The Roger Federer Foundation was established in 2003 in order to support educational projects located in the region of southern Africa and Switzerland. The programs focus on the improvement of the quality of early learning and basic education. All activities are executed and implemented by local non-governmental authorities in close collaboration with the local communities.

One of the RFF’s main missions is to amplify a world where children living in poverty can take control of their future and actively shape it. There is enough evidence that proves education is a prerequisite for reducing poverty, improving preventive healthcare and creating a committed civil society.

The access to quality early education is crucial as it is the foundation of all learning process. In low-income countries, more than 80% of children do not have access to early education. The Roger Federer Foundation aims to give children the best start on their educational path through life by establishing and developing existing early educational services in a sustainable way.

The Foundation has a responsibility to society that actions can achieve their impact as cost efficiently as possible and use resources economically and modestly. This is why they keep the administration costs low and limit their engagement geographically and thematically.

The Roger Federer Foundation believes in the potential of all people and does everything possible to empower them to improve their situation on their own. That’s why the foundation only works with carefully selected local organizations in long-term partnerships. Supporting the development of skills and ensuring that the community accepts responsibility in solving its problems is fundamental for the RFF. This approach is strictly followed, because they truly believe that this is the best way to achieve sustainable systemic change and resultant improvement of the situation. In order to be cost-efficient and cost-effective there’s a limited engagement to one region in Africa and they are conducting programs in six countries in southern Africa (Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa) as well as Switzerland.

Since its start the foundation has spent 52 million USD for its education initiatives conducted in 7500 primary school and preschools. Over 1.75 million children have been benefitting from a better quality in education due to our engagement over the last 17 years.

The Roger Federer Foundation is devoted to its goal of empowering children living in poverty and the most effective and sustainable way of change to achieve this goal is to provide a high quality education system. Education is not only a human right, but also a crucial factor in breaking the cycle of poverty, improving health, and strengthening social responsibility and environmental protection. However, there’s a huge crisis about education all around the world. In many cases, the quality is insufficient, performance goals are not being achieved, and the number of students dropping out of school is very high. For many children, school ends after just a few years in elementary and middle school. Research shows that a key reason for this is the lack of access to high-quality early childhood (preschool) education in developing countries. That is why the Roger Federer Foundation will focus on the youngest learners in the next seven years, especially because this is an area that is globally clearly underfunded.

The most vulnerable children in particular, who would be dependent on education to escape the poverty trap, often do not have a good start in elementary school. The transition from home or preschool to elementary is a really delicate time and full of challenges. If children are insufficiently prepared for school or are not well immersed in the new environment, there is a high probability that they will fail, which means that they will not develop properly or even leave school early. The focus is not only on improving children’s enthusiasm to go to school, but also on making schools more attractive for children.

Children should have access to at least one year of organized learning before starting school. The Roger Federer Foundation is committed to ensuring that the children develop in an age-appropriate manner and survive the first years of school without having to repeat years or leave school early. In order to achieve a system that can ensure this, the are working to make all relevant participants such as parents, teachers, communities, and government officials aware of the needs of children and accept responsibility for them.

Processes are established so that the transition of the children to elementary school goes smoothly and they can quickly feel comfortable. Thanks to decentralized, digital-based continuing education, the teaching staff are working on improving their skills comprehensively in learning groups. The learning group approach promotes a peer-topeer mentoring over the long term.

In each of the six countries in southern Africa the Roger Federer Foundation hopes to implement the entire package of the School Readiness Initiative in between 1,500 and 3,000 institutions. This means that around 12,000 educational institutions will be reached in the next seven years.