The Oliver Foundation

"Working with local communities to help build a sustainable future for people and the environment"



The Oliver Foundation (United Kingdom)

The Oliver Foundation was founded in 1991 and in 2007 made a commitment to focus its support to the Eastern Cape of South Africa.


The Oliver Foundation (South Africa)

More than seven million South Africans (15%) live in abject poverty on less than R5 per day (1) with 26% of South Africa's poor households being in the Eastern Cape. The province has an adult illiteracy rate of 43% (2) and in many of the township areas this is considerably higher. Of those students who pass their matriculation only 4% receive marks which are sufficient to allow them to pass the entrance exams for local universities. In many previously disadvantaged areas, as a result of this lack of education, unemployment rates are acknowledged to be as high as 70%.

Young people are the future of South Africa, and by allowing them to dream, and have their dreams come true is just the beginning. Opportunities need to be created, but also disadvantaged and vulnerable young people need to be empowered to take best advantage of those opportunities by giving them the 'tools' to reach their potential. It is not through lack of intellect that youth find themselves in their current circumstances. Not only do programmes supported by the Oliver Foundation focus on education and empowerment but also on creating pride and respect for yourself, your peers, parents, and others, as well as your surroundings and the environment. The programmes also assist in building self confidence and assisting youth to achieve their potential and to take responsibility.

Programmes supported by the Foundation are community based, developed in consultation with local people to achieve mutual goals in the areas in which they will be delivered.

We encourage the ethos of volunteering, with participants being encouraged to pass on their knowledge to others - to help others who may not have had the opportunities they have. We believe in empowering and developing local management team structures by providing back up support, skills training and business skills.

1. Research undertaken by Eighty20, published 15 July 2006

2. Eastern Cape Government - Eastern Cape Development Corporation (




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