UBUNTU

UBUNTU

Term/Meaning


UBUNTU is a traditional ethical concept of the Nguni-speaking peoples of Southern Africa (Zulu, Xhosa). It defines humanity in terms of mutuality: a person can only be a person through other people.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu explains UBUNTU as follows (quote from Rainbow Nation 1994): “In contrast to the predominant Western concept of a generous donor on one side and a humble beneficiary on the other, UBUNTU implies that both parties experience each other as equals. Only through collective engagement can they realize their full humanity”.

The development effort of the Swiss UBUNTU Foundation on behalf of the San people results in mutual enrichment.  The San people, as is the case with other marginalized indigenous minorities around the world, have much to offer humankind: their traditional knowledge, their survival strategies, their rich historical legacy of rock paintings, their contemporary arts and crafts and, despite all adversities, their sense of humor.