What We Do

Harnessing the power of scholarships to create systemic change

Towards lasting impact on social justice and democratic development in Southern Africa

As one considers the deepening ecological crisis and the profound lessons gleaned from the pandemic, it becomes all the more apparent that southern Africa needs to develop knowledge and actions to address the complex and urgent global issues affecting it.

Food and hunger, water and energy, health, shelter, inequality, unemployment, poverty, conflict, and violence all disproportionately affect this region’s disadvantaged and impoverished communities.

By promoting socially engaged scholarship, scholar activism and ethical leadership within a robust social justice alliance, the Canon Collins Trust instils hope, unlocks possibilities, and contributes to realising the best possible outcomes for the communities of southern Africa.

Seeing scholarships as agents of systemic change

This begins with selecting critically engaged scholars who are driving positive change in southern Africa. Through scholarships, a coordinated programme of events and networking, scholars and alumni are strengthened in their capacity as knowledge creators.

An orientation programme on social justice, ethical leadership and socially engaged scholarship cultivates scholars into ethical leaders.

Building ethical leaders for a fair and open southern Africa

Exceptional Individuals

Care and belonging is at the heart of how we build community

The Trust is building lifelong support systems of change making between scholars and alumni. These networks and relationships of support and care encourage a shared sense of connectedness and purpose.

Through networking with institutions across the region and globally, the Trust also seeks to deepen strategic relationships between scholars, alumni and wider networks across southern Africa.


Together becoming a force for change

A collaborative approach of building and expanding partnerships with government organs, public higher education institutions and civil society is fundamental to the work of systemic transformation. Strong collaboration between these partners allows social justice issues to be addressed more comprehensively and impact to more directly influence the spheres of higher education, policymaking and civil society.

Through building relationships and alliances, sharing learning and collectively mobilising resources, the Trust becomes a force for change. Strategic collaboration sustains deeper social justice praxis.

The Context

Transformation strengthened from within

Social justice and social change begin within. The transformative nature of the work requires the team to deepen and refine its approach to social justice and social justice change. This ongoing work of inner transformation and learning then informs the philosophical, methodological and ethical underpinnings of what they do; empowering the team to mindfully inspire change within their network and stakeholder community.

Transformative voices

One of the ways to extend impact is through raising awareness about everything learned and gained through the Trust’s collaborative work towards social justice and ethical leadership.

This is an opportunity for others to feel as inspired as we do for the region. In this way, the stories and research of scholars, alumni and our partners can engage and influence policy makers, academia, civil society, alumni and scholars, as well as the general public.

Exceptional Individuals

Twitter Brag
Hlengiwe Ndlovu
For one more African child, for one more black womxn who has been considered to be “a risk” for funding – I am humbled by your unwavering support! For one more African child, long live @CanonCollins long live! I did it because you believed in me, I am because you are.
Twitter Brag
Frank Mgungwe
@CanonCollins Happiness has overwhelmed me for the Canon Collins Scholarship Offer to study Law at the University of London. I am delighted to have now joined a team of academic scholars from Southern Africa and to contribute to the change we greatly need. I thank @CanonCollins
Twitter Brag
Nyaradzo Nhongonhema
Ever walked into a room that literally smelled of ‘PURPOSE’ … I did! Got to be a quiz mistress & facilitate a session with my all time partner in crime Princess Star Sibanda! Nothing could be more fulfilling! Thank you @CanonCollins for trusting & believing in me, us!
Twitter Brag
Pretty Mubaiwa
I respect @CanonCollins for being at the forefront of activism and social justice issues on the continent. Uplifting future leaders through scholarship is an invaluable contribution to building the future we all envisage and deserve!
Saymore Masaisai 
Indeed Canon Collins dedication to keeping track of their scholars and alumni is truly commendable. It's inspiring to witness the vibrant network they've cultivated and the positive impact it has on everyone included. (Saymore is a Linkedin friend of the network)

Our Commitment


We are committed to ensuring accountability to our stakeholders and being guided by our policies as we support our partners’ programme administration and administer our own scholarships. The Canon Collins Trust values its partnerships with civil society organisations in South Africa extremely highly, as a mutually beneficial relationship of solidarity, or a partnership of equals. Any funding we manage to raise for our partners’ work does not change this dynamic. We remain accountable to each other, promising transparency and fairness in our dealings with each other, and learning from each other’s work.


Our Values

The energy created by the community we foster makes our collective quest for social justice so much stronger. It is the power of individual effort – the individual who is affirmed to make the most of their zeal, their talents and their own sense of self-efficacy. 
If you want to go fast go alone; if you want to go far, go together. 
A sense of fairness underlies everything we do and strive for. Motivated by fairness we seek to ensure, both internally and externally, that no circumstance of life will hinder individual ability. To be fair is to consider all voices and narratives. 
We value learning as a tool for social change and personal and organisational improvement. A society that values ongoing and lifelong learning is an open society. We want to model that in what we do, and in the impact we have.
With our roots in the anti-apartheid struggle, we stand shoulder to shoulder with southern Africans who continue to be oppressed or denied their rights, in order to ensure freedom and equality; knowing that freedom for one is not possible until there is freedom for all.