James Urdang has been described as a Social Entrepreneur and humanitarian of note. As CEO and Founder of Education Africa, he has dedicated more than 28 years of his life to a cause that is very close to his heart - helping to bring about real, positive and meaningful change to the lives of disadvantaged Africans.
James was mentored by the late Walter Sisulu and was honoured to have been asked to speak at the funeral of the late Chris Hani. James was the first person in the non-profit sector to lead President Nelson Mandela and had the honour of presenting him the Golden Doves of Peace Award.
Those who work with James are extremely motivated by his will to succeed and his willingness to make personal sacrifices to do just that, for the betterment of others. He is a true example of an Africanist who strongly believes that it’s Africa’s time.
'Apart from assisting [James] with Education Africa's insurance requirements we loved his vision for education and South Africa and we started including Education Africa into our annual Corporate Social Investment programme. James is one of a kind and will take the shirt off his own back to help others less fortunate! In my opinion there is no better person to head up a charitable organisation such as Education Africa. He is committed, passionate, 100% trustworthy, will never give up and has his heart in the right place. Our world needs more people like James!"
CEO Barker Insurance Brokers
"I have been amazed at James' dedication and passion for the work he does in Education Africa. He fights for better education for children. When I say he fights, he gives his all to make a difference in South Africa... he tries everything he can to find solutions. This is a man who knows that every little step matters. He needs our support and we need his insights as to how we can educate the children and get them out of abject poverty."
Member of SA Institute of Stockbrokers
"I have known and worked with James for just under 20 years now. Having volunteered for Education Africa since 2000 I can honestly say that I know no one who posesses the passion and drive to want to make a difference in the lives of young South Africans as James. He is a true inspiration."
Owner, David Bloch International
"James is a highly dedicated, committed, energetic leader in his field who serves as an example of bringing positive change to the thousands of disadvantaged youth that he serves."
Mirette Seireg Ohman
Owner, M3 International, LLC
"I have known James for over 30 years and have the utmost respect for his dedication and focus. James, having established Education Africa, has tirelessly striven to secure the future of the organisation and with this the future of the young people the charity assists. Running a small charity like Education Africa can be a monumental challenge; every Rand, Dollar, Pound and Euro is hard fought for but James has never faltered. I am well aware of the sacrifices he and his colleagues at Education Africa have personally made in the face of adversity. To maintain such selfless dedication demonstrates a strength of character that has to be admired."
"I have worked with James since November 2014 when I joined Education Africa UK as a Trustee. In the time that I have known James, he has demonstrated his leadership ability and a passion for the charity he leads."
Non Executive Director, Global Daily Fantasy
James’ ongoing commitment and relentless personal engagement to break the cycle of poverty among South Africa’s disadvantaged people by providing educational opportunities for children and youth, is outstanding. He is beyond talking – he acts.”
President, Jacobs Foundation
"I had the privilege of spending some time with James and his organisation, seeing their work first hand amongst some of the poorest and most disadvantaged communities in South Africa. James' lifelong commitment to improving education and living standards shines through in all he and the charity he leads [Education Africa], does every day. There can be few men left with his amount of drive and deep historical understanding of the issues of South Africa gained from working closely with legends like Mandela and Sisulu. I have no hesitation in recommending this true humanitarian whose life's work has been to improve the life of others in some of the most challenging areas in the world."
Glocal Head of Capital Markets, Royal Bank of Scotland
"My wife and I had the opportunity to get to know James firsthand when he was in the US coordinating an awareness-raising event for Education Africa that was held at our house. We would be hard-pressed to find anyone with greater integrity, dedication and intelligence in the field - and my wife has worked with non-governmental organizations all over the world for decades. James is committed to making a positive difference in people's lives and has done so, successfully, for many years and will, no doubt, continue to do so well into the future."
Film, TV and Advertising Composer, Quantum Weirdness Inc.
"I have had the privilege of knowing James and Education Africa for over 10 years. James'commitment to the EA mission is genuine and admirable. The young people whom EA supports develop into productive and engaged adults with a stake in South Africa's success - they are evidence of James' outlook and continued effort in a worthy cause."
Andrea Ratay, CICP
Senior Regional Trade Manager; Vice Chair NY District Export Council