More than £603,000 was raised recently at the Ubuntu Education Fund charity gala in London in conjunction with Andrew Rolfe. This event was held to help disadvantaged children in Africa. The amount raised at the London gala equals roughly R10 million in South Africa. The goal for the fundraiser was £600,000, and the money was raised for expanding student capacity at the Ubuntu Education Fund’s Port Elizabeth campus. Some money will also go to improving the pediatric clinic associated with the campus.
The Ubuntu Education Fund In Action
The organization uses its manpower and resources to serve over 400,000 disadvantaged people in Africa. At the Port Elizabeth campus, there is a program for disadvantaged children that ensures their health and education needs will be met from the time they join until they are ready for a career. The organization was founded in 1999 as a small charity focusing only on educational tools and availability. When the founders realized that there were other serious problems such as hunger and HIV hindering children from reaching their potential through education, they expanded their reach to include provisions for health, nutrition, home stability and much more.
Real-life Story Impacts Audience
About 300 of London’s most well-known socialites and philanthropists attended the Ubuntu Education Fund gala. Chairman Andrew Rolfe welcomed everyone on behalf of the organization, and Xhosa chorals along with inspiring speeches moved the audience. However, it was the personal story of Sinesipho Rabidyani that captured the hearts of all in attendance.
In her classy navy dress, Sinesipho told the audience about being affected by her father’s drinking problem as a child. While most children looked forward to going home after school, Sinesipho dreaded it because of her father’s problem and its many negative effects on her family. The determined and strong young girl studied hard. She became an Ubuntu Fund scholar, which came with the perks of mentoring and psychosocial support. Sinesipho attributes her success to the Ubuntu Fund and her encouraging mentors. She was recently accepted into law school, and she also convinced her mother to move away from their abusive patriarch.
A Successful Auction
Sinesipho’s powerful story of accomplishment and the talents of other scholars encouraged generosity during the auction. Charlie Ross was the auctioneer. A few of the high-end items auctioned off included a paid South African holiday package, a portrait by Nelson Makamo and two Dom Pattinson paintings. Those three lots alone brought in an impressive £33,000.
Inspiring Conclusion Speech
After the formalities of the glamorous evening came to an end, the founder and CEO of the Ubuntu Education Fund gave a speech. Jacob Lief explained that 20 years of watching disadvantaged kids grow up in Africa showed them the secret of what was needed, and that was everything on a daily basis. From healthcare and nutrition to education and supplies, many children and their families needed help in every way.
With the help of hardworking individuals and generous donors, the Ubuntu Education Fund has grown to sponsor 2,000 children in disadvantaged homes around Port Elizabeth. The program takes children in at a young age and provides early childhood support. Quality education is continued throughout the child’s life with mentoring and after-school programs. Students also have access to quality healthcare and are educated about HIV. When they become teens, they have access to vocational training to help them succeed financially as adults.
One of the most impressive accomplishments of the Ubuntu Education Fund is its reduction of HIV transmission. Through education and healthcare measures, the organization has reported that 100 percent of the HIV-positive mothers it serves have given birth to babies who do not test positive for the virus. Ninety percent of the organization’s scholars are accepted into major universities. Also, 100 percent of its toddlers are properly prepared to start their primary education. The Ubuntu Education Fund remains committed to sustainable development.
About Andrew Rolfe
Andrew Rolfe is the Ubuntu Education Fund’s chairman. Also, he is a managing director for TowerBook Capital Partners. Andrew studied business economics and administration at Harvard Business School and earned his master’s degree there in 1992. He earned another master’s degree from St. Edmund Hall in Oxford. Andrew earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Oxford in 1988. At TowerBook Capital Partners, he focuses on retail, hospitality and food service acquisitions as well as investment opportunities throughout Europe and the United States.
Prior to his time at TowerBook Capital Partners and the Ubuntu Education Fund, Rolfe was an executive for The Gap, Inc. He was responsible for leading the beloved clothing brand into a global market. Also, he helped Banana Republic become a success by expanding into Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. Before these successes, Andrew was the CEO and chairman of a European company that he led into a global market.
As an innovator in helping companies enter the international markets or expand their existing presence in them, Andrew also worked for several other companies such as J. Jill, Beverages & More and True Religion Apparel, Inc. With his strong leadership and expansion skills, Andrew is an asset to the Ubuntu Education Fund. He is always looking for ways to improve and expand opportunities to more disadvantaged children and families. Expect to see more developments from this organization and this powerful leader.