Tenteleni is a youth-driven, volunteer-run charity that supports the development of young people in the UK and Africa in collaboration with local partners.
In 2017 we changed how we work and became a charity providing small grants to young people and organisations to promote educational projects and cultural exchange. See more information on what we fund.
Historically, Tenteleni has organised international volunteering placements for young people in the UK in schools and local organisations in southern Africa for 8 weeks during the university summer period. We have sent volunteers to placements in South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi and Swaziland with a focus on ethical and responsible volunteering. Working closely with long-standing in-country partners, we established placements which meet the needs of the local community whilst developing our own young people.
We have taken our 19 years of experience managing volunteering placements in to our new work supporting projects close to our heart.
We are committed to developing the skills and employability of our own volunteers who run our committee and sit on our board. Our alumni have gone on to careers in social work, teaching, the charity sector and finance.
WHERE WE CAME FROM
Meaning “do it yourself” in SiSwati, Tenteleni began in 1998 when our founder, Sarah Copas,
visited Tenteleni Primary School in the township of KaNyamzane, within Mpumalanga
Province, South Africa. Once back in the UK, Sarah researched the possibility of setting up an organisation which would allow British students to engage with similar schools, and the
following year returned to South Africa with five friends. The success of Tenteleni saw it expand into four other countries; Kenya, Swaziland, Zanzibar and Malawi – as well as new projects within South Africa. At its largest, In 2011 the charity sent over 120 volunteers, drawn from 10 different UK universities.