Desmond Tutu to back Oxford Brookes' role in South Africa

Tuesday, 19 January 2010


Archbishop Desmond Tutu will urge students and staff at Oxford Brookes University to continue to help rebuild parts of South Africa still shattered by the lasting effects of apartheid when he speaks to them in February.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu will urge students and staff at Oxford Brookes University to continue to help rebuild parts of South Africa still shattered by the lasting effects of apartheid when he speaks to them in February.

Archbishop Tutu, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his opposition to the regime that segregated the country's black and white populations, will be giving a pre-recorded introduction at the university's inaugural Borien Lecture.

He will ask listeners to support the work of the Borien Educational Foundation for Southern Africa (BEFSA), a charity that battles poverty and unemployment in rural areas of the country.

The Right Honourable Paul Boateng, former British High Commissioner to South Africa and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, will deliver the Keith Borien Lecture itself, entitled 'South Africa in Transition'.

BEFSA has joined forces with Oxford Brookes Department of Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Management and students will be volunteering in the Eastern Cape of South Africa from June 2010.

In addition, BEFSA and Oxford Brookes University will be promoting teacher and student exchanges with the long-term aim of reducing poverty in the region.

BEFSA was established by Keith and Catherine Borien in 2004. The foundation's mission is to act as a bridge between schools and universities in richer nations and the many impoverished schools in the developing world in desperate need of equipment and books.

The Rt Hon. Paul Boateng will reflect on South Africa's economic and cultural development since the fall of apartheid in 1994 while also examining the current political situation and the nation's future direction.

It is hoped the annual lecture will become a focal point for Oxford Brookes University's partnership projects with other third sector organisations, both in Oxfordshire and around the world.

A fundraising dinner for BEFSA will follow the archbishop's address and Paul Boateng's lecture. It will include an auction hosted by Prue Leith OBE, writer and broadcaster.

Vice Chancellor Janet Beer said: 'I am extremely proud that so many of my colleagues work to improve the lives of those who face immense challenges.'

Jon Snow, former Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University and patron of BEFSA, commented: 'Oxford Brookes' partnership with BEFSA speaks proudly of the continuing ties between Brookes and South Africa. The Department of Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Management has provided significant input in skills and experience. It's one of those elements in our university life that makes Brookes so special; the human dimension of study and learning.'