Given the benefit of a business career spanning five decades in the four continents of Africa, Europe, America, and Asia, I witnessed the realities of extreme wealth and crushing poverty. I have also served as trustee or patron on the boards of various charities ranging from those that provide educational coaching and support for students to those that provide social housing for disadvantaged families in England.
My childhood in West Africa was not comfortable but it was safe and full of hope. Many children in West Africa are now growing up in communities where they see poverty, violence, and child exploitation as the norm. Worse still, because of the lack of education children are often denied the opportunity of hope. Hope is that priceless commodity that every child should have but are far too often deprived of.
With all these experiences, I have seen the transformational powers of education in lifting individuals and society at large. I have come to strongly believe that, if children are educated, as well as coached, and mentored in good character-building practices from a young age, their exemplary behaviour as good citizens will positively influence their peers and their communities at large.
In a world that is becoming increasingly fractured and polarised, we all occasionally suffer from “charity fatigue”. We must not allow cynicism or despair to deprive us of the joy of helping. Our contributions to dealing with these societal challenges may appear small but to the recipient child, they are huge and life-changing. The positive ripple defects of giving some of our time and/or some monetary donations are long-lasting.
So, please join the UCEP family in Giving the gift of HOPE to these children of our future.
Hello, I’m Loren and I’m delighted to be part of the UCEP team.
I’m the proud father of two little boys and I’m passionate about giving everyone the opportunity of education and life experience. Education runs deep in the Charlton family as my Grandfather was a professor at Warwick University and was an early activist for diversity and equal opportunity. I’ve worked for a major UK bank for the last 17 years and outside of work and family I’m a keen sports enthusiast and amateur mountaineer.
From my work in West Africa, I have seen the challenges that many children face growing up in communities where poverty, violence and child exploitation are becoming normal.
I am passionate about the work of UCEP, and I have a clear ambition to help safeguard these children, help them to fulfill their potential, and positively influence their development to become exemplary citizens.
David Ogilvie was born in Edinburgh in 1951, the son of a Gordon Highlander, and was educated at Ampleforth College in Yorkshire. After studying Medieval History at St Andrew’s University he qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand (now PWC) in 1980 and then set up his own accountancy practice in Edinburgh, retiring in 2018. David specialised in family businesses, agricultural estates and trusts and is still involved in a number of local charities promoting riding for the disabled, community projects, sustainable food consumption, the reduction of plastic waste, the pilgrim routes to St Andrews and Scottish culture and heritage. He believes in supporting communities in a manner appropriate to each community and is a director of The Livingstone Initiative, which provides support for the community in Zambia, including education for girls and orphans who would not otherwise get it.
I am a veteran career diplomat and served my country Nigeria from 1972 to 2007. In the course of my diplomatic service, I had the privilege of extensive travels in Africa, Asia, North America and Europe.
I witnessed first hand the sad realities of global inequalities. The plight of women and children in communities ravaged by extreme poverty, especially in Africa, was utterly depressing. I was consequently inspired red to commit some of my modest resources towards alleviating the sufferings of deprived children in my community in Nigeria. Apart from paying school fees for some indigent students, I have assisted a considerable number of those who had acquired some education to find gainful employment.
In 2007, I was also an active participant in the “Adopt A Public School” programme of the Nigerian Ministry of Education, an initiative to enlist the support of individuals and corporate entities in the drive to improve the learning environment in poor communities. My work in that programme involved the construction of a school hostel and the sinking of a water borehole for the Special Science Girls’ School in the village of Abagana. The water borehole save the girls the nightmare of persistent sexual harassment, which they experienced on their way to and from the local water streams for their water needs.
I was delighted when Charles informed me early last month (November 2022) of his UCEO initiative and invited me to be a part of it. Charles and I have been long time friends, right from our primary school days in the Eastern Nigerian town ofAba in the 1950s. We had an exciting opportunity to rekindle the spark in our close friendship when we met again in London during my duty tour as Acting High Commissioner of Nigeria to the United Kingdom from 1995 to 1999. I am therefore familiar with Charles’ passion for altruistic causes, and so had no hesitation in accepting his invitation to be part of his noble UCEP initiative.
I was brought up in Lancashire, where I attended the local primary school, followed by Bolton County Grammar school, then moved on to Warwick University where I qualified as a teacher. I spent several years in Surrey but now live in Eastbourne. I have two grown up sons.
As a partly retired teacher with almost 40 years experience in a variety of schools, I am excited and privileged to have been asked to become involved with UCEP and the work they are doing in Nigeria. I believe education is vitally important as it is the key to unlocking potential in everyone. I look forward to making a difference in the lives of the children that UCEP support.
Professor Elewechi Ngozi Modupe Okike is an education and training consultant, having spent close to four decades in the higher education sector in both the UK and overseas. She was the Head of Accounting and Finance at the University of Sunderland between 1996 and 2001. She has been a member of the Conference of Professors of Accounting and Finance (CPAF), UK since 1997, and Visiting Professor at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Qassim University, Saudi-Arabia, and Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria. Prior to joining academia in 1980, Elewechi was in professional accounting practice.
Elewechi strongly believes that every child in Africa deserves good education as a right, and not as a privilege. Hence, given her passion to address the imbalance in educational provision in Africa, in 2007, she established Book Aid for Africa (BAFA) (http://www.bookaidforafrica.com), as a UK registered Charity. The Charity has shipped over half a million books to several African countries, including Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra-Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe and by so doing, has helped to improve the quality of educational provision in these countries.
My name is Sara Buttimore and I’m a 57-year-old primary school teacher on the Isle of Man. I am very involved in the project UCEP as I feel passionately that education is the best way to help children to succeed, not only financially but also integrally. Teaching the children what being a good citizen is about will help them to become contributing members of society and can only improve the outcomes of their own lives and help them to help others. By enabling them to build their characters in positive ways, UCEP can set these children on the right path. Giving them an awareness of the dangers, they may face as they grow towards adulthood and strategies to face and deal with these challenges will help them to make better choices and lead them to be better people. Who wouldn’t want that for every child?
Born in Glasgow in the 70’s we moved to Hastings in the 80’s to find work, and I had to work with my mum to help pay the bills from the age of 10 and so education was not a priority in my household. We are however lucky to have a free education system here in the UK and eventually I went on to be the only person in my family who went to university where I got my Law degree. I am a mother and grandmother and know how important education is and I am humbled and excited to have been asked to join the UCEP family to help educate children in Africa who would otherwise not have the opportunity to go to school.
I am delighted to be part of the UCEP family and passionate about its dedication in helping the less privileged.
I am a business leader and entrepreneur with vast experience in Finance and Technology globally. I have been involved in numerous charity organizations, a keen supporter of elevating poverty and illiteracy around the world particularly in Africa.
Through my documentary photography as a creative, my travels around the world has shown me how contributing financially or giving your time can transform the lives people for generations to come.
Janice now works as an independent consultant in the charity sector. She lives in Devon is a carer to a family member.
Janice started her career as a social work practitioner, going on to take up management & CEO roles across mental health, housing, vocational education, criminal justice, drug, and alcohol services. She has a track record in charity turnaround and mergers, supporting charitable purpose and financial health. She deploys skills equally across people, results, and process/analysis. Her passion is social justice, inspiring people, their families, and communities to tackle disadvantage and the inherent social problems linked to poverty.
Her CEO, Consultancy and Director roles within the Charity sector have brought excellent results, supporting Trustees, managers, and staff through significant change management to deliver creative solutions with, and for beneficiaries.
Janice is a natural collaborator – she has developed several multi-agency strategic partnerships to deliver effective services that people want to use and fund. She graduated from the University of Bristol in Economics and Economic History, followed by post graduate qualification in social work at the University of Exeter. She combines her commitment to social justice with sound business acumen.
Janice is also a current Trustee of Thrive Social Housing, supporting the strategic development of an innovative charity working within housing, drugs and alcohol. She has held other Board appointments and is currently the Safeguarding lead for Thrive Social Housing. Janice has lectured in risk assessment and management in association with an MA course tailored for the Voluntary and Community Sector, implementing this important aspect of practice to protect children, vulnerable adults and communities from harm.
Janice is delighted to volunteer as a Trustee for UCEP, a charity working at grass roots level to educate and inspire young children in West Africa, providing escape routes out of poverty, exploitation and bringing hope ofbrighter futures.
Dr Chikezie Okike is an educationist who has taught at the Russel Group of universities (Durham University Business School, The University of York Management School and The University of Newcastle Upon Tyne) and other universities in the UK and Saudi Arabia where he was MBA director. He is an accomplished academic with publications in international journals of operations management which is his area of expertise. As director of MBA and other academic and business units he has a proven track record of achievements in people and curriculum management.
Chikezie has a passion to help the challenged and less privileged members of society which is demonstrated in his charitable work. He is trustee of Hope Spring Sunderland which provides educational, physical and mental health support and care for the most vulnerable young people in society. He is also non-executive advisor to Book Aid For Africa (BAFA). BAFA has shipped 1000’s of books free to educational institutions in many African countries which is making an impact on the education of students.
I have a passion for equality of opportunity for children in the world. Education is the most vital thing in a child’s life, it allows them to shape their minds to deal with some of life’s hurdles, develop aspirations to achieve a good standard of life and learn how to interact with others. In some cases, education can help provide children with a chance to survive, where without it they may become subject to poverty and further deprivation of necessities. It is a moral obligation of mine to help others and utilise my fortune and education to do so.
I am currently at Edinburgh University studying Textile Design alongside studying different areas of Business. When not in Edinburgh I live in Eastbourne where I grew up. I love being creative and applying this in a business environment.
With my mum being a primary teacher and having the privilege of going to a great school I have had an insight into the education system and how it effects your development. This has motivated me to become a volunteer at UCEP, helping disadvantaged children to develop and learn in a safe and enriching environment as children in the UK are fortunate to have.
Barr. Uchendu Jasper OgbonnayaMember - Advisory Council
I’m a web developer from Brighton, mostly front end these days, with some desktop support experience. When a colleague at my day job asked if I could help out a charity with some web integrations, I said I would be happy to see if I could. After speaking with Charles and some of the other members of the UCEP team, finding out about the great work and aims of UCEP, and seeing how I could contribute, I was glad to come on board and pitch in.
Arch. Charles Nwammuo Oji-OkoroMember - Advisory Council
Bryn has been a communications, engagement and policy leader in the public and private sectors for close to 20 years. As a father of young children, Bryn is passionate about reducing inequality in the education opportunities of young people.
Phil May was educated at Queens’ College Cambridge and holds both a Masters Degree in Natural Sciences and a Teaching Diploma in Physics. His work experience includes many years at high-tech companies in wide-ranging roles from technical support, sales, marketing, general management and
Currently living in Bexhill with his wife, he spent 15 years in the United States working for Hewlet-Packard in Silicon Valley, California. After leaving HP, he founded a start-up company selling technology accessories to Recreational Vehicle owners in the US, and after selling the business in 2015, returned to the UK to pursue a career in data protection. Phil currently works as the Group Data Protection Officer at Hastings Direct.
His volunteer work experience includes acting as a Business Advisor for the Youth Enterprise and more recently, as a Business Coach for FutureReady. Phil is excited to join the volunteer team at UCEP and looks forward to being able to help change the lives of these amazing young children.
Early life in Eastern Nigerian schools where my parents taught. We lived in proximity to huge, impenetrable rain forests in the 1950s! It didn’t surprise me when I later studied biology, but also took a masters in marine science. Fast forward: I’ve been head of marine biology at the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography; director of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation; technical advisor/analyst on natural resources management and climate change with the Canadian International Development Agency. Looking forward to exciting times at UCEP!
IT professional with a keen interest in network security, database management, penetration testing, and ethical hacking. Technically minded, active, and hardworking individual. Possess a great capacity for multitasking and have outstanding communication and customer service abilities. I have decided to join UCEP because I have a passion for helping the less privileged and I see this as an opportunity to put smile on them.
I am currently studying International Relations at the University of Liverpool. I’mvery interested in foreign policy, especially concerning developing countries, and I also love to travel to be able to understand many of the cultures more thoroughly. I was fortunate enough to have a great education myself, and understand how lucky I am, as many children across the globe, especially in countries around West Africa do not have access to things many of us consider so basic such as education. Which is why I would love to help in any way I can to ensure these children are able to thrive.
I joined UCEP Team to contribute my quota for the less privileged and ensure the best is gotten from them in terms of their education, health, and social development. UCEP have done well here and seeing the outcome from their various programmes and the activities in the lives of the aged, widows, and orphans I encouraged myself to be part of this great movement.
To be the reason for ones smile and happiness is always my joy. So, to be part of UCEP Team has made it easier and simple for me because I will touch many lives and show care to them. UCEP has been the reasons for the less privileged children, widows, and orphans to smile. For that I have joined UCEP to contribute my quota.
The reason why l am living is to fulfil the mandate of God. l am attracted to be part of UCEP team because I will, through this channel achieve this aim. l am glad to be part of this team, which will enable me to contribute my own quota by touching lives of less privileged people, giving them hope and putting smiles on their faces.
I am currently studying Business Management at the University of Edinburgh and am really enjoying it! In my spare time I like to play hockey for one of the University teams and also really love to cook!
I was lucky enough to receive an amazing education and feel very grateful for the opportunities it provided me with. Therefore, I was excited to join UCEP when I learnt about the great work they are doing for education and disadvantaged children. The impact a good education can have on a child’s development and future is huge, therefore increasing the number of children in school is so important.
Tracey is currently employed by the US consulting company DXC where she works as their European References Manager. Her experiences cover a variety of roles including high-tech software sales, marketing and executive management both in the UK and in the United States.
She currently lives in Bexhill with her husband and Border Collie Murphy. Her volunteer experiences includes acting as a Business Mentor for Youth Enterprise. She is delighted to join the UCEP volunteer team as it works to help develop and enhance the lives of these young children.
Ben HackneyDesign & Development
Ian FryCalibre Marketing
Some UCEP Students
Your contribution means we can support our current students and continue to help more children receive the gift of education and life-changing mentoring.