The Knysna Education Trust currently serves 39 partner pre-schools located in the disadvantaged communities situated within the greater
During the past decade, forestry and the timber industry (previous large-scale local employers) have either downsized or closed down completely. This has greatly affected residents in Rheenendal, Brackenhill, Hornlee, and Sedgefield. The additional influx of unskilled people from the Eastern Cape, in search of employment, better schooling and improved health care, resulted in an enormous number of families living in poverty. The recent economic downturn has also resulted in a large percentage of the folk within these communities becoming unemployed within the area.
Knysna, at present, has no other industry except for tourism (which is seasonally driven). Small businesses in the industrial area have reduced by 75%. Many folk are also unable to work due to illness or only have a meagre single income that often supports a larger, extended family. Orphans of AIDS parents are often left in the care of grandmothers who depend on their meagre pension as income for the family. The Trust works in any community that has a need and with any pre-school / care facility (formal or informal) that approaches it for assistance.