Jo Wedderspoon_2

Joanne Wedderspoon

Development Manager

Charities Aid Foundation


11 October 2019

Regional area:             International
Sectors:                        Education & Training, Employment, Environment
Social Investment:      £400,000 unsecured loan
Purpose:                      To build a new primary school for children living in townships in Port Elizabeth,
                                      South Africa


Ubuntu Pathways is preparing Port Elizabeth’s most vulnerable children for a lifetime of success.

Over the past 20 years, Ubuntu Pathways has developed an integrated support system of education, health and household service, from cradle to career at its Ubuntu Centre in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  

The Ubuntu Campus is a vital community institution in the heart of Port Elizabeth’s townships, embodying its long term commitment to the community.  It includes everything a child needs to thrive: an Early Child Development Wing; a community theatre and rooftop garden; an on-site clinic and pharmacy; and a Job Skills Training Centre.

Building a new future

To celebrate their incredible milestone of 20 years, in 2019 they launched the Ubuntu Primary School which is being housed temporarily at the Ubuntu Centre and serves 125 students from the townships.  

An unsecured loan of £400,000 from CAF Venturesome is helping to fund the construction of a state-of the-art primary school complex on the Ubuntu campus.  We were able to offer social investment to this international development project because Ubuntu has a London based office. 

Ubuntu generate the majority of their income from generous donors in the UK, the USA and South Africa. 

Ubuntu will cover the tuition fees for their students – who are Port Elizabeth’s most vulnerable children – to attend the school for free, as well as provide them with comprehensive wrap-around services outside of school hours.

Builders at primary school in South Africa

Pioneers for the future

In May 2019 Ubuntu broke ground on the construction of the new primary school. The new school complex will utilise a unique combination of natural landscape and outdoor space to create a stimulating, collaborative learning environment.  Construction is scheduled to be complete by November 2019 in time for the official opening in January 2020. 

This campus expansion will enable Ubuntu to increase enrolment by at least 25 students each year and complete the pathway out of poverty for the children they serve.  Ubuntu’s next big target will be to secure land and financing to construct a secondary school.

Ubuntu’s holistic approach, combining rigorous academics with high-quality health and household support, has laid an important foundation for lasting impact.  Students who would have otherwise been neglected in local schools are healthy and safe and driven by a deep love of learning.  They will be pioneers of their families and communities, charting the path for the next generation of Port Elizabeth’s children.

Primary school children and teacher in South Africa

Today at the Ubuntu Centre:

  • 2,000 vulnerable children are on Ubuntu’s pathway out of poverty
  • 100% of expecting mothers living with HIV give birth to healthy, virus-free babies
  • 87 toddlers are attending pre-school classes through Ubuntu’s Early Childhood Development programme; 100% of them are prepared for success in primary school and beyond when they graduate
  • 125 children are attending primary school classes at the Ubuntu School
  • 82% of non-university youth are placed into employment opportunities through Ubuntu’s Job Skills Training programme
  • 91% of Ubuntu clients living with HIV adhere to HIV/AIDS treatment, compared to that of 57% in the townships


“The Ubuntu School is providing our children with world-class primary education and a safe space to learn and grow.  CAF Venturesome’s support of the Ubuntu School has been key to strengthening our model and realising our vision for lasting transformation.  Together, we are preparing Port Elizabeth’s most vulnerable children for a lifetime of success.”

Beth Honig, Director UK, Ubuntu Pathways

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Although the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are mainly directed at governments and international NGOs, the UN acknowledges the importance of social organisations working towards these goals.    We believe this project is working towards the following SDGs.


If you want to know more about international social investment from CAF Venturesome or want to use your philanthropic capital to support our fund, talk to our team on 03000 123 300 or email us at and we’ll be happy to help.