Lydia Abel



Dr. Lydia Abel (D.Phil Education) is a long-time activist for social change. Director of ORT SA CAPE since 2011, her experience and insight helped to develop innovative strategies for improving the quality of education in the Western Cape. Previously Dr. Abel held the position of Director of The Schools Development Unit at UCT for 8 years. In 2000 she was the Leader of the Foundation Phase Task Team that revised the National Curriculum. Her dynamic leadership has led the ORT SA CAPE team to increase their beneficiaries from 5000 in 2013 to 10 000 in 2014.


  • ECD

  • Education

ORT SA CAPE is an educational NGO, born of necessity in 1994 and operating at the forefront of education in the Western Cape. The organisation focuses particularly on disadvantaged schools, teachers and children. In 2014 over 10 000 children and 320 teachers benefited from ORT SA CAPE's innovative enrichment programmes, implemented by a small professional team and complemented with consultants and approximately 200 volunteers. ORT SA CAPE has 3 focus areas: CASPER: Constructive Afterschool Programme for EnRichment (Grades 1 - 9); Teacher Training; and Monitoring and Evaluation.

ORT SA CAPE aims to optimise the combination of 'Tzedakah' and 'Ukulungisa'. 'Tzedakah' is a commandment, not an option, to redress inequity by giving of one's time or money. 'Ukulungisa' is an African concept meaning ''a chance to put things right'. ORT SA CAPE prides itself on its ability to adapt to change and embrace the challenges of the evolving South African Education system. It aims to keep children off the street and in enriching learning experiences, and in helping teachers engage with their challenges.