Ubuntu Education Fund celebrat

Ubuntu Education Fund celebrates 15 years with stars at London Gala

Event raised £750,000 to transform the lives of 2,000 children and their families in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Ubuntu Education Fund celebrat
Nozibele Qamngana (external Ubuntu External Relations Manager), Jacob Lief (Ubuntu education Fund co-founder), June Sarpong MBE (TV Presenter), Banks Gwaxula (Ubuntu education Fund co-founder) and Kathy Lette (Australian comedian and author)

Ubuntu Education Fund, a non-profit organisation that transforms the lives of more than 2,000 South African children and their families in Port Elizabeth’s townships, hosted its annual London charity gala at the iconic Roundhouse on 15 May.

The event brought Ubuntu’s cradle to career model to centre stage, celebrating 15 years of innovative health and educational initiatives.

Funds raised will allow Ubuntu to empower vulnerable children and ensure their birthplaces do not determine their futures.

Guests at the event included Dragon’s Den investor James Caan, Australian comedian Kathy Lette, BBC newsreader Martyn Lewis, cricketer Graeme Smith and artists Pure Evil and Conor Mccreedy.

The event, which celebrated Ubuntu’s 15 year anniversary, included a performance by Britain’s Got Talent finalist Asanda Jezile and addresses by Nozibele Qamngana (Ubuntu scholar turned staff member) and Jacob Lief (founder and CEO).

Ubuntu external relations manager Nozibele Qamngana told the audience, “Ubuntu is a way of life in South Africa, where we recognise that “a person is a person through other people.”  Ubuntu is also an organisation in my community that has provided me with everything I needed to thrive.  Standing here tonight, I represent thousands of children in Port Elizabeth. As a member of Ubuntu’s inaugural class of Ubuntu Scholars, I am not alone. I am part of a network of successful Ubuntu alumni who are changing the future of our country.”

Jacob Lief added, “Our goal from Day 1 was to help the absolute most vulnerable children, who have been abused, raped, or have lost their parents, break the cycle of poverty. We now have 2000 children on the pathway out of poverty. Today, I stand before you and say that 15 years is just the beginning. We have done something improbable and difficult, but I never doubted we would get here. We are rewriting the narrative for the entire development sector.

The evening was capped by a live auction of rare experiences and items including; President Bill Clinton’s inauguration speech with a personal inscription, a signed Mark Seliger portrait of Nelson Mandela, tickets to the world premiere of the next Bond film and Christopher Kane’s show at London Fashion Week, as well as bespoke art from Pure Evil.

According to Ubuntu Patron, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, “Ubuntu Education Fund is reaching the people who count, saying, ‘You are not helpless, you are not ciphers that can be manipulated. You are people who can prepare your own thoughts.’ And that is important.”

The goal of the organisation is to transform the lives of children living in vulnerable circumstances and extreme poverty, providing support ‘from cradle to career’ and enabling children to become healthy adults with stable  incomes. From world-class health care to educational training and counselling, Ubuntu works within the local community to provide what all children deserve: everything.

Ubuntu Statistics

  • Ubuntu children will earn £8.70 in lifetime earnings for every £1 invested in them, contributing £122,000 to society.
  • Ubuntu students progress academically at more than twice the rate of their peers.
  • Ubuntu’s clients’ HIV treatment adherence rate is 96% compared to Port Elizabeth’s rate of 57%, and the 75% average across the rest of South Africa
  • 72% of Ubuntu high schools students pass their Grade 12 exams compared to only 37% of non-Ubuntu students

Get involved: www.ubuntufund.org