South African honoured in USA for funding early childhood development
Andre Shearer‚ chairman and CEO of the Cape Classics wine company‚ has been awarded with the 2015 Desmond Tutu‚ Phelophepa Achievement Award for Excellence. The award presentation took place during the American Friends of the Phelophepa Train Annual Gala this week in New York City‚ the organisation said in a statement on Wednesday.South African born Shearer introduced the Indaba Education Fund‚ to support early childhood education in the wine growing regions of South Africa.“It’s a tremendous honour to be recognised by such an inspiring organisation whose likeminded philosophies support our work in promoting social change in South Africa‚” Shearer said. “Our efforts in the Indaba Education Fund champion the improvement of early childhood education‚ while the Phelophepa train brings quality healthcare to the regions in which these children live. Together‚ we will strengthen the impoverished communities of our country and build a better future for our youth.”The Indaba charity aims to improve early childhood education in impoverished areas of the South Africa by training teachers in the Montessori method and sending them to educate the children in these regions.Other honourees for 2015 include Robert L Johnson‚ the Dean of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School; Dr Kate Hersov‚ the CEO and co-founder of Medikidz; model‚ philanthropist‚ artist and activist Monica Watkins; and American actor and activist Jeffrey Wright.Phelophepa‚ which translates to “good‚ clean‚ health” in the Sotho and Tswana dialects‚ operates a mobile clinic.In the 21 years that the Phelophepa trains have operated‚ they have helped over 21 million rural South Africans in need of medical care‚ the organisation said. Support for the project has come from former president Nelson Mandela‚ UN Secretary-General‚ Kofi Annan‚ New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and ex-US president Bill Clinton.