8/29/11 4:26 PM
8/12/2011 10:22:17 AM
Absa gives Ubuntu fund R300 000 Mawande Jack One of the most successfully run community development projects, Ubuntu Education Fund in Zwide township, received a windfall of R300000 from Absa on Wednesday. Ubuntu founder and director Banks Gwaxula said the sponsored amount would go a long way in helping to expand and sustain the project. It had as recently as last September officially opened its massive multi- million rand facility in the heart of Zwide township. The success of this education initiative, marked as one of the rare programmes successfully run in poor communities, has been credited even by local government leaders in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. Speaker in council Maria Hermans lauded the venture for having distinguished itself as contributing immensely to poverty reduction. “The financial incentive presented by the bank to Ubuntu makes a much-needed contribution to the overall development of Nelson Mandela Bay and would have an impact on poverty reduction,” she said. Ubuntu Education Fund was founded in 1998 by Gwaxula, who is a teacher, and Jacob Lief, a friend of his who was a college student from the United States. They aimed to help struggling pupils in townships of Port Elizabeth who had to learn in schools where there were no resources or adequate classrooms. Part of its programme was to secure computers from overseas to provide schools with computer labs and training for both teachers and pupils. Today the project has grown with about 50 staff members serving about 40000 children, youth and adults, providing them with life skills, HIV services and essential education services. Its programmes include youth empowerment, HIV prevention, outreach, clinical services, and care and support for those affected by HIV-Aids. Leading human rights champion Archbishop Desmond Tutu had an opportunity to visit the project last year and was impressed by its approach of getting the community involved in its planning and decision-making. Tutu described it as a unique form of “social entrepreneurship with a community inclusive development programme”. Lief said the project was a huge success in that they had “figured out how to put people at the middle of it”. He said the idea of naming the project Ubuntu rose out of his experiences while staying in the township with the Gwaxula family, which offered him an opportunity to appreciate the importance of family bonds, community, sharing and cooperation. “I encountered an unbelievable concept of community and family,” he said. http://www.thenewage.co.za/printstroy.aspx?news_id=25554&mid=53
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8/29/11 4:26 PM
Gwaxula announced that they planned to launch Ubuntu’s own school from Grade R upwards with its own curriculum which would be “anchored in local community experiences”.
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Published on Oct 6, 2011
Its programmes include youth empowerment, HIV prevention, outreach, clinical services, and care and support for those affected by HIV-Aids....