Ubunye Foundation

Community members from Angus Gillis

Community members from Ubunye Foundation

Ubunye Foundation (formerly Angus Gillis Foundation)

FOUNDED IN 2002 | IDEX PARTNER SINCE 2010 | www.ubunyefoundation.co.za

Located on the Eastern Cape of South Africa, the Ubunye Foundation was founded in 2002 by an independent charitable trust initiated by the owners of the Kwandwe Private Game Reserve to support local villages on the outskirts of the reserve.

“The Foundation recognized leadership in me. Now I can go out there and encourage people to be positive and healthy. I have learned poverty isn’t everything in life, you can make something of yourself.” Jennifer Clack, member of Ubunye.

Targeting impoverished communities that lack sufficient healthcare access, Ubunye seeks to build self-sufficiency by working with communities to create food gardens, income-generating activities, and leadership development projects. Ubunye also runs a local health program.

Since its inception, Ubunye has assisted in the establishment of 45 self-help groups (SHGs) in 12 villages. Comprising between eight and 20 members, SHGs meet weekly and collect member contributions, which are funneled into a savings pool. As the savings pool increases, the group is able to provide loans to fellow members. After a group has achieved a certain level of savings, Ubunye will offer additional assistance for small business development. To date, more than 500 unemployed people, mostly women, have benefited from the SHGs.

In addition to the savings pool, the weekly meetings encourage members to share their problems, resulting in a powerful support system and nurturing enduring trust among members.

Ubunye has also embarked on a tourism initiative that will enable economically disadvantaged communities to benefit from sustainable income-generating activities, such as local craft making.

IDEX’s grant will be used to develop and implement training programs and strengthen leadership for eight self-help groups.

Read more about Ubunye (formerly Angus Gillis Foundation) on our blog.