supporting South African non-profits since 2011

  • "We are so grateful for the support and encouragement of Ubuntu Global Connections over the years. Ubuntu Global Connections understands and appreciates the challenges we face, and has repeatedly stepped in with critical financial support just when things were looking bleak." - Zithulele Independent School, South African partner organization
  • "Axium Education has gratefully received support from Ubuntu Global Connections since 2014. Many of UGC’s generous donors have personally visited Zithulele and volunteered with us. We are thrilled that so many of them have continued to advocate for our efforts from 8000 miles away." - Axium Education, South African partner organization
  • "Volunteering in Zithulele was one of the highlights of my travels abroad. It's quite an experience to be in such a remote part of South Africa, yet in a community so rich with ambitious and engaged students, and families dedicated to improving both education and health at every level. I hope to return to this special place with my family one day." - Kate, volunteer and Ubuntu Global Connections donor

Mission Statement: why we do what we do

Ubuntu Global Connections, a Massachusetts based 501(c)3 non-profit organization, supports South African non-profits that are working hard to eliminate the deep iniquities persistent in post-apartheid South Africa today. By connecting these grassroots organizations with American resources and energy, Ubuntu Global Connections seeks to play a supportive and compassionate role, facilitating further progress and development in some of South Africa’s most scarred and challenged communities.

What is Ubuntu?

This little word holds a big and powerful meaning, especially for South Africans. At its most simple, ubuntu [ˌo͝oˈbo͝on(t)o͞o] is the enduring spirit of human kindness and compassion, and speaks to the deep interconnectedness of all humanity. It embodies the ideas of harmony, community, and mutual caring for all. We stand together. Loosely translated, it is essentially “I am because you are.”

The concept of Ubuntu became more broadly known in the 1990s through the writings of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and a renowned leader of the anti-apartheid movement. He describes ubuntu thus: “Ubuntu is very difficult to render into a Western language. It speaks of the very essence of being human. When we want to give high praise to someone we say, ‘Yu, u nobunto’; ‘Hey, so-and-so has ubuntu.’ Then you are generous, you are hospitable, you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have. It is to say, ‘My humanity is inextricably bound up in yours.’ We belong in a bundle of life.” (from Tutu’s memoir No Future Without Forgiveness).

When Amy Gleason founded Ubuntu Global Connections, she felt that this deeply significant word, so close to the hearts and history of many South Africans, perfectly embraced the spirit of connectivity and empathy that she sought for the organization. Since its formation, Ubuntu Global Connections has sent donations from Americans of more than $1.5 million in support of its partner non-profit organizations.

About South Africa

A beautiful and diverse tapestry of different peoples, colors, religions and races, South Africa today is a work-in-progress towards quality of life and equality.

For many South Africans, poverty and unemployment tragically dictate their lives. The current unemployment rate in South Africa is 32%, with that figure rising to 60% for those 15-24 years old. The country struggles with corruption and a lack of hope for the future.

A large part of the ongoing disparity has its roots in a struggling education system, where most South African students cannot access the necessary tools to advance academically. It’s common to have 70 second graders in a classroom with one teacher.

it is clear that the country’s path to a brighter future is fraught with roadblocks.

The good news is that there is incredible energy for change in South Africa today. Passionate South Africans of every race are working tirelessly to improve the country’s infrastructure at a grassroots level, building schools and supporting struggling communities with resources and aid.

So how can we help? Here in America, we have an opportunity to make a meaningful connection with these hardworking South Africans. By supporting their work and vision for a better country, we can create partnerships for change that will make a real difference for those who need it most.