The Universal Promise Academic Centre will support not one dozen or one hundred but one thousand children who stay in Nomathamsanqa, Langbos, and elsewhere in Addo. A few years ago, this was unthinkable for us at Vusumzi. But today we are proud. Universal Promise, we now hold our heads high.
— Vusumzi Primary School Educator

Universal Promise has always been in awe of South African talent. We are floored by the mastery of multiple languages, genuine curiosity, multipart harmony, Xhosa dance steps, and student expression. The brand new Academic Centre (currently in the final phase of construction) will showcase this broad range of intellectual and creative abilities in the school and beyond, and stimulate and hone other skills, as well. 


We owe a significant debt of gratitude to architect Bobby Ellis of Ellis Architecture and Design Studio for his knowledge of local protocol and the steps to ensure compliance. The process was long and complex; still, in the midst of all that, Mr. Ellis remained true to the creative process. He designed a building that signals the end of the woefully inadequate facilities at Vusumzi Primary School and brings an inherently South African flair to the amazing new structure. The center is rich with natural tones and textures that reflect the geographical wonders of South Africa and the Xhosa culture. Mr. Ellis also incorporated wide-open spaces for ventilation in the hot summer climate and for proper dining, performing arts, and after-school tutoring and enrichment. Wood, painted brick, ironmongery, and simplicity signal an era for Nomathamsanqa's children that was unimaginable just a few years ago. Now the young learners will enjoy a school that is commensurate with what children everywhere deserve. Good enough is no longer good enough.

We are also grateful to Shaun Gillham of Leen Mulckhuyse Construction and his construction team of masterful brick warriors and engineers. The team razed the decades-old former main hall - a neglected, incomprehensible structure that was a major impetus behind the founding of Universal Promise. Mr. Gillham worked closely with Mr. Ellis and Universal Promise to ensure that budgets were respected, timelines were honored, and an unparalleled work ethic was embraced. We marvel as the Academic Centre goes UP, UP, UP. The Universal Promise acronym is the perfect reflection of the literal and figurative UPward movement of Addo and its residents.

The Buildings


Thanks to hundreds of generous supporters, we have raised $500,000 of the $550,000 required to complete our construction efforts.

CONSTRUCTION IS UNDERWAY, and we are currently ensconced in Phase II.

the demolition of the previous building, clearing and leveling of land,
installation of foundation,
laying of classroom and other floors,
erection of exterior walls, and
installation of roof, windows, and doors. At the end of Phase I, the structure was a lockable facility.

all the ironmongery, internal finish work, sweeping signature outdoor steps, and
exterior landscaping.

new classrooms,
an unprecedented library,
a dining hall,
a performing arts space, and
an afterschool tutoring area.

Will you consider joining this campaign?

With a 95% giving rate, your investment will have a major impact on this project and the community of Nomathamsanqa.

To learn more, please contact us.


TIMELINE 2016 - 2017

January Site Survey DONE
April Design & Workup DONE
July: Contractor Bids & Review DONE
September Local Approvals DONE
March Construction Begins DONE
Phase I DONE




The Talent