McGill business students to raise funds for disadvantaged children through social media


Montreal, February 1, 2012 - Students from McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management will travel to South Africa this month to visit companies, speak with business leaders - and use social media to raise funds for educating children in the disadvantaged townships of Port Elizabeth.

"This trip is more than a chance to learn, we are aiming to give back to our host country as well," said Melanie Walsh, one of the students coordinating the fund-raising campaign.  The goal of this student-run initiative is to put social media to the test: By sharing their experiences through video and written blogs, the students aim to raise awareness of efforts to break the cycle of poverty in the townships of Port Elizabeth.  The Desautels students aim to raise a total of $20,000 through individual donations and corporate sponsorship. All funds raised will be donated to the Ubuntu Education Fund in Port Elizabeth.

The McGill MBA and management undergraduates, who hail from cities across the world, will encourage those who follow their travels online to donate for the cause. The content will be on the official website at: as well as on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other social media sites.  This innovative fundraising enterprise captures this generation's ability to use the power of social media to spread a positive message and to make a difference.

This student-run initiative is part of a groundbreaking course taught by Professor Karl Moore at the Desautels Faculty of Management.  The purpose is to leverage experiential learning and bring students out of the classroom and into emerging hotbeds of commerce and culture.  The project highlights a new kind of global engagement. "Too often people of my generation flew business class, lectured emerging economies about the theory of markets and then flew back home," said Professor Moore. "This generation is doing it better; they fly in the back of the plane with only their knapsacks, show up in the country they want to learn about, roll up their sleeves and plunge right in and they ask: 'How can WE help?'"

About Ubuntu Education Fund:

Ubuntu Education Fund is a grassroots organization that has developed a cradle to career model for raising children in the disadvantaged townships of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Its story begins like many others-in a bar, a township shebeen where an idealistic white American teenager named Jacob Lief met a dedicated black South African teacher named Banks Gwaxula.  Ubuntu provides world-class health and educational support to the orphaned and vulnerable children of Port Elizabeth, ensuring they can access higher education and employment. Ubuntu's mission is simple, all-encompassing, and radical: to help raise township children by providing what all children deserve-everything.

About Desautels:

Since 1906, the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University has continued to be one of the top international business schools in the world. The faculty emphasizes the integration of teaching, research and practice, and applies a multi-disciplinary, holistic approach to identifying innovative opportunities and solving problems. Desautels' exacting standards, innovative approach and historic reputation for excellence continue to attract the finest students, the most prominent professors and the most demanding recruiters from around the globe. Education choices at Desautels include all management disciplines, with programs at the undergraduate, masters, doctorate, and executive levels.

For information, please contact:

Melanie Walsh | melanie.walsh [at]

Nisha Shankar | nisha.shankar [at]

Thomas Weber| [at]

Chris Chipello | McGill University - Media Relations Office | Christopher.chipello [at] | +1 514 398 4201

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