VULA, the Zulu word for “open”, was started with grant funding at Hilton College. The programme has opened the minds of 16 000 children in the Midlands to the joys of mathematics and science. The programme was started with seed funding of R5 million by Hilton donors in 2001 and is housed at the school, which absorbs much of its costs.The programme has become more refined over the years to the point where it now takes in 20 mathematics teachers a term, selected by the Department of Education, from government schools in the Umgungundlovu educational district.During the term the teachers are placed at Hilton their school positions are filled by bursary-funded Durban University of Technology final-year student teachers. Until a month ago the Umgungundlovu teachers travelled in every day, from areas across the district, some as far afield as Winterton and Mpendle, leaving their state schools to take lessons at Hilton. But now, thanks to a R5 million donation from the Victor Daitz Foundation, and the Chamberlain family, the school has built Vula Lodge, which accommodates up to 16 teachers who live on campus for a term. They are catered for, each given a laptop and tutored by Lloyd’s colleagues, Sue Southwood, Mike Bennett, Ken Beveridge and Ann McLoughlin.The lodge was built because Hilton plans to extend the programme beyond the borders of Umgungundlovu and will need to accommodate teachers from further afield. - Supplied.