Ubuntu's COVID-19 Response

When the pandemic hit South Africa, the impact was immediate. Families lost jobs, entire communities faced hunger and economic collapse, and the healthcare system was overwhelmed.

To combat the crisis, we transformed the Ubuntu Campus into a COVID-19 response center, providing:

White Icon Covid Food Parcel Blue Copy

food security

White Icon Covid Mask Blue Copy

Medical Services

White Remoste Support V2 Remote Support Blue Copy


Website Icon 3 Up Template Jst New Remote Medical Blue Copy 3

job skills training

Tarryn M Quote 30K Blue Copy 4
Copy Of Img 5717

Watch Ubuntu's COVID-19 Crisis Response

Quotes Ds Quote


The South African government imposed a lockdown on March 26th, which caused unemployment to soar. Many people could not access or afford food.

Ubuntu’s food security initiative has protected the most vulnerable in our community. We delivered food directly to homes, enabling families to stay safe, secure, and well-nourished.

Icon 3 Up Blue 30K Blue


Icon 3 Up Blue Food Parcel Blue


House 2 Remote Support Blue Copy 2

Distribution to 4,000 HOMES

Households range from 5-20 family members

Food Banner  Uc 06

Watch Ubuntu's Food Security Initiative During COVID-19

Orange Pattern For Web Pattern Orange Border For Web


Ubuntu serves a disproportionately vulnerable population, including pregnant mothers living with HIV, immunocompromised children, and elderly heads of households.

When Gqeberha, formerly known as Port Elizabeth, became a hotspot of COVID-19 in South Africa, we adapted our services to meet our clients' needs and expanded our reach to help the entire community. This included:

Icon 3 Up Blue Mask Blue

Over R5M of PPE & TRAINING to 27 hospitals, clinics, & social service INSTITUTIONS

Icon 3 Up Blue Remote Medical Blue

Remote consultations & contactless medication delivery

Medical Only Remote Medical Blue Copy

Life-saving clinical services to 716 people

Hiv Icon Remote Medical Blue Copy 2

uninterrupted anti-retroviral treatment for 100% OF CLIENTS LIVING WITH HIV

Screen Shot 2020 12 10 At 12 28 03 Pm

Watch Ubuntu’s COVID-19 medical outreach

Orange Pattern For Web Pattern Orange Border For Web

REMOTE case management & Education

The Ubuntu Campus is more than just our school or clinic, it's a place where hundreds of families find support and safety.

We suspended non-essential in-person services to keep clients safe, and adapted our programming to ensure the wellbeing of hundreds of families through:

Icon 3 Up Blue Remote Support Blue

2,079 virtual counseling & psychosocial support sessions

Icon 3 Up Blue Food Security Blue

Socially distanced home visits & case management for 872 clients

Icon 3 Up Blue Crayons Blue

Remote educational programming for 225 children

Screen Shot 2020 12 10 At 12 54 49 Pm

Watch Ubuntu's Remote Support During COVID-19

Orange Pattern For Web Pattern Orange Border For Web

Job Skills Training

Nearly every graduate of our program lost their positions when the South African government imposed the economic lockdown. These young breadwinners are depended on by large extended families.

Our team leveraged our employer network, provided travel stipends, and worked with each candidate individually to help them regain their livelihood.

Jst Selfies Report 08


candidates were placed back into work

Jst Selfies Report 09


students accessed remote support

Jst3 07


local businesses partnered with Ubuntu to employ candidates

Orange Pattern For Web Pattern Orange Border For Web

Implementing PARTners

“I witnessed the positive difference Ubuntu Pathways was making as a child here in Zwide and that work deserves our support. We will continue to stand side by side with you to combat the damage and suffering caused by this pandemic. No family should have to worry about where their next meal may be coming from.”

- Siya Kolisi, Springbok Captain and Founder, Kolisi Foundation

Over 20 years of building a global network while working hand-in-hand with local institutions positioned Ubuntu to lead the COVID-19 response.

When Siya and Rachel Kolisi launched the Kolisi Foundation, their first project was our partnership providing food security to 4,000 families in the community where he grew up. With Boxer Superstores, we streamlined packaging and delivery to our network of local partners to ensure every parcel got to the right place. When food storage facilities in our area were getting looted, local police offered additional patrols of the campus and security escorts for our food trucks. Two decades of trusted partnerships with local hospitals and clinics enabled us to meet their PPE shortage so they could serve tens of thousands of patients during this crisis.

Screen Shot 2020 12 10 At 12 41 47 Pm

Highlights of Ubuntu's Partnership with the kolisi foundation

Partnerships Border White Pattern Orange Copy 4


Timeline 16  March

Emergency COVID-19 response launched. Ubuntu shifted to a remote model for core services and began providing food security and medical support.

Timeline 26  March

National lockdown announced in South Africa. Food insecurity in the townships worsened as vulnerable families struggled to survive.

Timeline 19  April

Ubuntu began working with South African Springbok Captain Siya Kolisi and the Kolisi Foundation to provide food security to 1,000 households (8,000 individuals).

Timeline 22  April

Established partnership with South African police force to provide Ubuntu staff and partners with security during food distribution.

Timeline 6  May

Expanded delivery outreach to reach an additional 500 homes with life-saving food and essential household items totaling 1,500 households.

Timeline 14  May

Signed partnership with Boxer Superstores to have food parcels pre-packaged, freeing up resources and clearing the way for us to reach more households.

Timeline 19  May

Ubuntu distributed R500K of PPE to local clinics and began facilitating training for health facilities in the Gqeberha area, formerly known as Port Elizabeth.

Timeline 1  June

Spikes in domestic violence were observed throughout our area. Ubuntu provided much-needed remote psychosocial support to 70 at-risk clients.

Timeline 3  June

Second PPE and equipment distribution to 10 clinics, serving over 10,000 community members. Nurses tearfully recounted to us their fear and inability to safely do their jobs.

Timeline 5 June

Scaled up food distribution program to include 3,520 households, each containing a month-long supply of hearty foods and essential health supplies.

Timeline Food Parcel Example

Food parcels included fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, maize meal, baked beans, pilchards, salt, cooking oil, rice, pasta, teabags, soap, bleach, PPE, and sanitizer.

Timeline 10  June

Thanks to additional funding, we increased our food distributions to 4,000 households (30,000 people), reaching our target and providing much-needed stability and relief to our community.

Timeline 8  July

Due to staff being under great pressure and stress, Ubuntu bolstered our wellbeing services for staff, building out wellness initiatives and providing psychological support.

Timeline 29  July

Ubuntu began conducting socially distanced home visits, providing in-person psychosocial support to some of our most vulnerable children and families.

Timeline 5  August

Ubuntu delivered R 2.5M of PPE to the local hospital, 11 health clinics, and 15 community institutions.

Timeline 7 August

Ubuntu partnered with Dora Nginza hospital to provide 4 truck loads of PPE and capacity support to 614 staff.

Timeline 2 16 September

With Ubuntu’s support, a total of 206 young people who lost their jobs at the start of the pandemic returned to employment, generating a primary income for themselves and their families.

Timeline 20 October

Began preparing for the Ubuntu Campus reopening in January 2021, prioritizing the health and wellbeing of our staff and clients.


In 2020 we responded to the greatest crisis in our history. As we begin to phase out our emergency response, we face a new reality. Ubuntu’s comprehensive model will adapt to offer a safe, healthy, and bright future for every child we serve.

Quotes Zn Quote

Help us care for our community today,

and long into the future.