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“I was a barefoot township urchin. I went to school where there were no desks. We sat on benches and when the teacher asked us to write, we knelt down on the floor and used the benches we had been sitting on as desks …. I wish Tutudesks had been available in my day!” Archbishop, Desmond Tutu


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Globally recognised, and in partnership with the United Nations Special Envoy for Education, the Tutudesk provides the answer to the classroom desk shortage crisis experienced in schools in developing countries. Functional literacy – the ability to read and write – is almost impossible to achieve without a dedicated writing surface – a school desk. Over 95 million children in schools across sub-Saharan Africa have no access to a classroom desk and the prospect of compromised literacy development. Tutudesk offers children their very own workstation creating immediate, high impact and positive change in an instant, under any learning conditions. Made from a robust child-friendly blend of polymers, Tutudesk is designed to last the duration of a learner’s school career. At $0.018 per day / over three years, Tutudesk is a unique and portable solution to our most disadvantaged children, offering a sense of worth, dignity and ownership over and above the literacy and academic improvements. The Tutudesk Campaign aims to deliver at least 20million Tutudesks to leaners by 2020. With over 1,5million desks already in the hands of children and more than 3,000 school handovers conducted, Tutudesk is a proven solution to a literacy development and general infrastructure crisis. Tutudesk directly addresses Donor requirements in the following ways:

  • Sustainability (long product lifespan, international developing country relevance)
  • Portability (for use at home and school)
  • Low cost (fractional cost when compared to traditional furniture, incl. distribution, durability, functionality etc.)
  • Speed to market / Scalability
  • Effectiveness and Relevance, relative to intended usage environment

The Tutudesk Campaign operates with a set of goal-orientated solutions including:

  • The provision of infrastructure to established, but under-resourced education systems
  • The provision of infrastructure to areas experiencing overcrowded or stressed education structures
  • The provision of portable infrastructure to children in nomadic or displaced environments
  • The immediate provision of infrastructure to children in extraordinary circumstances, set on by conflict and natural disaster, to assist in creating a safer environment

Imprinting on the Tutudesk supports:

  • Literacy and appropriate age education development
  • Health, safety, equality and human rights education
  • Environmental care information



Archbishop Desmond Tutu proud to join Emergency Education Coalition

Amway Tutudesk Handover
Space maker 5000

MySchool Tutudesk Handover
Space maker 5000




Improved interaction
Handwriting improvements
More motivation
Learners are able to write more
Better concentration
homework delivery improved
More organized classroom
Tutudesk immediately improves the educational experience and learning conditions and outcomes for child beneficiaries. Independent research shows learning and teachings improvements ranging from 62% to 80% in:

  • Handwriting
  • Learner Experience
  • Classwork and Homework
  • Teaching
  • Classroom Situation
Post-Intervention quotes from Tutudesk Beneficiaries*: * Independent Research Study During 2012 conducted in South Africa
Marks are higher because of improved handwriting” T Mbily, Teacher Grade 3 “As a learning aid, the information on the Tutudesk is always within reach” M Santu, Teacher Grade 5 The greatest benefit is making individual teaching much easier” Rachel, Teacher, Grade 5 “Classroom learning has changed by creating more individual space” Lebo, Teacher, Grade 3 “The learners are doing their homework, now that they have something to write on” M Kubeka, Teacher, Grade 4 “It was so much help, it even improved our time management” Tumi, Teacher, Grade 6 “They all come to school because there are no shortages of desks” Miss Molokome, Teacher, Grade 7




A platform that reaches beyond infrastructure, Tutudesk offers cross functionality aligned to common global development outcomes.   Tutudesk assists in 5 of the 8 of the Millennium Development Goals:

  • Achieve universal primary education: As an infrastructure provision (i.e. Tutudesk being a mobile classroom desk), addressing universal primary education is self-evident.
  • Promote gender equality and empower women: Gender equality and empowerment of women is promoted through imprinting key messaging onto the Tutudesk, ensuring knowledge transfer on a foundational level
  • Combat HIV/AIDS malaria and other diseases: Disease identification, management, treatment and prevention information is imprinted on the Tutudesk for foundational education.
  • Ensure environmental sustainability: Environmental care is promoted through key messaging and imprinting on the surface of the Tutudesk.
  • Develop a global partnership for development: The development of global partnerships is facilitated by the donor’s Tutudesk investment supporting MDGs in countries desperately requiring assistance in uplifting their education system and infrastructure.

Moving toward supporting the UNDP Sustainable Development Goals, the Tutudesk Campaign focuses on:

  • Quality Education: Continuing the provision of a dedicated writing surface to children in developing and poor regions.
  • Gender Equality: Education of girls and women’s rights imprinted on the surface of the Tutudesk
  • Climate Action: Responsible environmental care education printed on the surface of the Tutudesk
  • Global Health and Well Being: Disease and health messaging and education printed on the surface of the Tutudesk including disease identification and prevention (Malaria, HIV, TB etc)




In any conflict, disaster or displacement (refugee) situation, the need for children to be contained in a safe environment cannot be understated. The creation of a school environment under these circumstances is the quickest way to establish normalcy under difficult circumstances. The Tutudesk also offers a “stock item” that can be manufactured and kept in holding in anticipation of disaster occurrences and related interventions.  In times of natural disaster or conflict response time is paramount and funding limited. In context of providing children with a safe, effective learning environment the ‘traditional’ classroom desk is impractical and insufficiently durable to be deployed or withstand these circumstances for any amount of time. Pragmatic innovation is key relative to such circumstances – the Tutudesk can be used outdoors, in tents or any other environment available for children to experience the normalcy of schooling under extra-ordinary circumstances. As an innovative, high impact and demonstrably effective approach, the Tutudesk has proven over and over again that it is the solution to creating an instant classroom, with associated benefits – immediately and significantly uplifting the educational experience in under-resourced classrooms or learning environments. Classrooms are also far easier to organise when the Tutudesk is used, and allows for educators to monitor work and keep discipline far more effectively.




Our focus on sub-Saharan Africa is to provide Tutudesks to schools with a shortage of greater than 35%. We are able to work with Donors who focus on particular regions in line with your specific goals and expected outcomes.