As we reach the culmination of The Elders’ #WalkTogether campaign, Virgin Unite are celebrating Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday, his legacy and the founding of The Elders. 

The #WalkTogether campaign has built a bright web made up of 'Sparks of Hope' – communities building a movement for the freedoms Mandela dedicated his life to: peace, health, justice and equality.

Virgin CEOs and staff members from all over the world have written about their own Sparks of Hope and for the next month we invite you to read their stories and join the global #WalkTogether movement.

This year Pride ‘n Purpose celebrates its 15 year anniversary, marking a huge milestone, and has raised over 17 million South African Rand. The non-profit foundation is Ulusaba’s charitable arm committed to helping disadvantaged communities living adjacent to the Sabi Sand Reserve in South Africa. 

Established in 2003 by Karl Langdon, General Manager at Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, and members of the Ulusaba family, the Pride ‘n Purpose story inspires us every day. 

It began when a staff member mentioned that she was struggling to cope with having to look after her sadly deceased sister’s children as well as her own with only a one bedroom house. So Karl and his friend Gregg took it upon themselves to help build her some more rooms with their own hands, and very few funds. Over time it became apparent just how much need there was in the local Dumphries village and the project requests started to pour in. By a very sad twist of fate the same staff member also passed away leaving 11 orphaned children. 

The emphasis is most definitely on sustainable initiatives, with 100 per cent of donations going directly towards much needed projects. 

It was then that Karl and Gregg pledged to help the people of Dumphries by giving them their pride back and by giving them a purpose in this world – Pride ‘n Purpose was born. The family in this story now lives in two houses with 10 rooms with a fruit and vegetable garden, cooking facilities and financial support for all the school-going children.

Virgin Unite, Pride ‘n Purpose, Ulusaba, #WalkTogether

The philosophy is that people are most effectively helped if they are empowered to help themselves, so the emphasis is most definitely on sustainable initiatives, with 100 per cent of donations going directly towards much needed projects. 

One of the main areas of the work Pride ‘n Purpose does is pre-school and primary school education and A milestone achievement is the building and successful running of 12 pre-schools, benefiting over 500 children. Other projects have included drilling four water boreholes, planting over 1,500 fruit trees, 12 permaculture vegetable gardens planted, installing two solar powered water pumps andtwo Fun-Pumps, three years of teacher training workshops, six new or renovated homes for orphans and so much more! 

Today we estimate that Pride ‘n Purpose now benefits over 40,000 people across seven communities and it’s through the support of Ulusaba’s team, our guests, Virgin Limited Edition and Virgin Unite that Pride ‘n Purpose is a success story.  We are exceptionally proud of how far the charity has come and with all the continued support we know it will grow from strength to strength. Learn more about Pride ‘n Purpose and how you can get involved here

Virgin Unite, #WalkTogether, The Elders

- Virgin Limited Edition is Sir Richard Branson's collection of stunning retreats. They have a private island, mountain retreat, game reserve, catamaran, lodge, tented camp, vineyard and luxury villas.