The following formed the basis of our acceptance by the Charity Commission to achieve Charitable Status.
In fostering an intellectually, socially thriving and culturally diverse environment, the Watling Ubuntu Foundation will benefit not only the overseas students temporarily resident in Canterbury, but will provide services for those in the local populace interested in community development, cultural awareness and the promotion of international understanding and education.
The project aims to cultivate members’ individual ambitions or their aspirations to be of benefit to their home nation, or indeed in the United Kingdom, when their stay is over. In addition the work of the Foundation aims to directly and indirectly instil positive multi-cultural attitudes in the students from the United Kingdom and the indigenous populace.
Many sectors of the local community will be actively encouraged to interact with the Foundation and its work on many levels, from local businesses to existing institutions and education establishments, but locally and nationally, even internationally, and the many hundreds of families who offer accommodation in their homes but who don’t know how to make the most of the opportunity for themselves or their guests. The Foundation will help members to build both social and professional networks which will be of value to them in their future lives, and to educate students in the widest sense, by attracting leaders from diverse backgrounds.
The Foundation seeks to learn from existing organisations working in this field, and to improve upon local provision of pastoral care and the established system, to not only meet a need, but to strive towards something unique and excellent.
Public benefits from the Foundation’s work, specifically in creating a Centre in Canterbury for overseas students are:
- Providing students with an alternative to alcohol-based activities and venues as a means for associating together — lessening some of the current problems of noise, damage to property, anti-social behaviour and lack of mutual community interest. The Foundation intends to create an active and stimulating community instead, one that will offer a unique experience through intellectual debate, fostering cross-cultural activities and providing an exceptional social environment. In addition, in developing a neutral, non-faith, non-political environment, no-one needs to feel intimidated or excluded.
- Overcoming the problem of “dissociation”, where students are isolated into groups with mutual linguistic origins or of mutual nationality resulting in a lack of understanding between the groups and between the host community. Overcoming this will increase Canterbury and East Kent’s ability to attract a culturally diverse student body and visiting demographic.
- Providing help and support and a safe, welcoming environment for all visiting students, supplementing the services already provided by the universities, colleges and language schools, and bringing diverse services together.
- If successful, replicating the Centre in other university towns and cities could meet other local needs and have similar positive benefits.
The Foundation does not foresee any negative impact from its planned objects or activities, or from reaching its goals. Futhermore all members of society benefit from a greater understanding and togetherness when the Foundation meets its objectives.