Africa’s greatest humanitarian explorer adds ECD to his quest to improve lives

by | Jul 18, 2018 | Blog

Using adventure to improve and save lives is the key concept of the Kingsley Holgate Foundation, founded by one of Africa’s most colourful modern day explorers. Kingsley Holgate is a humanitarian adventurer, author, TV personality, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, speaker at the New York Explorers Club. He has explored all 54 countries on the African continent.

Each expedition sees him and his team distributing life-saving mosquito nets, water purification LifeStraws and Rite to Sight spectacles to remote villages throughout Africa. They also support wildlife conservation through community conservation education.

18 July 2018 marked the start of the latest Kingsley Holgate expedition, this time from Cape Town to Kathmandu. The date also signifies 100 years since Nelson Mandela’s birth and the annual Mandela Day celebration – a day where South Africans celebrate Madiba’s life and legacy in sustainable ways that aim to bring about enduring change.

Given Madiba’s belief in the transformational power of education – “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – it was fitting Kingsley to announce on Madiba Day that The Kingsley Holgate Foundation is including ECD (Early Childhood Development) as one of its humanitarian causes. This decision comes as a result of the work that Barrows, one of the expedition’s core sponsors (for the past 19 years) has been doing.

Barrows produces thousands of retail display units for companies all over South Africa. Very often, the printing of those units result in ‘waste’ in the form of blank space – areas of cardboard or paper not covered with artwork. The team at Barrows found a way of repurposing that waste to generate educational material for young children without affecting the daily running of the business.

In just a few months, at little or no additional cost, Barrows produced 76,343 pieces of educational material. Making use of their existing transport infrastructure, they moved the material from their factory to depots around the country, where educare centres collected them. These high-quality education resources have reached approximately 150,000 children to date.

In partnership with Barrows and supported by Innovation Edge, Kingsley and his team will be distributing some of these educational resources and spreading the word on the importance of ECD throughout the South African leg of the trip. Nal’ibali and various NGOs will join them along the way.

Follow their epic journey and join the conversation through the #Cape2Kathmandu and #0to6matters hashtags.

Have a look at Nicole Biondi, Head of Marketing and Comms for Innovation Edge and Kingsley in this ‘behind the scenes’ rehearsal video.