Our Story

Brian is one of eight kids, raised by a single mom in a township. Throughout his life, he often wished for someone to save him and his siblings from the abuse his mom endured and from their squalid living conditions. Though no one ever 'saved' him, he decided early on in life that if he ever could, he would want to help struggling children from single mother homes. At the age of 17 was forced to leave school and worked as a labourer and a driver. Later on he worked as a security guard at a bank. A kind bank manager saw potential in Brian and granted him a scholarship to attend night school. Brian worked days and studied nights and eventually worked his way into becoming the first non-white male to work as an ATM service consultant (automatic teller machine). Then 1994 happened and apartheid ended. While employed at the bank he studied part-time and was promoted into the sales and marketing department of the bank. Under Nelson Mandela's education program, Brian attended university at the age of 36. His passion for his country and love for people naturally led him to a degree in psychology and later a diploma in tourism. He also knew he needed a flexible day job in order to pursue his heart - helping disadvantaged children. Before Jorvan Community Outreach was established, Brian and his wife Melanie supported 26 charities with their own income. After numerous years of trying to help 26 different projects, Brian and Melanie realized they needed to scale down their charitable work. They decided to only focus on educational charities and established the current Jorvan Community Outreach Student Center. Currently, Brian is a freelance tour guide for the Western Cape region and is also the head director of the Jorvan Outreach Student Center.

Melanie was raised by her mother in a Cape Town township. After many lucky breaks - teachers giving her lunch money, helping her with school fees, etc - she knew in her heart that she wanted to repay the kindness given to her by giving back to her community. Melanie is a high school teacher and strongly believes in structure, stability and guidance for each child's success. Melanie's mother, like most struggling mothers in townships, expected her to work and provide income to the family at age 14. Melanie was forced to work as a seamstress at that tender age, but then decided she believed too much in the power of education. She disobeyed her mom and went back to school, completing high school and university on her own. Melanie currently teaches Life Sciences at Cedar High School, a township school where the average class size is 45-50 students. Her passion for teaching led her to win the prestigious South African Annual Teacher's Award, Via Afrika Publishers People's Choice Award for teaching. The award included a nominal amount of money, of which Melanie used for a down payment for the Jorvan Outreach Student Center. Melanie spends her days teaching at Cedar High and her afternoons and evenings tutoring, managing and mentoring the students at the Jorvan Outreach Student Center.

Jordan is Brian and Melanie's daughter. Though she has no biological siblings, she often tells people she has 20+ brothers and sisters. Ever since Jordan was in middle school, she shared her parents and her home with 10-15 students. Most of them would study at her house after school, under her mother's tutelage, and also stay the night. Being an honor student herself, Jordan soon became a tutor at the Jorvan Outreach Student Center. Jordan is currently a third year university student at Stellenbosch University, where she won a scholarship to study Human Science. She still volunteers at the Student Center and is heavily involved with the operations. She has encouraged her fellow university students to volunteer at the Outreach Centre by tutoring the Outreach students on weekends.The name Jorvan is taken from Jordan's given name and surname. (JORdan VANdayar)