Awards & Recognitions


Symphonia for South Africa is a Level 1 BBBEE contributor. The beneficiaries of the Partners for Possibility (PfP) programme are the school principals who take part in the programme of whom more than 75% are black.
The PfP Leadership Development programme is registered as an NQF Level 6 Continuous Education course with the University of the Western Cape (UWC).
The PfP programme is recognised by the South African Council for Educators (SACE) which awards 40 Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points to participants who receive a certificate from UWC.
Social Enterprises Mark’s Making your Mark competition has shortlisted PfP for their annual award, which celebrates the vast impact that accredited social enterprises make through their diverse activities. The competition highlights examples of how social enterprises are creating considerable impact within their local communities and in wider society. (April 2018).
Symphonia for South Africa has been vetted by GlobalGiving, an organisation that connects donors with projects that are having a positive social impact and doing so in a transparent and accountable manner. (November 2017).


Awards and Recognition



The PfP programme was awarded Brand Summit South Africa’s NGO Influencer Brand award in May 2018. Brand Summit South Africa is a robust platform that identifies key South African brands – across the domestic and global spectrum – that positively impact South Africa’s image. One of the platform’s primary aims is to recognise, award and celebrate these brands.


In April 2018, PfP was announced as one of 12 WISE Awards project finalists for its innovative solutions to education challenges and its measurable, positive social impact. WISE is a thriving global, multi-sectoral community, which seeks to generate fruitful dialogue and productive partnerships.

The Partners for Possibility programme has been shortlisted as one of the 6 finalists in the Marking the Mark competition (a Social Enterprise Mark initiative) – the only accredited social enterprise from South Africa to be announced as a finalist. (April 2018).

At the 2018 Leadership Excellence and Development (LEAD) Awards held in Salt Lake City, USA and adjudicated by the international human resource organisation, Symphonia for South Africa was recognised as an award winner in the ‘Top Leadership Development Partner’ category for the innovative PfP leadership development programme (February 2018).


Dr Louise van Rhyn, the founder and CEO of Symphonia for South Africa and the PfP programme was named as one of the 50 Most Impactful Social Innovators (a global listing) for her tenacity in growing the PfP programme from 1 school in 2010 to over 700 schools today and for PfP’s
meaningful and sustainable impact in the lives of school children across South Africa. (February 2018). The award was presented by founder of World CSR Day, Dr. R. L. Bhatia.


In recognition of PfP’s contribution to new knowledge about developing impactful leadership, Thinkers50 (the premier ranking of global business thinkers) has included Louise van Rhyn in the Thinkers50 Radar list of the 30 management thinkers most likely to shape the future of how organizations are managed and led (February 2018).


In the 2018 Geneva rankings of the world’s Top500 NGOs, Symphonia for South Africa is ranked as one of the Top100 non-profit organisations in the world (number 97) against a range of criteria which include the strength of its impact, governance and innovation (January 2018).


In November 2017 Dr Louise van Rhyn was shortlisted for the Ideas into Practice Award at the Thinkers50 Global Awards for management and leadership thinkers.


Women In Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy Development (WEISED) presented Louise van Rhyn with the WEISED Leading Woman of Africa Special Recognition Honorary Award in recognition of her tenacity and invaluable contribution to the advancement of women and to Africa’s socio-economic growth (November 2017).


Brand South Africa, together with Owami Women, acknowledged PfP for its commitment and contribution towards positive social change in South Africa (September 2017).


The PfP programme was announced as joint winner of the Partnering for Change Award at the Beyond Painting Classrooms Conference in September 2017.


Dr Louise van Rhyn was named as a finalist in the Fast Growth Women-Owned SMME category at the Standard Bank Top Women Awards in August 2017.


Dr Louise van Rhyn was shortlisted in the ‘Inspiration’ category of the prestigious annual EduWeek Awards held in October 2017.


PfP was the only African recipient of an award at the LEAD Awards 2017, being recognised as one of the Top 10 Leadership Partners for transformational leadership development programmes in the world (February 2017).


PfP was recognised by Unashamedly Ethical in the Western Cape for its tireless work in supporting and improving the South African basic education sector (June 2016).


In the 2016 Eduweek Awards PfP was chosen as a finalist for NGO of the Year (June 2016).


In 2016, the International Partnership Network recognised PfP, with an IPN Global Best Award, as one of the most innovative education projects on the African continent.


On local soil, Toastmasters International honoured Dr Louise van Rhyn with its Toastmasters Communication and Leadership Award. The Award celebrated her leadership in founding and extending the PfP programme throughout South Africa (July 2016).


At the 2015 LEAD Awards Symphonia for South Africa was announced as one of the Top 15 International Leadership Development providers. Symphonia for South Africa was the only organisation from the African continent named in the Top 15 (February 2015).


At the 2015 International Partnership Network (IPN) global conference in Belgium, PfP was singled out for its work in developing leaders in the education sector and, at the same time, addressing some of the most complex challenges faced by this sector. PfP received an IPN Global Best Award at this conference (August 2015).


In 2014 Symphonia for South Africa was the recipient of the coveted Reconciliation Award bestowed by The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in recognition of the powerful impact of the PfP programme with regard to nation building and social cohesion.


PfP was selected for the 2014 World Design Capital as a project that shows innovative thinking and design in tackling complex challenges faced in education in South Africa (October 2014).


The PfP programme was the recipient of the 2013 Business Partner-Emerald Award by the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) for the significant positive impact it has had on 50 schools in Gauteng.


At the 2012 Global CSR Awards in Mumbai, Louise van Rhyn received a Social Entrepreneurship Award for her role in establishing a programme (PfP) that is contributing to better education and community engagement, to business growth and to reducing poverty in South Africa.


In 2012 Louise van Rhyn received the Ogunte Women’s Social Leadership Award in recognition of her achievement in developing an innovative and bold solution to a pressing social issue.