South African Partners

Axium Education is working to help to improve the education of children and adolescents by teacher training and supplemental programs in rural communities. Jabulani Foundation focuses on four areas:  health care, the environment, education and poverty alleviation.  Linawo Children’s Home serves an important need of caring for children who are orphaned or abandoned due to the difficult consequences of poverty and HIV/AIDS.  The Women of Gugulethu support their families and local community by running small businesses. Michael Gathercole partners with Ubuntu Global Connections to provide opportunities for Americans to volunteer in South Africa through immersion service trips and to support worthy organizations with which he volunteers.  See below for more detailed information.

Axium Education

Led by Craig and Michelle Paxton, Axium Education ( aims to see dramatic improvements in the quality of rural schooling through its partnerships with teachers, principals and school communities. Based in the rural village of Zithulele in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, the organization uses science, mathematics and language teaching as key levers for success.

At the Ekukhuleni Centre, 90 high-potential students from six senior secondary schools receive additional tuition in math, science, leadership and English on Saturdays and during school holidays.  Masakhane involves 120 students (in grades 6-9) from two junior secondary schools. The students attend afternoon classes three times a week, using Netbooks and an offline version of the Khan Academy materials to learn math.  Axium’s Nobalisa Community Readers program uses young, unemployed adults from the local community to read with young children at six junior schools and currently serves over 1000 learners. Professional networks provide opportunities for 60 educators from 20 schools in the area to meet together for professional development.

The Jabulani Foundation

The Jabulani Rural Health Foundation is a registered non-profit organization based at Zithulele Village, in the rural area of Eastern Cape (birth place of Mandela) and has been operating since 2007. The NGO has 4 areas of focus; health care, education, the environment and poverty alleviation.

A part of the Jabulani Foundation, The Cebe Project is led by Roger and Karen Galloway who are working to support the Cebe community through educational and environmental projects.

For more information on Jabulani or any of the projects, please visit

Zithulele Independent School

Started in 2016, the Zithulele Independent School currently has students in grades R-2.  This school serves children from the local Zithulele community and the children of staff members of Axium Education and Zithulele Hospital.  The school makes life at Zithulele more sustainable for hospital and NGO staff who have children and aims to provide a model of high quality education for surrounding schools.

Linawo Children’s Home

Linawo is located in Pinelands, a community in Cape Town, South Africa. Linawo ‘s previous location was Khayelitsha, South Africa, the largest township in Cape Town about 30 minutes from the city center.  Ivy Konisi started the Linawo Children’s Home in 2002 when a dying mother asked her to care for her child. Ivy saw an urgent need in her community to care for some children whose parents, for a variety of reasons, were unable to care for them. Ivy’s children’s home has grown since its inception, and she now has 12 children, ages 8 to 16 years, in her care. She has several caregivers who work closely with her and a Board of Directors, which oversees the operations of the home.

Women of Gugulethu

A group of women from Gugulethu run several small businesses to support their community, which continues to struggle with the challenges remaining from the apartheid era.   These women, who are leaders in their community in a variety of ways, run a catering business, a homestay business and a jewelry business.

Michael Gathercole

Mike Gathercole has been affiliated with Ubuntu Global Connections since its inception. Mike has served as organizer and guide for all of the Ubuntu Global Connections group trips.  He is a born and bred South African who has a desire to help people and see their lives changed through his efforts. He is generous, honest and ethical and is committed to improving the lives of his fellow South Africans. Currently, Mike is using his free time to identify South African projects that require resources of money or time. There is so much need in South Africa, and Mike is committed to supporting organizations and projects that he has determined to be worthy and effective.

Mike is currently volunteering for Message Trust SA (, a South African Christian non-profit organization based in Cape Town. The Message Trust vision is to inspire and support a generation of Urban Heroes, young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who become the solution rather than the problem. Message Trust does this through its prevention and rehabilitation youth programs. Mike is particularly interested in enterprise development and entrepreneurship – helping ex-offenders to find or create jobs once out of prison. Mike is embarking on a physical challenge in October 2017 of climbing to the top of three mountains in Cape Town in one day in order to fundraise to support the amazing work of Message Trust. Please note that 100% of financial donations made for Mike’s projects on the Ubuntu Global Connections website will go directly to the projects (less bank fees) as Mike volunteers his time.