Couple raises R1m for rural education

East London couple Vinny and Charlene Lingham have raised more than over 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.

From left, Roland Schoeman, Charlene Lingham, Kim Porteus and Vinny Lingham at the fundraiser in Silicon Valley, US. Picture: SUPPPLIED

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 who chairman of Convergence Partners, and 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


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

CAPTCHA ImageChange Image