Jay as most people around him call him is a British national, author, philanthropist, and Ted Talk Speaker. He is also the passion and brains behind the Lenoir Foundation, the UK registered charity that has grown into an internationally recognized charity.
Born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Mawaka emigrated to the United Kingdom at a young age. Later Mawaka graduated from London South Bank University after which he pursued further studies in Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford.
Lenoir Foundation is born to give Children Hope
When James Mawaka founded the Lenoir Foundation in 2016, his goal was to give children in difficult circumstances hope for the future.
Having seen first-hand the lack of educational resources in government primary schools in Africa, he set out to create a charitable organization that initially aimed at providing enough resources to underprivileged children and later advanced to providing e-Learning technology to improve life opportunities for school students and local communities in Africa and the United Kingdom.
“We are building and fully equipping libraries and E-Learning labs in low-income areas, so children can have access to resources that aid learning like computers and also to engage them more, especially girls so that they can reach their potential to have their dreams born and nurtured,” said Mawaka.
Lenoir builds its 1st library in Africa
In November 2021 Lenoir partnered with St. Peters Musheija primary school in Kyenda town council located near Mubende town in Central Uganda, to build a library so the children attending school there can have access to educational resources such as books.
James believes that children, who don’t learn to read or write at an early stage, will not catch up easily to be like the rest of their peers. “We want children to be better prepared for their lives and it is our duty to give them that opportunity,” he emphasized.
Lenoir grants children full year scholarship
Early this year, Lenoir foundation also partnered with Imani Academy in Nansana to offer three full year (2022) scholarships to children from poor families.
“During our last visit to Uganda, we went to the school and discovered that it provides really affordable but still maintains quality education but due to economic hardships, some parents are still unable to afford the cost of educating their children. That’s why we chose the 3 pupils to support.” James commented.
The beneficiaries of Lenoir Foundation’s philanthropy were identified as Ssekadde Shanick, Nantongo Huma and Kisaakye Grace from Primary 3.
James believes partnerships like these enhance effectiveness within communities with whom they share a common vision by providing education opportunities for underprivileged children in different communities. We can only do what we can to help those we can.”