The Ubuntu Fund, founded in 1999 as the Ubuntu Education Fund began with the mission of addressing the education crisis in South Africa. While they were successful in their efforts to provide books, pencils, and other educational supplies to needy children in Port Elizabeth they soon realized many children were not advancing. Distracted by hunger, the HIV/AIDS epidemic and poor living conditions was hampering their efforts to better their education.
It is not unusual for well intending donors to want a say in how the money is spent and in some cases be involved in everyday operations. Not realizing the scope of the problem facing the organizations these restrictions could sometimes be counterproductive. Andrew Rolfe and his companions at The Ubuntu Fund were not happy with the results they saw even though they had raised large sums of money. The fund had been following the traditional model for raising money for non-profit organizations, Andrew Rolfe and his compatriots at The Ubuntu Fund decided to change the way donors were asked to give.
Over the next ten years, The Ubuntu Fund developed a model that would offer cradle to career assistance without the restrictions they had experienced in the past. The model has been so successful that today it is referred to as the Ubuntu Model. Andrew Rolfe, chairman of the board for Ubuntu Education Fund, notes that the new model makes it possible for the fund to work on household stability, and better health, all leading to a better education for the needy children in this Eastern Cape community of 400,000 people.
The years of apartheid have left this South Africa township with many problems. HIV/AIDS is rampant, high unemployment, near record infant mortality rates, sexual violence is widespread and unimaginable poverty exists. Andrew Rolfe explains there are teacher shortages, overcrowded classrooms, school closings and educators that cannot perform at the grade levels they are teaching. Even when faced with these overwhelming obstacles Andrew says the children are still eager to learn. The goal of is to help these resilient children attend college and become leaders in the community. Andrew Rolfe is dedicated to helping people and has made it his mission to give the underprivileged children of South Africa a chance to live a better life through education.