Student led community engagement projects


I went to Africa to change the world, and Africa changed me.”

-UVA student

Since its inception, ESAVANA has successfully implemented a broad range of changes in the East and Southern African communities where teams of University students and faculty have studied, conducted research, and served.

Projects include:

  • the design and construction of methane bio-digesters to supply a crèche in the rural Limpopo Province of South Africa with cooking gas
  • the installation of slow-sand drinking water filtration units for a rural community in the Mutale River Valley of rural South Africa
  • assistance with the micro-entrepreneurial efforts of small-scale farmer in the Limpopo province in South Africa
  • the installation of rain water harvesting systems for rural primary schools in the regions of Bushbuckridge and Venda, South Africa
  • a joint effort with K-12 schools in the communities surrounding Mashamba to develop curricula assistance with education related to sexual assault and victims empowerment in Thohoyandou in South Africa
  • the building of libraries and literacy programs in Kenya and South Africa, and the establishment of empowerment programs for young girls in Cameroon and South Africa

Words of appreciation from:

Shobiyana High School

“Words can not begin to describe how grateful we are for what you have done for our school and our community. This letter serves to confirm our appreciation for the sterling job that you and your university and yourselves have done in erecting the rain water harvesting system in our school. We were in a very precarious position where we did not know what to do with the water shortage we faced…”

Paulos Ngobeni school

“Peter and Kathleen visited our school and introduced us to the rain water harvesting system. The school as well as the community are tongue tied because of the good work of the greenery project at our school. We are very much thankful about the new project, now we can conserve more water for our feeding scheme as well as the greenery in the school garedn. Thank you for all of that.”

Funjwa Primary School

“The students, during their visit made a difference due to the wonderful job done for our school and the entire community. Thank you very much.”

Masingitana High School

“We wish to sincerely appreciate the gift you have offered our institution in the form of tanks and gutters for rain harvesting. For your information, we have already harvested water as it is raining. An assurance is made that as a school community we will take good care of these assets.”