Cou­ple raises R1m for ru­ral ed­u­ca­tion

Go! & Express - - NEWS - AMANDA NANO

East Lon­don cou­ple Vinny and Char­lene Ling­ham have raised more than R1m in sup­port of ru­ral ed­u­ca­tion for the Nel­son Man­dela In­sti­tute for Ed­u­ca­tion and Ru­ral Devel­op­ment (NMI) re­cently.

The fundraiser over­seas was a first for the or­gan­i­sa­tion, with do­na­tions raised in Sil­i­con Val­ley in the US in hon­our of the Nel­son Man­dela cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tions. The Ling­hams split their time be­tween East Lon­don and the US.

Char­lene, who is the US am­bas­sador for NMI, said they hosted the event be­cause of their com­mit­ment to ed­u­ca­tion.

“We or­gan­ised this event be­cause of our deep com­mit­ment to ed­u­ca­tion as the ba­sis of build­ing democ­racy across the world. If ever there were a time to break down bor­ders, we believe it is now,” Ling­ham said.

NMI ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Kim­ber­ley Por­teus said there was noth­ing more pos­i­tive than a child who learnt to read in­de­pen­dently.

“I was so moved by the sup­port we re­ceived. It takes us a big jump for­ward to­ward reach­ing these goals,” Por­teus said.

NMI was founded by the late Nel­son Man­dela in 2007 as a re­sponse to the ed­u­ca­tion cri­sis fac­ing ru­ral ar­eas in the coun­try, and is based at the Univer­sity of Fort Hare.

At­ten­dees in­cluded Dun­can Vil­lage-born busi­ness­man and Con­ver­gence Part­ners chair Andile Ng­caba, as well as four-time Olympic swim­ming gold medal­ist Roland Schoe­man.

“When we bring this work to scale, we will see an im­pact that will change the lives of thou­sands of chil­dren in SA. I am in­spired to see this work hap­pen in my home prov­ince,” Vinny Ling­ham said.

For any­one who would like to con­trib­ute or find out more about NMI, con­tact Por­teus on kpor­[email protected]­de­lain­sti­tute.org.za

Pic­ture: SUP­PLIED

BREAK­ING DOWN BAR­RI­ERS AND BOR­DERS: Vinny and Char­lene Ling­ham at the fundraiser in Sil­i­con Val­ley, US

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