Internationally Renowned Andrew Rolfe: Chairman of the Ubuntu Fund

They hoped to raise $972,960 during the 10th Annual Ubuntu Fund Gala Dinner last May. The money the fund will receive from this event will be used to benefit the Fund’s school campus in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Among the projects that organizers are planning is the pediatric clinic that is part of the school’s campus. They will also be opening up the school’s doors to more disadvantaged children in the local area. The entire program is known for taking care of underprivileged youth from the cradle until they can eventually begin their careers. It took the entire night, but the organizers reached their goal.

Andrew Rolfe is the Chairman of the Ubuntu Fund, and he had the pleasure of treating the 300 attendees of the gala to music performed by a Xhosa choir and tasty dishes. Two of the evening’s special guests were students who had received help from the Ubuntu Fund in the past. There were also many inspiring speeches that delighted the evenings’ guests.

Sinesipho’s Story

One of the recipients was Sinesipho Rabidyani who spoke to the crowd after the dinner was over, and she easily stole the show. She explained the she never wanted to be at home because her father’s drinking made it impossible for her to live a peaceful existence. She was chosen to receive a scholarship to the school, and along with an excellent education, she also obtained psychosocial support. The school also provides its students with mentoring in addition to their education.

Sinesipho credits the Ubuntu Fund with her recent admission into Law School. She believes that it is also the reason that she has finally been able to persuade her mother to leave her abusive husband.

The Auction

British Auctioneer Charlie Ross was on hand to preside over the auction. Among the delectable goodies to be presented were a trip to South Africa, two paintings by Dom Pattinson and a portrait by Nelson Makamo. These items earned the Fund $38,667 in total.

Jacob Lief and Malizole Gwaxula

The evening finally ended with a speech by Ubuntu Fund Founder and CEO Jacob Lief. In his speech, he stressed the fact that children need everything to be able to grow up, and this is what he has learned over 20 years of working with the Fund.

Malizole “Banks” Gwaxula owned a school in South Africa, and Jacob offered to help her with her mission to provide Port Elizabeth’s children with the supplies that they needed for school. This was greatly appreciated, but they came to the conclusion that they needed to do more for these kids, and that is how the Ubuntu Fund came into being.

Jacob and Banks founded The Ubuntu Education Fund in 1999, and it currently supports 2,000 needy children in Port Elizabeth’s townships. The founders immediately began to help the children by supplying them with books, notebooks and pencils, but these children continued to have problems in the classroom. Jacob and Banks expanded their outreach to address hunger, the children’s home-life and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Now, the fund is able to promote household stability and ensure that the children receive medical attention along with their educational needs.

The Ubuntu Fund has been extremely successful in improving the lives of Port Elizabeth’s children and has a lot of evidence to support this. For example, every one of the HIV-positive mothers associated with the fund has given birth to babies who are HIV-negative. In addition, every one of the fund’s toddlers will begin primary school on time, and 90 percent of graduating students are fully prepared to attend the universities of their choice.

Andrew Rolfe

Andrew Rolfe is currently the Chairman of the Ubuntu Education Fund. Before he was appointed to this position, he attended the University of Oxford where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. After receiving this degree, he attended Harvard Business School and earned a Master of Business Administration degree.

Andrew Rolfe was honored with the title of “President” of The Gap’s International Division. As such, he was responsible for overseeing operations in Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany and France. The company also put him in charge of its strategies for international growth.

Before he was chosen to help lead Gap, Inc, Rolfe gained experience as the head of several large companies. One example of this is Pret A Manger where he was CEO and Chairman of a business that operated in the United Kingdom, Tokyo, Hong Kong and New York. While he was there, he managed to make an international retailer out of the business.

His accomplishments do not end there. Before arriving at Pret A. Manger, Andrew was the CEO of Booker Foodservice, and before that, he was the Vice-President of Operations Europe for PepsiCo Restaurants International. In this role, Andrew had the huge responsibility of leading 1,300 Pizza Hut and KFC restaurants in a total of 30 countries.

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