. Work for Love operates across the South Pennisula in Cape Town, but is most active in Masiphumelele. Masicorp has worked together with them particularly on ECD projects.

    Find out more about Work for Love here

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