Ubuntu Education Fund is transforming the lives of 2,000 vulnerable children in South Africas townships by promoting long-term financial sustainability and developing its headquarters into a world class health and educational campus. In fulfilling this U.ME.WE commitment, Ubuntu has not only amplified its sustainable impact, but it has also further formalized its innovative development model. Specific activities within the U.ME.WE commitment included:
- HIV Pediatric Clinic: Over the past three and a half years, Ubuntu has built the regions first state of the art HIV pediatric clinic and implemented an integrated strategy that has significantly reduced disparities in access to health and education. Led by an experienced and dedicated medical team, the organizations health program offered comprehensive HIV/TB services from testing to adherence support, sexual and reproductive health interventions, primary care, and nutritional support. Ubuntu has provided well over 24,200 medical services to 2,000 of Port Elizabeth, South Africas most vulnerable children since the launch of U.ME.WE. The results have been remarkable. Ubuntu has achieved a 100% Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission success rate, maintained a 96% HIV drug regimen adherence rate, as well as sustained a 94% TB treatment success rate. The impact of this now formalized strategy has been profoundhealthy parents have attained employment, children have achieved greater success in school, and township communities have slowly begun to overcome public health crises.
- Cradle to Career Academic Programs: Since 2012, Ubuntu has re-conceptualized the vast majority of its educational initiatives to build a truly cradle to career approach. The organization piloted an early childhood development program during the first year of the commitment, and it has grown from a small class of just 38 children into an initiative that serves 148 toddlers, pre-k students, kindergarteners, and first graders. Ubuntu has simultaneously revived its opportunities platform with the launch of a university preparation course for Grade 12 scholars and an intensive vocational skills development initiative for non-university tracked youth. Both new offerings have achieved enormous success. Educational milestones over the past three years include: 100% of toddlers attaining internationally recognized developmental milestones in seven categories, 94% of Grade 12 scholars passing their matric (a qualifying exam for university), and 86% receiving university acceptance letters, as well as 80% of out of school youth securing employment.
- Household Stability Services: Ubuntus Family Support Specialists (certified social workers and counselors) improved upon the organizations household stability approach. This core program addressed the underlying obstacles that threatened to derail clients lives: financial instability, hunger, dysfunctional family relationships, unsafe homes, and abuse. At the beginning of each year, Family Support Specialists assessed households and created individualized pathways out of poverty for each client; they have since implemented case management plans, monitored progress, and adapted interventions whenever necessary. Since partnering with Clinton Global Initiative to launch U.ME.WE, Ubuntu has provided over 3,412 household stability interventions, ranging from home assessments to child protection services to psychosocial counseling. Thus far, 86% of clients move from an off track status (whereby myriad presenting problems derail their stability and security) to an on track status (whereby Ubuntu either entirely mitigates or manages clients presenting problems) after just four years of services.
- Broader Network Engagement: Ubuntu has implemented a multi-pronged approach to engaging a broader network: establish the organization as a thought leader, build a grassroots outreach strategy to connect with younger supporters, and foster long-term partnerships with high net worth individuals. The nonprofit now has well over 18,000 contacts in its database, connected with over 10,000 social media followers, hosted annual fundraising galas that raise over $1 million, and secured many multiyear commitments. Ubuntus executive team has also published editorials in established media outlets like Forbes, The Guardian, Devex, Town and Country, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Fast Company. The CEO, specifically, gave a TEDx Brooklyn talk in 2013.
Ubuntu has redefined the nonprofit industrys expectations of what disadvantaged communities can accomplish. Through its Clinton Global Initiative commitment, the organization has ensured that the birthplaces of 2,000 orphaned and vulnerable children living in Port Elizabeths townships do not have to determine their futures.