how else can I connect?

For the Ubuntu Global Connections team and wider community, being involved with and supporting grassroots non-profits such as these has been one of life’s most rewarding experiences; for all, eye-opening and humbling, and for many transformative. We hope you’ll consider connecting with us in any one of the following ways:

  • Make in-kind donations
  • Volunteer in South Africa
  • Attend fundraising events
  • Host fundraising events
  • Participate in informational Zoom calls with these organizations to hear about updates and developments
  • Follow us on Facebook and Instagram
  • Stay in the loop by signing up to receive our email newsletters (below)


Stay up to date with what’s happening at Ubuntu Global Connections

meet the team


Amy Gleason

Amy Gleason established Ubuntu Global Connections in 2011 in an effort to support South Africans dedicated to eliminating the pervasive inequities remaining in post-Apartheid South Africa. She decided to start the organization after visiting South Africa with several groups and finding that Americans on these cultural immersion and service trips were inspired to do more after they returned home.

Ubuntu Global Connections, a Massachusetts based 501(c)3 non-profit organization, provides a tax-deductible conduit for U.S. donors to fund select South African non-profit organizations that Amy has come to know, trust and value during her many visits there.  She has been to South Africa more than 30 times since 2008 and her connections with individuals and organizations there are the basis for her motivation to return again and again. Amy and the people with whom she has traveled have maintained relationships with the leaders of these organizations and have observed the amazing impact that they have had over the past 12 years.  Since its formation, Ubuntu Global Connections has funneled donations from Americans of more than $1.5 million in support of its partner non-profit organizations.

Contact Amy at

the board

The Ubuntu Global Connections board members have all visited South Africa with Amy on one or more occasions, and have come to appreciate the work of the organization’s South African non-profit partners, and  the significance of fundraising for them in the United States.

Becca Brewster

Becca has 25 years of fundraising experience for educational institutions. She currently oversees parent fundraising and engagement programs at Phillips Academy Andover in Andover, MA. Becca traveled to South Africa in August 2019, with her husband Toby, Amy, and David to visit the Eastern Cape region and learn about the work of the Axium Education team and other Ubuntu partners in the Zithulele community. Becca’s international interests and experiences started 35 years ago when she lived and worked in North Africa with the Peace Corps.

Blaise Foley

Blaise graduated from Colby College in 2019 where he studied environmental policy and economics. He now works as an Environmental Specialist for Triumvirate Environmental in Cambridge, MA.  Blaise’s high school trips to South Africa were truly eye-opening for him, and he joined the Ubuntu Global Connections Board to be able to make an ongoing positive impact there.

Mike Gathercole

A South African, Mike started his tourism company, 2 Way Travel, to share his passion for his country with visitors.  He has been involved with Ubuntu Global Connections since its inception in 2011 and has guided virtually all of Amy’s 25+ trips to South Africa.  He has visited the US many times, three of which were to fundraise for Axium Education.

Julie Kleyn

Julie has a long-standing connection with South Africa through her parents who live there for most of the year. She has an advertising/writing background which she puts to good use for Ubuntu Global Connections. Julie’s most recent trip to South Africa (March 2020) involved organizing fund-raising events for Axium Education and meeting some of Ubuntu Global Connections’ partner non-profits in the Eastern Cape.

Ben Painter

Ben graduated from Bowdoin College in 2019 and works at a  small nonprofit organization called the Mindfulness Director Initiative, which is working to get full time mindfulness teachers into schools. Ben fell in love with South Africa over the course of a few trips there. He worked for Axium Education for one summer. He is eager to help Ubuntu Global Connections have an impact through its partnerships.

Mimi Deck Rutledge

Mimi is a retired lawyer and is currently president of the board of a local non-profit (Household Goods in Acton, MA). Her work at Household Goods centers around communications, fundraising, and non-profit management. Mimi traveled to South Africa twice with Amy, and, with Julie, organized another trip in March 2020 for a group of women, which included two fundraising events for Axium Education. Mimi also helped organize a paddle tennis fundraiser for Axium Education in Boston in 2019 and hopes that will become an annual event.

Audrey Trieschman

Audrey has spent many years helping non-profits build effective communication strategies to drive fundraising and expand organizational impact. She became involved with Ubuntu Global Connections in 2021, assisting with strategic marketing communications and special events, and joined the Ubuntu board in February 2023. She is enjoying getting to know Ubuntu and its South African partners, and looks forward to the day when she can join one of the trips to see their incredible work first-hand.

Antonia von Gottberg

Originally from the UK, Antonia is connected to South Africa through her South African husband, Fred. They met in graduate school at MIT, where they both studied chemical engineering. They have made multiple trips to South Africa both to see family and to visit South Africa’s amazing tourist destinations.

Antonia connected with Amy and Ubuntu when her teenage son visited Zithulele and shadowed the doctors at the hospital. He did some fundraising and needed to find a way to get the donations to South Africa – and that’s where Ubuntu came in. Since then, Antonia has been involved in organizing fundraising events for Axium Education. In 2022, Antonia’s younger son volunteered with Axium at Zithulele and so Antonia and Fred were able to visit Zithulele at that time.



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