Many hands make the load lighter
SOUTH AFRICAN VOLUNTEERS
Moses Mzolisi Nqontsha, Universal Promise Liaison, is a much-beloved volunteer and associate of Universal Promise. Two years before UP was even a blink of an idea, Moses invited the eventual UP founder into Nomathamsanqa township to shed light on his community's inequities. In doing so, Moses exposed the educational imbalances in the place he has called home since the mid-1970s. Years later, Moses still shares - with a respectful, firm approach - his highly regarded opinions and cultural expertise and helps shape his community's goals by offering input on matters surrounding educational opportunities, infrastructure, leadership, healthcare, and financial freedom. In recognition of his longterm loyalty to Universal Promise and all those we serve, UP named the main hall in the brand new academic center after Moses. His role in our formation and evolution is now forever memorialized in the plaque that resides in the center.
We are in the process of helping several entrepreneurs (all listed below) form and/or grow their own businesses so they may become fully licensed entrepreneurs in South Africa. When their business registrations are finalized, we will partner with them to carry out some of our projects in South Africa.
Business Name: Infundo Ebanzi
Vusumzi Primary School Computer Laboratory Coordinator (see below)
Business Name: Vusumzi Bookworms
Vusumzi Primary School Library Coordinator
Business Name: Math and Science Crossroads
Samkelwe Secondary School Computer Laboratory Coordinator
Business Name: TBD
Addo Youth Group Facilitator
Business Name: Inkazimlo and Hope
Addo Youth Group Facilitator
Business Name: Yakhanathi Technologies
Ntombizodwa Sothozama, Computer Laboratory Coordinator, earned a certificate in computer education and volunteered to take on the role of Computer Laboratory Coordinator at the Universal Promise-installed, state-of-the-art computer laboratory at VPS. Ntombizodwa has devised an all-school laboratory access schedule, taught learners of all ages how to use the twenty-first century technology, researched the jewels of the Internet, and photographed all grade levels as they master skills (from fraction computation to word-processing). Ntombizodwa has found new joy and purpose in the students of Vusumzi, and we are grateful for her passion, compassion, and loyalty as UP introduced VPS to the incalculable impact of technology.
Charlie Josephs, UP Member of the Board of Directors, plays a vital role in connecting Universal Promise efforts in the United States with those on the ground in South Africa. Charlie is the UP jack-of-all-trades, assisting with our Inkuthazo and Uphuhliso Programs when need arises and offering incomparable guidance regarding all sorts of protocol, from local decision-making and Department of Education policy to governmental procedures and record-keeping. Charlie's breadth of involvement, from the small to the grand, has been extensive: anything from organizing transport for school blazer measurement to securing data regarding student pass rate to collaborating on social enterprise for financial empowerment. Charlie is a non-voting member of our Board of Directors. Click here for more information about Charlie and his connection to Universal Promise.
UNITED STATES VOLUNTEERS
Mary Ellen Lynch, Uphuhliso Coordinator, earned a Master’s Degree in International Educational Development and has devoted her life to refugee advocacy, refugee settlement, and community engagement. Mary Ellen has presented at the United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants National Conference and merged her professional and educational backgrounds as an adjunct professor at the university level. There she broadens and redefines the lens through which students see the world and nurtures effective communication skills to promote global understanding and change.
Robin Porter Carlo, Inkuthazo Afterschool Tutoring Coordinator, earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Special Education and has worked as a reading specialist for over three decades, providing literacy instruction to students with dyslexia. She also worked for Wilson Language Training, where she developed a curriculum as well as professional development opportunities for literacy instruction. Robin has enjoyed multiple Universal Promise volunteer trips to South Africa, where she has led similar activities for educators, student volunteers, and students in grades K - 7.
Victoria Leonard, Website Designer, studied Politics and Religion and organized and lobbied for health as a human right. She has conducted research on food security and import reliance in Senegal, worked with Ghanaian women to establish a sustainable water business, and traveled with Universal Promise in her capacity as a Leadership and Empowerment Liaison and a healthcare volunteer who assisted with home-visit physicals and led health education sessions. Victoria has also lived in Tanzania for one year as a Princeton in Africa Fellow at CCBRT in Dar es Salaam.