The SOS Africa Charity Timeline

We all have a story to tell; the journey we have taken to get to where we are. The SOS Africa Story began with a small gesture of goodwill which enabled one little boy to go to school. Little did we know, the seed planted by this act of kindness would grow to shape the future of many more children. Our story continues...


July 2017Final 24 Hour Shepton Prison Charity Lock-In Raises £24,000 for SOS Africa

SOS Africa's Final 24 Hour Charity Lock-In at Shepton Mallet Prison Raises £24,000 SOS Africa's Final 24 Hour Charity Lock-In at Shepton Mallet Prison Raises £24,000

It was an extraordinary charity fundraising event during which “guilty” individuals from across the UK endured 24 hours incarceration at the UK’s oldest prison, to safeguard the education of children in South Africa...


Jan 2017: SOS Africa Opens First Remedial Education Centre

SOS Africa opens new Remedial Education Centre in Somerset-West SOS Africa Charity staff will provide one-on-one support to children with learning difficulties

As the charity entered its 15th year, the charity’s staff and children are celebrating the opening of a brand-new education centre at Somerset-West Methodist School, providing after-school support for children part of SOS Africa’s holistic education programme and remedial care for students with learning difficulties...


Dec 2016: 35 Fearless Fundraisers Walk on Fire for the SOS Africa Charity Children

35 Fearless fundraisers walk on fire for SOS Africa Charity

If ever there was ever a charitable fundraising event which separated the “daring” from the “discerning” or the “carefree” from the “cautious” SOS Africa’s Frome Firewalk Fundraiser fit the bill. Taking place on a cold and wet winters evening, the 35 fearless Firewalkers braved all the elements combined to complete SOS Africa’s latest fundraising feat...


July 2016: Leading Insurance Company becomes Long-Term SOS Africa Corporate Sponsor

Cover and Legal Ceo Jay Mychalkiw with his team

In November 2016 SOS Africa announced that leading Stoke-on-Trent business, Cover and Legal, agreed to become the charity’s new corporate sponsor...


Sept 2016: "Nominate An Inmate" Fundraising Event Shortlisted for National Fundraising Award

SOS Africa's "Nominate an Inmate" Charity Fundraising Event Nominated for National Fundraising Award

In September 2016, nearly 12 months on from organising our most imaginative fundraising event to date, we received the incredible news that SOS Africa’s “Nominate an Inmate” fundraising event at Shepton Mallet Prison has been shortlisted for a National Fundraising Award.


July 2016: Swansea University Abseilers Raise £10,000 for African Education Charities

News - Kilvey Abseil.jpg News - Kilvey Abseil 4.jpg

Battling against inclement weather conditions and their better judgement, in June 2016 120 brave individuals took on our 150ft Abseil Challenge from the top of Swansea University’s Kilvey Halls of Residence in aid of SOS Africa and Swansea-Siavonga...


February 2016: SOS Africa's Oldest Child Graduates from Mafikeng High School

News - Mavis Interview 2.jpg Mavis Completes the SOS Africa Education Programme

SOS Africa Charity co-founder Matt Crowcombe recently had the honour of interviewing Mavis Madie, the charity's first child to complete Matric exams and graduate from High School. During the interview Mavis proudly talks through her experiences and memories as the charity's oldest child and shares some very exciting news about her future...


January 2016: SOS Africa Launches New Education Programme in the Western Cape

Matt and Claudia meet children who will benefit from the new education programme SOS Africa Tereo Education Programme

Today we bring news of a new education programme which we have recently launched in the Western Cape in partnership with the Tereo Mission School. This exciting new partnership will see the SOS Africa Aftercare Programme established at the school as part of a new sponsorship scheme.


November 2015: SOS Africa Opens New Charity Shop in Frome

SOS Africa open's new charity shop in Frome After the decoration had been completed

In the aftermath of "Nominate an Inmate" the charity’s most ambitious fundraising event to date, SOS Africa’s weary staff and volunteers embarked upon another exciting fundraising venture; the renovation and opening of a new charity shop on Cheap Street, Frome...


October 2015: "Nominate An Inmate" Event Raises £35,000 for the SOS Africa Children

Nominate An Inmate Fundraising Event at Shepton Mallet Prison Nominate an Inmate fundraising event at Shepton Mallet Prison

Throughout two weekends in October 2015 SOS Africa organised a unique "Nominate An Inmate" fundraising event at the recently closed Shepton Mallet Prison. 120 individuals nominated friends and colleagues to serve a 24 hour sentence to raise funds for the SOS Africa Charity...


July 2015: SOS Africa Launches New Website

SOS Africa Launches New Website

Having focused much of our time on developing exciting new education programmes to inspire our children, the SOS Africa staff recently decided to adopt a similar approach to the charity’s online presence. With bold colours and beautiful African animal illustrations, this fresh approach provides a better representation of the charity’s identity and personal approach to child sponsorship. The new buttons, graphics and pages also make the site easier to browse through; more user-friendly and fully integrated with our numerous social media platforms.


January 2015: SOS Africa Education Programme Grows to Support 39 Children

The SOS Africa Charity Children

After our most successful year of fundraising to date, thanks to the invaluable support of a growing number of sponsors from around the world, this January SOS Africa was able to introduce a further 8 children to its education programme in the Western Cape, in addition to the 31 children already supported by the charity in South Africa.


December 2014: Swansea Civic Centre Abseil Raises £9,500 for African Charities

Swansea Civic Centre Christmas Abseil Fundraising Event Raises £9500 for African Education Charities  Swansea Civic Centre Christmas Abseil Fundraising Event Raises £9500 for African Education Charities  Swansea Civic Centre Christmas Abseil Fundraising Event Raises £9500 for African Education Charities 

From “The Pigs in Blankets” to “The Rockin Robins,” throughout an extra festive weekend last December, teams from councils, universities, schools and businesses flocked to Swansea’s Civic Centre to abseil for Africa! During the two day event, teams of six, dressed in festive costumes abseiled from the 120ft council building (the height of 52 sheep) to raise invaluable funds for two worthy African education charities.


December 2014: The SOS Africa Children Perform Special "Thank You Concert" for our Sponsors 

    The children supported by SOS Africa in the Western Cape

Last December, the SOS Africa staff, volunteers and sponsors received a very special early Christmas present from SOS Africa’s children in the Western Cape. To show their appreciation for the life changing opportunities now available to them, with the help of Madeleine and her wonderful Aftercare assistants, these children decided to perform a special concert to demonstrate how much their lives have been empowered by the education they now receive...


Oct 2014: Glastonbury Festival Pyramid Stage Abseil Most Successful Event in Charity's History

Events - Pyramid1.JPG  Pyramid Abseil Total.jpg

On September 20th/21st, SOS Africa hosted its most successful fundraising event to date. Throughout the two day event 300 festival lovers from across the UK abseiled from Glastonbury Festival’s world famous Pyramid Stage and raised £40,000 for SOS Africa.


September 2014: SOS Africa Completes Aftercare Club Renovation Project

 News - Renov93.jpg  News - Renov91.jpg

In September SOS Africa Director Matt Crowcombe and Graphic Designer Claudia Titley embarked upon an exciting renovation project to transform SOS Africa's new Aftercare Club in the Western Cape. Over the course of the 10 day project, we aimed to create a child-friendly work-space which would both inspire our children and fulfil their educational needs...


Jan 2014: SOS Africa Launches Western Cape Education Programme and Expands in Mafikeng

The latest additions to our Western Cape education programme   The SOS Africa Charity expands in Mafikeng

This January SOS Africa officially launched its education programme in the Western Cape as 10 children began school at Grabouw Primary and at the new SOS Africa Aftercare Centre. Meanwhile our Mafikeng branch expanded to support the education and care of 20 underprivileged African township children. For more information click here.


December 2013: 350 Gather to Celebrate the New Year, African Style

"Out of Africa" New Years Eve Party Celebrations  A truly family occasion

350 party-goers of all ages massed at the doors of The Cheese and Grain in Frome last New Year's Eve to raise invaluable funds for the SOS Africa Charity. They had been promised a generous serving of African cuisine and music which mould make their New Year’s celebrations truly memorable and the night did not disappoint...


December 2013: Minnesota Students and SOS Africa Supply School Shoes for Entire Tereo Mission School

Students from Tereo Mission School receiving their new school shoes  Students from Tereo Mission School receiving their new school shoes  Students from Tereo Mission School receiving their new school shoes

This week we had the pleasure of distributing the new shoes bought with the funds raised among all of the underprivileged children attending Tereo Mission School in the Heldberg Basin. This particular school is a lifeline for street children from the surrounding disadvantaged communities; a large proportion of which attend school barefooted despite having to walk many miles every day across dangerous terrain. Thanks to this initiative, as of this week all of these children will be able to attend school proudly wearing their new shoes…


November 2013: SOS Africa to Expand Support to the Western Cape

The children supported by SOS Africa live in Pineview Township  The children SOS Africa will be supporting in the Western Cape

Ten years since its creation, this year the SOS Africa Charity has reached another significant landmark; over the coming months we will expand our scope of support from Mafikeng, our birthplace, to reach out to children from one of the poorest regions of the Western Cape. This development has been made possible by the incredible backing the charity has received both locally at its fundraising headquarters in Somerset, England and thanks to our growing international support base.


October 2013: 300 Conquer Cranmore Tower Zip Wire Challenge for SOS Africa!

SOS Africa's Cranmore Tower Zip Wire Challenge  Mama Upendo's Zip Wire Team  SOS Africa's Cranmore Tower Zip Wire Challenge

From the 'Zipping Zebras' and the 'Mendip Meerkats' to the 'Barratt Baboons' and the 'Bam Bootie Warriors,' for the first time ever, across two action-packed weekends in September, 300 brave individuals from the Mendips and beyond successfully zip wired from the historic Cranmore Tower to raise an increadible £16,500 for SOS Africa and other local causes. 


August 2013: Swansea and Bangor University Scientists ‘Catch the Light’ with the SOS Africa Charity Children

Catching the Light with the SOS Africa Children  Catching the Light with the SOS Africa Children

Students from Swansea and Bangor University embark on an exciting initiave which brings science to life for South Africa's future generations. Many of these "Catching the Light with the Rainbow Nation" workshops were carried out with the SOS Africa Children and their classmates.


April 2013: Glastonbury Festival’s Michael Eavis Opens New SOS Africa Shop and Offices

Glastonbury Festival’s Michael Eavis Declares the New SOS Africa Charity Shop Open for Business  The view from the front of the shop

On Friday 19th April 2013, Glastonbury Festival's Michael Eavis kindly opened the SOS Africa Charity's new shop and offices at 21 High Street, Shepton Mallet. Since that day the new shop has already raised enough funds to pay for 80 years of education!


January 2013: SOS Africa Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

Othu helping Ofentse  Our 10th Anniversary pool party  Welcoming the new Grade 1's to the Primary School

In January 2013 the SOS Africa staff and the 18 children now supported celebrated the charity's ten birthday. In true SOS Africa style, we threw a 10 year anniversary swimming pool party to remember. Whilst taking time to reflect on a special ten years we allowed ourselves a brief moment to dream about how our special family will continue to grow over the next 10 years to come…


October 2012: A Memorable Summer of Fundraising 

SOS Africa's Cardiff Half Marathon 2012 Team SOS Africa's Cranmore Tower Abseil Event Anouska's Kilimanjaro Climb

The past few months been highlighted by some increadible fundraising feats including our Cranmore Tower Abseil during which 160 individuals sucessfully abseiled down Cranmore's 148ft tower, our 8th Annual Cardiff Half Marathon Fundraisera Kilimanjaro Climb, a sponsored headshave and many more...


September 2012: SOS Africa's Opens Shepton Mallet Charity Shop

The SOS Africa Charity staff and volunteers alongside Marcus Wyburn-Mason   The inside of the new SOS Africa Shop

It was a very proud moment on Saturday 8th September, when Marcus Wyburn-Mason, President of Shepton Mallet Rotary Club, cut the ribbon and pronounced our first charity shop in Shepton Mallet open. Our vision for the shop was that it should not only raise much needed funds but that it should open the doors to the local community and this has already proven to be true.


July 2012: Matthew Davies Carries the Olympic Flame for SOS Africa

Matthew Davies carrying the Olympic Flame for SOS Africa   Matthew carrying the Olympic Flame through Bangor for SOS Africa

SOS Africa fundraiser Matthew Davies is given the honour of carrying the Olympic flame for SOS Africa in recognition of his fantastic fundraising efforts for the charity. To read Matthew's article, click here.


May 2012: SOS Africa Launches 'The SOS Africa Children's Online Blog'

SOS Africa Launches The SOS Africa Children's Online Blog

In May 2012 SOS Africa launched the SOS Africa children’s very own online blog! The blog will be updated with a new article or picture from a different SOS Africa child each day. It will also contain profiles of each of the SOS Africa children which you can view by clicking on the name of the school they are attending. We hope you like this new feature and the SOS Africa children look forward to reading your responses to their updates...


February 2012: SOS Africa Launches First Charity Video

SOS Africa Launches first Charity Video

To celebrate the charity's 9th anniversary and the arrival of our first school bus, in February SOS Africa was delighted to announce the launch of the very first SOS Africa Charity video, courtesy of Slade Lamey.


January 2012: SOS Africa Opens Temporary Aftercare Unit

SOS Africa Opens Temporary Aftercare Centre   SOS Africa Opens Temporary Aftercare Centre

Also in January, after the recent closure of the Mafikeng Aftercare Centre, SOS Africa opens a Temporary Aftercare Centre for the SOS Africa children. The Aftercare support offered by this centre will play a critical role in the development of the SOS Africa Children.


January 2012: SOS Africa Purchases first School Bus after Successful Appeal

SOS Africa purchases its brand new school bus   The SOS Africa children's first ride to school in their new school bus

In January 2012, thanks to the efforts of all of our fundraisers, SOS Africa's School Bus Appeal target was reached. As a result the SOS Africa children were able to celebrate the charity's 9th birthday with a ride to school in style and safety.


December 2012: Welcoming Olebogeng, Boitshepo and Thato to the SOS Africa Family

Welcoming Olebogeng, Boitshepo and Thato to the SOS Africa Family

After another very successful year we are delighted to welcome three new children to our education program. It is our pleasure to introduce you to Olebogeng (junior), Boitshepo and Thato. Click here for more information.


December 2011: SOS Africa holds first Christmas Abseil Fundraiser

Abseiling for SOS Africa   The winners of the 'Best Dressed Abseil Team' award...

On the 10th and 11th December, the SOS Africa Charity held its first ever abseil fundraiser event. Over the course of the weekend 90 individuals from 14 different businesses and groups from the local community and beyond joined together to tackle the Kilver Court viaduct in order to raise the remaining funds needed by SOS Africa's School Bus Appeal.


October 2011: 'SOS Africa 2011 Cardiff Half Marathon Team Smashes Previous Records'

SOS Africa' Cardiff Half Marathon 2011 Team

In October SOS Africa held it largest annual fundraiser to date, at the Cardiff Half Marathon 2011, and raises in the region of £11,640! Our thanks and congratulations go to each of the 65 runners that took part in this memorable event.


August 2011: New partnership sees SOS Africa UK Office open in Shepton Mallet

New partnership formed with Jewel Saffire    Roger Saul Welcomes SOS Africa to Kilver Court

In October 2011 an exciting new partnership was formed between SOS Africa and Jewel Saffire, a fire safety equipment manufacturer. In addition to helping SOS Africa with printing and marketing, the company has also helped fund the opening of our new UK office at Kilver Court, Shepton Mallet. For more information click here.


April 2011: SOS Africa Launches School Bus Appeal 

SOS Africa Charity's School Bus Appeal

In April 2011 SOS Africa launched its first major appeal to individuals, groups and businesses in search of funding to purchase the first SOS Africa school bus.

For more information on the appeal, click here.


January 2011: '...And Then There Were Twelve' 

Latest editions to the SOS Africa Charity Education Programme, Dimpho and Siab   The SOS Africa Charity family in Mafikeng

After its strongest year to date, SOS Africa adds two new children to is rapidly growing family. Thanks to the support of its many sponsors, in January 2011, 6 year old Dimpho and Siabulelwa will begin their educations at Mafikeng Preparatory School.


October 2010: 'New SOS Africa Opens in North Devon'

The new SOS Africa Charity Shop in Ilfracombe, Devon   The New SOS Africa Charity Shop in Ilfracombe

On October 9th 2010, SOS Africa opened its brand new charity shop in Ilfracombe, North Devon. The new shop is considerably bigger than its predecessor and sells donated clothes, furniture, books and electricals. Since its opening, the new shop has been warmly received by the people of Ilfracombe and continues to raise valuable funds for our charity.


May 2010: 'Our World Cup Project'

logo.gifHyundai UK Football World Cup LogoRotary International

A partnership has been formed between Hyundai, one of the World Cup’s leading sponsors and our very own SOS Africa, with the sole aim of bringing the World Cup to the townships of South Africa. To achieve this, the partnership has developed a project which will distribute in excess of 5000 footballs and 50 sets of school football equipment to the township schools of South Africa. This is one of the biggest developments yet for SOS Africa! For more information, click here.

SOS Africa / Hyundai 2010 Football World Cup Charity Project  SOS Africa / Hyundai 2010 Football World Cup Charity Project  SOS Africa / Hyundai 2010 Football World Cup Charity Project


April 2010: 'SOS Africa Logo Printed on 2010 World Cup Supporters Shirts'

Argentina Home Shirt Brazil Home Shirt France Home Shirt Holland Home Shirt Italy Home Shirt Nigeria Home shirt

In April 2010, Subside Sports then expanded the range of National Team supporters shirts printed with SOS Africa Logo to include the majority of the teams participating in the Football World Cup.


January 2010: 'The SOS Africa Family Continues to Grow'

Another three new SOS Africa children begin their education at Mafikeng Preparatory School, taking the number of children supported by the charity since its birth to 12!

SOS Africa Charity Children attending their first day at school   Another child empowered through education by SOS Africa Charity


February 2009: 'SOS Africa Opens First Charity Shop'

SOS Africa's first Charity Shop Opens in Ilfracombe   SOS Africa's first Charity Shop Opens in Ilfracombe

The 7th February represented a proud day for SOS Africa as its first charity shop opened in Ilfracombe, North Devon. Right from the word go the shop received tremendous support from the local community and proved to be an excellent source of income for the charity.


January 2008: 'Celebrating Five Years of SOS Africa'

SOS Africa's 5th Anniversary Meal   SOS Africa's 5th Anniversary Meal

SOS Africa celebrates its 5th Anniversary! To commemorate this occasion a 5th Anniversary Lunch is organised and all of the charity’s children attended. It was a memorable occasion, made extra special by the fact that for many of the children it was the first time they had ever been to a restaurant.


January 2007: 'SOS Africa Continues to Grow'

New SOS Africa Charity Student Kgalalelo   New SOS Africa Charity Children Empowered through Education

As our charity continues to grow, it increases the numbers of children it supports sending three more children to school at Mafikeng Preparatory School.

 SOS Africa Charity's Mavis Madie Graduates to Mafikeng Preparatory School   SOS Africa's Mavis Madie at her graduation ceremony

After two years in education SOS Africa’s first children complete their early years of schooling and successfully graduate from the Preparatory School and attend Mafikeng Primary School in January. In addition some of the charity's children received prestigious awards for their academic progress. The charity is delighted with the progress of its children who have adjusted well to their new schools and who continue to make the most of the opportunities that come their way.


October 2005: 'SOS Africa's First Annual Fundraiser'

SOS Africa's Half Marathon Team   The Cardiff Half Marathon

SOS Africa’s first big fundraiser takes place at the Cardiff Half Marathon 2005. Students from Swansea University and around the UK compete to raise funds for the children of SOS Africa. The event is so successful that it is agreed that the charity will use the Cardiff Half Marathon as its annual fundraiser.


January 2005: 'Answering the Prayers of Christopher Mondlane'

Matt and Henry with SOS Africa child Christopher Mondlane 

SOS Africa answers the prayers of the mother of Christopher Mondlane, a 10 year old boy with a severe form of eczema, by funding his education and care and Kamagugu School. Christopher was bullied by his class mates and eventually thrown out of his previous school as his skin condition was considered a health risk to other students.

Thanks to its rapid growth, resulting from the overwhelming support shown by sponsors from Britain and around the world, more SOS Africa children began their schooling at Mafikeng Preparatory school.


November 2004: 'SOS Africa Launches www.sosafrica.com'

SOS Africa launches its first website (www.sosafrica.com). As well as providing basic information on the charity, the website also contains secure user areas where sponsors can log on to view the progress of the children they are supporting. The website also contains facilities which enable people to both donate to the charity online and set up online fundraising pages.


January 2004: 'Introducing Mavis Madie'

   Matt takes SOS Africa's Mavis for her first day at school   SOS Africa's first child, Mavis Madie

The charity’s first girl, Mavis Madie begins her education at Mafikeng Preparatory School. King’s Bruton becomes Mavis's sponsor and the first school to be part of SOS Africa’s ‘School Sponsorship Programme.’ As part of this programme, the school and its pupils receive regular updates as Mavis progresses through school.


September 2003: 'SOS Africa Becomes a Registered UK Charity'

SOS Africa becomes a UK Registered Charity, by the Charity Commission for England and Wales – registered charity number: 1105747. It is a proud day for the charity, and just reward for all of the hard work put in by the charity’s growing group of volunteers.


September 2002: 'The Story Begins...'

 Matt Crowcombe with future SOS Africa children   Henry Matthews

Matt Crowcombe begins his gap year placement at the International School of South Africa. Here he met Henry Matthews, Head of Sport. Together they explored the possibility of supporting Thabo Mokete, a young boy from Lonely Park Township.


More information about the SOS Africa Charity... 

About our African Charity  SOS Africa Aftercare Clubs  Meet the SOS Africa Charity Team