The foundation started as a collection of friends that got together every Thursday evening for a catch up session. After a few months we decided to be more proactive about our gatherings and give back, in some way, to the great country we grew up in.
After spit balling a few ideas we decided on giving back through education of others that are less fortunate than ourselves. The idea behind education being simple (although giving back is philanthropic we understand that everyone has a reason behind their actions) we want to be able to stay in our wonderful country and watch it prosper to an environment where we want our grandchildren and great grandchildren to thrive, essentially serving tomorrow, today.
As a group, the original 10, we decided to put away R100 per month, the monetary value was decided as a low value per person that could be achieved as young working people and is based on the core principle of sacrificing one draft beer per week. That way it has a very good product to compare to for inflationary purposes but also represents the small sacrifice that we would need to make to create change in our country. Setting up the two fundamental principles of the foundation:
• It only takes one person to change the world
• All it takes to change the world is the one small sacrifice a week
Although we knew what cause we wanted to contribute to we had no vehicle of doing it. After some investigation I was put in touch with the AEC (Alexandra Education Committee www.alexeducation.org.za) by Andrew Thompson who had previously sponsored a student through the AEC. The AEC is a charitable organisation that does the administrative side of education at very small admin fee but looks for funding from outside groups.
What we as a group liked about the AEC was that they do all the back-end work from the finding of the student to the choosing of the school and all the purchasing of the materials the student will need. But the most important part was that the AEC encourages the sponsors to become mentors to the students. This appealed to our group from two sides the first simply that we would be able to track the progress of our student but secondly we as a diverse group of people would be able to give the student advice (if they wanted) on many different sides due to the different collection of personalities, professions, backgrounds and experiences.