Andrew Rolfe is by my accounts a successful man. Having made a name and riches for himself as a senior employee in a number large multinationals, he had for years been searching for ways to give back. In 2000 he finally found a way, joining Malizole Gwaxual and Jacob Lief at a barely year-old Ubuntu Education Fund. In the 17 years since Andrew Rolfe joined the trust, it has grown tremendously partly as a result of his contribution.
The Ubuntu Education Fund runs its programs in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The key purpose of the Firm is to empower the orphaned children in the area sustainably. That is, rather than give the children fish, the fund endeavors to teach them how to fish. To achieve this objective, the children under the Fund’s guide are provided with the tools they require to become healthy, self-sustaining adults hence preventing the cycle of poverty from taking root in the society. In a bid to ensure the greatest degree of success, these tools are typically tailored to the specific needs of a child and include, a quality education, health services and, where lacking, a home.
The noble but challenging objective of molding these children requires a lot of autonomy and resources. That is where Andrew Rolfe comes in. Mr. Rolfe has been the chairman of the Fund’s board since he joined in 2000. In addition to putting a significant amount of his money into the Fund, as its general overseer he has also revolutionized the manner in which the Fund mobilizes and uses resources. Under his leadership, Ubuntu Education Fund has not only been able to increase the donations received, successfully implement a no-strings-attached policy. That is, those who donate resources to the Fund do so knowing they will have no say in their use. The availability of non-obligated resources offers the Fund more flexibility and freedom to implement the programs it feels are in the children’s best interests.
Ubuntu calls us all to show humanity to our neighbors. Through his work at the Ubuntu Education Fund Andrew Rolfe has certainly lived up to the idea.