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Postcard from Port Elizabeth: Social immersion trip to Ubuntu Education Fund

I just returned from the trip of a lifetime! As cliché as it may be to make that claim, the week I spent in Port Elizabeth, South Africa really was. Different from what might come to mind when someone makes that statement, it was not a lavish, 5 star resort getaway—but it was one of the best weeks of my life by far and the trip was truly unique.

For the 2nd year in a row, Experian Data Quality has supported a partnership with the Ubuntu Education Fund located in the New Brighton township of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. As part of this partnership, employees have the opportunity to travel to Port Elizabeth on a social immersion trip to experience the work that is done by the non-governmental organization (NGO) and to further the relationship between Ubuntu and EDQ. I was fortunate to secure a spot on the trip along with 3 of my co-workers.

The trip and experience were truly amazing. We spent the week learning about the history of South Africa, meeting the most wonderful and kind people, seeing how they live their lives, and being blown away by the incredible impact that the Ubuntu Education Fund has in the township community. From a walking tour through downtown Port Elizabeth, rich with the history of Nelson Mandela’s 67 years of work fighting for the freedom of South Africa to debating with the middle and high school afterschool program, every moment was eye-opening and brought a new perspective to our lives.

Each day was action-packed and full of new experiences and raw emotion. At night when we returned to our lodging we would talk about our experiences, write in our journals, and digest the interactions we had shared over the course of the day. Looking back at my journal to write this post, a quote from my journal at the end of Day 1 stuck out and truly in captured my emotions throughout the entire trip: “This place is amazing and is changing my life by the moment.”

Ubuntu translates roughly to “human kindness” or “humanity towards others.” This spirit was evident from the moment that first met the team at the education fund and continued to shine though in the time that we spent with staff, clients, children, and all who interacted with the center.

Before the trip I was excited and intrigued by the work the Ubuntu Education Fund was doing. Now I am part of a community and have passion for their work and the people they support that will stay with me always.

For more information about the Ubuntu Education Fund visit their website. 

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