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About Us

About Us

The KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, on the east coast of South Africa, has long had a reputation for excellent education. The capital city, Pietermaritzburg, is well known for its excellent public and private schools, as are the surrounding areas. The Ixoxo trust was started by a group of friends who benefited from this heritage, growing up and completing their schooling in the area. Our intention is to pay forward the benefits of the education that we enjoyed, to a new generation of children from the area.



We support the children’s education in the following ways:


  • Secure positions at good schools, assist with applications and enrolment
  • Pay full school fees (which benefits the school too)
  • Pay school aftercare fees
  • Transport the children to and from school
  • Mentor the children, teaching them life skills and guiding them regarding attitude, ethics, and behaviour at school, home and on the sports field
  • Provide additional tuition, after school, if necessary in weak areas – our focus is on developing key foundation skills in language and mathematics
  • Mentor the children’s parents or guardians on how to check, encourage and manage homework
  • Provide school lunches and uniforms, where families are unable to
  • Provide sports equipment
  • Throughout the year, we guide and encourage the pupils and their families to ensure the child is secure, stress-free and happy, and therefore able to learn at an optimal level.

The children are enrolled at Laddsworth Primary School in Pietermaritzburg and are loving school.

Placing the children at good, functioning schools has had a domino effect on the families. The pride and belief in their children is contagious and uplifts the whole family.

Our vision is to identify and assist more wonderful, talented, but disadvantaged children who are slipping through the cracks in the public education system.




Tracey WelsfordTracey Welsford:

Has an Honours Degree in Psychology with the focus on Child Development. She has a Montessori Early Childhood Teaching Certificate and a Diploma in General and Psychiatric Nursing.

At present, she is teaching rural disadvantaged Zulu Pre-school children, is principal of the Pre-school, and counsels community members in health, education and parenting skills


Gillian Christie:

gillianGillian is the co-founder of REP, a fashion public relations company, in New York City where she is developing the business management section of the company. In this endeavor, she is assisting emerging business entrepreneurs with business plans, growth models and offering coaching and training.

Prior she was a Managing Director at Credit Suisse and the US lead for IT Strategy and Innovation. She has also held leadership positions at Deloitte Consulting, JP Morgan Chase, and Bankers Trust.

On graduation from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal with a Masters Degree in Physical Chemistry, she joined AECI in Modderfontein before immigrating to London.

“I owe my current good fortune to my superb education, despite having a disadvantaged childhood. I would like to see that others get the same opportunity.”



Judy BackhouseJudy Backhouse:

Professor at the School of Economic and Business Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand.

She has 15 years’ experience in higher education and 12 years’ experience in the information technology (IT) sector.

She has held academic positions at the University of Durban-Westville, the University of Pretoria, the Gordon Institute of Business Science, and was the Head of the School of Information Technology at Monash South Africa.

She has extensive experience in technical work as a systems architect, systems developer, network administrator, and database administrator.

Judy is also a self-taught artist, a mother, and a citizen of Johannesburg and South Africa. She has a PhD in Education, an MBA in Technology Management, and an MSc in Mathematics.



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