Educating for Life
Making People Employable, Creating Employment Opportunities

One tool that will enable people to rise above their circumstances is education, particularly education that leads to the acquisition of marketable tools.

Nelson Mandela, ORT SA Graduation Ceremony 1993

The History of World ORT

The story of ORT is one of the most remarkable in modern history, for it was an organisation born of necessity that endured and flourished because of its ability to adapt to change.

ORT was founded in Tsarist Russia in 1880. The name ‘ORT’ was coined from the acronym of the Russian words Obshestvo Remeslenofo Zemledelcheskofo Truda, meaning The Society for Trades and Agricultural Labour. It is acronym that has lasted for over 130 years of education and training, moving its roots in Russia to become a global organisation, hence the name World ORT, with entities in over 40 countries around the world. ORT is proud of its history and roots, and that it still continues to use its vision statement “Educating for Life”. ORT SA is proud to be an affiliated member of World ORT

…ORT’s activity does not base itself on ‘charity’ but on self-help. I want to assure you of my greatest admiration for the cause in which you are so nobly engaged.

Albert Einstein, ORT Gala Dinner in 1936 in London

ORT South Africa’s Roots

In South Africa, ORT was started in 1936 purely as a fundraising entity. From 1936 to 1994 the organisation existed to raise funds for various causes within World ORT. In 1994 with the change in government, ORT SA became an operational organisation and began to implement various programmes within South Africa.

ORT SA is a multi-faceted, proactive and reputable organisation. It thrives on developing teachers, youth, businesses and communities, by improving the standard of education, so that all can achieve a better life.

For ORT SA, education is more than basic schooling. It’s about empowerment and support. Only then can poverty be eradicated and meaningful lives built.

Our Impact