Our Mission

Global happenings in the last two years have awakened people around the world to the advantages of comparing cultures and sharing experiences. Our mission is to improve international understanding, respect and friendship leading to cultural harmony within the local community so that British and international students can interact, irrespective of background, in an atmosphere that promotes the development of global citizenship and social responsibility.

What we do

International Centre

Our main objective is to build an International Centre in Canterbury in order to positively promote interculturalism. We aim to give people the opportunity to broaden horizons through the development of friendships with people of different cultural backgrounds, and to support and educate overseas students by enhancing their understanding and experience of British society.

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Our Blog

We aim to foster and grow our online community, through which our members can discuss a wide range of topics and influence the shape of the Foundation, the Centre, and its facilities. Our blog is a place for our members to share aspects of their culture with others and reflect on the issues that matter most to them.

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Events

At present students tend to mix with people from their own countries or with similar backgrounds. We will encourage cross-cultural experiences via a shared intercultural space, and a programme of cultural activities and other events to which local communities will also be invited in order to promote greater international understanding.


The Watling Ubuntu Foundation is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), established in 2013.

“Charitable incorporated organisations are like companies in that they have the same legal status as a person. This means they can enter into contracts in their own name and their trustees normally have limited or no liability for the charity’s debts. However, they are not companies and do not have to register with Companies House.”

The charitable objectives of the Watling Ubuntu Foundation are:

  • To bring people together by developing cross-cultural communication to promote greater understanding of different cultures and ways of life so that people can learn from each other and from the experience of interacting.
  • To foster understanding and lifelong connections and help to develop networks between people of different nationalities who come to the Canterbury area to study and live, and between this group and the wider local community.
  • Through web-based communication, and social media tools, to generate an international following, which will actively promote the Canterbury district as a centre of culture, knowledge and cross-cultural understanding.
  • To build an “international centre” in Canterbury which has the following objects:
    • To create a culturally diverse and thriving environment which inspires international understanding and fosters multi-national cohesion, a neutral space outside of any one religious or political affiliation. A place where people of diverse backgrounds can be acknowledged, explored and accepted.
    • To provide a high quality “club” or “common room” facility for overseas students studying in any of the language schools, colleges and universities in the city, where they can meet each other, and with members of the local community in an atmosphere of trust and acceptance.
    • To provide an alternative source of safe, friendly and affordable accommodation for students — especially for those staying longer than a few weeks, including a restaurant/cafe;
    • To provide an additional base of help and support in terms of internet access, advice, and information, working in consultation and partnership with the numerous universities and colleges in the city and wider area.
    • To run cultural events to celebrate the diversity of nationalities living, albeit temporarily, in the city, both for the students themselves and for local residents, creating positive links with suitable projects overseas and with the local community, particularly with the residents of the area who welcome students into their homes every year for “homestays”.
    • To encourage overseas alumni of all the institutions in Canterbury to return to the city and to actively promote the Canterbury district as a centre of culture, knowledge and cross-cultural understanding. To retain a life-long positive connection with the UK.

Meet Our Team



John Telfer

The driving force behind the Watling Ubuntu Foundation is John Telfer, who has recently retired after a life spent working with local authorities, universities, students and businesses, mostly… Read more

Holly Yelland

Holly is a Digital Arts graduate from the University of Kent which encompasses a variety of creative disciplines including 3D modeling, website design as well as programming and many… Read more

Dennis Orji

Dennis Orji is a graduate of Computing from Canterbury Christchurch University and the Technology Director at Bludel Technologies Limited. His key areas include:- software development, electronic security and… Read more

Sharmila Gurung

Sharmila was born in Nepal and is the daughter of a former Gurkha. She is a University of Kent graduate with a First Class Honours degree in Biochemistry. She will… Read more

Ross Clements

Ross recently graduated with a degree in Media Studies from the University of Winchester. During his time at university, Ross also spent some time studying abroad in Nagoya, Japan. Read more

Dan Maya Gurung

Dan Maya is currently studying for a nursing degree at South Bank University in London. Over the years, she has been involved in various events and has promoted the… Read more

Amanda Amito

Amanda Amito is an alumni of Canterbury Christ Church University and studies International Development NGO management. Having worked in the voluntary sector for over 8 years, she has amassed… Read more

Special Thanks to

  • Aaron Gayther
  • Molly Telfer
  • Ashwini Lakshminarayanan
  • Danielle Gressly
  • Edd Withers
  • John Russell
  • Paul McCarter
  • Andy Scott
  • Joanne Scott

Our Trustees

The Foundation’s Board of Trustees has full responsibility for the charity


Dennis Orji

Dennis Orji is a graduate of Computing from Canterbury Christchurch University and the Technology Director at Bludel Technologies Limited. His key areas include:- software development, electronic security and… Read more

Naz Khaliq

Naz Khaliq is the Managing Partner of Dynamix Group, an accountancy firm providing accountancy, taxation, VAT, payroll and business (more…) Read more

Catherine Lloyd

Catherine Lloyd has a background in geography and tourism, and has worked for a number of years with thermal spa towns in the UK (as General Secretary of the… Read more

Dr Priyali Ghosh

Dr. Priyali Ghosh is a graduate of the University of Calcutta (1994) and the University of Cambridge (1997) where she held a Nehru Centenary Scholarship awarded by the Cambridge… Read more