The Ubunye Challenge’s founder, Cameron Bellamy, grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. To Cameron it was evident on a daily basis that he was privileged; throughout his childhood he saw children of similar age to him on the street not attending school, and this stuck with him. He vowed to make a difference one day.
We consequently focus our efforts on education in southern Africa, and specifically on the provision of early childhood education to those who otherwise would have no hope of receiving it at all. The Challenge has focused on the Eastern Cape of South Africa - one of the poorest regions in a nation where over half the population lives in poverty - as well as on Zimbabwe, which ranks very low on the United Nation's Human Development Index at 154 out of the 188 countries surveyed.
The Ubunye Challenge focuses on early childhood education because study after study proves that education at a young age provides long-term, lasting, positive outcomes. Providing children with education at an early age (when brain development is rapid) insures they are ready to learn when they enter primary school. Conversely, those who do not receive early childhood education start primary school already behind, and rarely catch up to their luckier peers. By intervening early, we can give these children a fighting chance to get a decent education, without which they will undoubtedly remain mired in poverty.
The Ubunye Challenge is a registered charity in the UK (Charity # 1164891) and a 501c3 nonprofit in the United States (EIN # 812779287).