A Global Standard for Community Transformation

Ubuntu Pathways (formerly Ubuntu Education Fund) is a nonprofit organization that provides an integrated support system of health, education, and social support in the townships of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Over the past 20 years, what began as a fortuitous meeting between two strangers has grown into an internationally-recognized blueprint for community transformation. Ubuntu has redefined mainstream development models by focusing on the depth rather than breadth of our impact on a community of 400,000. We believe in trusting those closest to the problem to create the solution. In partnership with the Bertha Foundation, we have created a world-class staff development initiative and today, 95% of our team are leaders from the community we serve.

Our Founders

Separated by race, nationality, and age, Jacob Lief and Malizole 'Banks' Gwaxula were brought together by something far more powerful––the spirit of ubuntu, roughly translated as I am because you are'. Their unexpectedly profound journey has inspired a new, bold thinking about breaking the cycle of poverty.


Meet Our Team

Want to Work With Us?

In addition to our headquarters in South Africa, we have fundraising offices in New York and London.

“You are not helpless, you are not ciphers that can be manipulated. You are people who can prepare your own thoughts.”

— Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Ubuntu Pathways Patron

& Evaluation

Monitoring and Evaluation

Ubuntu measures success not by textbooks distributed, but by university graduates. Annually, we conduct an on-track/off-track assessment, an evaluation framework developed in partnership with McKinsey & Company, to determine our impact and maintain organizational accountability. A client who is on-track is defined as one who is moving toward a successful outcome—a healthy, financially stable life.

Annual Reports