There is no doubt that the Ubuntu Education Fund has changed the lives of many impoverished South African school-going kids since 1999. Its board chairman, Mr. Andrew Rolfe has particularly been instrumental in ensuring that the organization gets all the funding it requires. Sometimes back, Andrew organized a fundraising gala in aid of Ubuntu’s Port Elizabeth campus where more than R10 million was raised.
How It Went Down
Being a top philanthropist himself, Andrew Rolfe was able to attract many philanthropists in the gala that was held in a London hotel. During the event, some beneficiaries of the Ubuntu Fund made presentations that described their experience with the fund. The story of Sinesipho Rabidyani, in particular, moved the audience to pledge even higher donations. Now a student in one of the law schools in South Africa, Sinesipho narrated how Ubuntu rescued her from the misery of living with a drunkard and abusive father. Through the Fund, she was able to study and realize her dreams that would have otherwise gone down the drain.
Auctioning was a strategy that was used to raise funds during the gala. Charlie Ross, a renowned British Auctioneer, conducted the auction on behalf of Andrew Rolfe. To spice it up, a couple of portraits by Dom Pattinson and Nelson Makamo were put up for auction. In the end, the portraits earned over $38,000. Another auction item was a fully-paid trip ticket to South Africa.
Higher Education Funding
Today, over 400,000 underprivileged people in South Africa are benefiting directly from the Ubuntu Fund either by getting food provisions, health services, or better shelter. The fund sponsors students at Port Elizabeth campus to access higher education for free, while at the same time providing them with all basic needs until they join their respective careers.
Andrew Rolfe is a BA- philosophy, politics, and economics option- degree holder from the University of Oxford. Rolfe also has an MBA degree.
Besides philanthropy, Andrew is a successful entrepreneur and business executive. Some of the organizations he’s associated with include Pret A Manger as CEO, The Gap’s International Division as president, and Brooker Foodservice as CEO.