Bo and Sophia Paullson from Lund in Sweden visited some of the MathMoms in a home in Connought Estate, Elsies River.  They came with a message.  Their hearts were broken, but they know that when communities, people from different backgrounds took hands, good things can come out of it.


Bo (Klara’s father) told the MathMoms their story: ” A beloved wife, mother and daughter, Klara, 41, passed away last October. She suffered from cancer and although she was a real fighter against the disease she had to give up. Klara, a passionate psychologist, had a big heart for children, especially for children in vulnerable situations. Besides taking care of her own three small children, together with her husband, she cared about children both in her profession and privately.

Southern Africa was a special concern for Klara, since she as a child lived for some years in Botswana and SA. More than 10 years ago she heard about the organisation “Free to grow”. When Klara died, her husband, parents and sister, decided to establish a fund in memory of Klara, called the Klara Foundation. Nobody was unmoved when meeting Klara, she had lots of friends, and masses contributed to the foundation after her death.”

Through the organisation “Free To Grow” the family heard about MathMoms, a project in line with what we think would be what Klara would have chosen to support. Klara´s parents visited the Moms and Free To Grow and became convinced this is a project worth supporting. To strengthen education for children, especially in mathematics, is most essential and definitely in line Klara´s intentions.

Free To Grow is an organization that has been conducting courses in personal growth, leadership development and employee engagement for the past twenty four years, with clients ranging from big international companies to underprivileged communities said Alinda Nortje , Executive Chairperson of Free to Grow. With the Klara Foundation, Free To Grow is co-sponsoring the presentation of  7 four day Free To Grow Lifeskills programme to help develop and grow the MathMoms.

Sonja Cilliers, Co-ordinater of  MathMoms, borrows the words of Peter Block : “We begin [the transformation of communities] by shifting our attention from the problems of community to the possibility of community”, creating “a structure of belonging”. Strong communities have social capital – a shared sense of belonging, a high value on interdependence, and hospitality and affection. Bertha Losper mentioned that the MathMoms are ambassadors for the good in their communities.  They live their message with such a strong conviction that they can extend their hands with confidence to other communities of the world to ask for  aid.

The purpose of the MathMoms programme is to provide children  with a safe space where they learn mathematics and leave having learned much more. This is achieved through employing and training mothers in the immediate area to give extra mathematics lessons to learners at selected schools, during and after school hours. It is expected that through this after school programme, learners will not only improve their mathematical skills, but also gain self-confidence and build meaningful relationships with caring adults in their communities. Recent school results indicate that the project is having a positive impact, both on the academic performance of the learners, and on their and the mothers’ self-confidence.