The Roger Federer Foundation supports educational projects located in the region of Southern Africa and Switzerland. The projects on the African continent focus on the improvement of the quality of early learning and basic education, in Switzerland on the promotion out-of-school of children affected by poverty. All activities are realized and implemented by local non-governmental in closed collaboration with the local communities. For the due diligence of our impact we measure the changes on the level of the supported children such as their performance, the repetition, absence or enrolement rate.
How did you get into the non-profit industry?
When my son was 22 years old and still at the beginning of his career he founded his own charitable Foundation. Since many years he had the wish to give something back to the less fortunate. To stay sensitive for the need of others is of course a strong value we live in our family. For me it was also a dream come true when we started this philanthropic initiative in particular because we are responding to the needs of my home region Southern Africa.
What is the vision and what are the goals of the Roger Federer Foundation?
We want to enhance a world where children living in poverty are able to take control of their future and actively shape it thanks to access to high quality early learning and education. We therefore wish to empower as many African children as possible by further developing existing educational services and early support in a sustainable way. The quality of early support and basic education is crucial as it is the foundation of all learning. In order to be cost efficient and cost effective we limit our engagement on one region in Africa and are conducting programs in six countries in Southern Africa.
Under the direction of the board of trustees, what marketing and strategic partnerships have been implemented that have contributed to the success of the foundation?
We believe in the potential of the African people and do everything to empower them to improve their situation by themselves. As a consequence the Roger Federer Foundation only works with carefully selected local organizations in long-term partnerships. We support the development of skills and ensure that the population accepts it responsibility to solve the problems. So we don’t deliver hardware to the people but empower them to organize the needed resources by themselves. This is in my eyes the only way to reach sustainable systemic change and improvement of the situation.
What is the proudest achievement of the Roger Federer foundation?
Today, every single child who receives a better quality of education thanks to our support makes me proud. And this year we will reach 136.000 such children. It is hard to imagine what this really means if you are sitting at home in your comfortable home. But each time we go to the field and are visiting our programs it is overwhelming what kind of fundamental changes are possible if you chose the right approach and how decisive this is in a child’s life.
Favorite travel destination?
Call me boring but of course I prefer travelling to the whole region of Southern Africa without question. You find there the perfect combination of breathtaking landscapes, fascinating wildlife and gentle people.
Role model - business and personal?
There are many personalities out there who inspire me. But it was also important for us to define our own strategy of giving which reflects our own values and thinking. This is another very nice aspect about the work within the Roger Federer Foundation. It gives our family the opportunity to meet each other in another manner and work together in a different framework.
What literature is on your bed stand?
The long way to freedom by Nelson Mandela.
Most interesting headline you've read this week?
Stories like the murder of the South African goalkeeper and Captain Senzo Meyiwa are really moving. I truly wish that my home country will prosper and become a safer place.
What makes a great philanthropist?
You need to get involved not only with your heart and soul but also with professionalism.
What's next for Roger Federer Foundation?
Our next milestone on the agenda is the Match for Africa II which will take place on the December 21 in Zurich. With our program we want to reach one million children by 2018. Such events are important to generate funds for this endeavor. But this is also an opportunity to underline the potential of Africa in the public.
Lynette was born in Germiston, South Africa on 16.2.1952. She to school in South Africa and started working for a Swiss Chemical Company (Ciba) in 1970. She met her husband Robert Federer at Ciba who worked for the same company and they married in Switzerland in 1973. They had two children, Diana Vanessa born in 1979 and Roger born 1981. She is the Grandmother of 3 sets of twins and her hobbies include tennis, golf and enjoy being a grandmother.