Judy Stuart – Philanthropy Hero

Judy Stuart

Judy Stuart

Philanthropy hero Judy Stuart honoured at the Inyathelo Awards

Five extraordinary individuals were honoured at the prestigious annual Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards at the Waterfront in Cape Town on Thursday 5 November, including our very own Judy Stuart, Howick dairywoman, and founder of Future Farmers Foundation.

The gala event, which has established itself as the Oscars of the Philanthropy sector over the past nine years, was initiated by Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement to acknowledge, celebrate and honour those whose personal giving has contributed towards sustainable social change in our country.

Inyathelo Executive Director Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge says all of the awardees demonstrate initiative and leadership, and have used their personal funds in a strategic way to make a difference. “Philanthropy is dependent on the interest, passion, commitment, generosity and foresight of individuals like those we have honoured today. Our awards seek to inspire others to give by recognising the incredible role models that live and work amongst us. We believe philanthropists play a critical role in effecting real systemic change as they are able to support more innovative and often unconventional solutions to our numerous social, environmental and economic challenges in South Africa,” explains Madlala-Routledge.

Over ninety philanthropists from very different backgrounds have so far been honoured with Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards, including Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.
Madlala‐Routledge says individual or private giving is now the second biggest source of income for civil society organisations and anchor institutions like universities. “I believe anyone can be a philanthropist. South Africa is a nation of givers. The spirit of Ubuntu is ingrained in us all. It really doesn’t matter how much you give, it’s what you are able to achieve with what you share that really counts. Growing philanthropy in support of our civil society and higher education institutions will help strengthen our democracy and realise its fruits for those who have been excluded and marginalised. We hope the passion, commitment, generosity and vision demonstrated by all our awardees will inspire others in South Africa to go out and make a difference,” says Madlala‐Routledge.

Howick dairywoman and Founder of the Future Farmers Foundation, Judy Stuart, is the recipient of the 2015 Inyathelo Award for Philanthropy in Economic Development.
It all started nine years ago in 2006 when Judy initiated an informal farming apprentice-placement programme for disadvantaged learners from Zakhe Agricultural College in KwaZulu-Natal. She organises for young people to serve an apprenticeship on a commercial farm and finds placements for the best students on globally competitive farms around the world. On their return to South Africa, Judy assists them to find jobs with local farmers.

Many young people without the necessary resources for further study have benefitted from the ‘earn-as-you-learn’ opportunities created by Judy’s foundation, with many now in senior management positions on large commercial farms both in South Africa and abroad. The young farmers are asked to contribute to the Future Farmer’s programme when they start earning so that the opportunity for learning is available to young people every year.

We salute Judy Stuart.