Founder and President of the DAD Fund, Lyndon Barends is the recipient of the 2014 Inyathelo Award for Philanthropy in Education.
Lyndon set up the DAD Fund ten years ago to nurture young leaders and provide disadvantaged teenagers with the opportunities to rise above their circumstances through education and development programmes. Lyndon himself grew up in a shack in Crossroads outside Cape Town and only managed to finish his schooling by working as a cleaner at his college after hours. The late Dean of the college, Daniel Arthur Douman, supported and mentored him throughout his career and it was in honour of him, that Lyndon set up the DAD Fund in 2003.
Starting his career as a teacher, Lyndon became involved in community development and later became a spokesperson for the World Health Organisation, campaigning for TB sufferers alongside Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.
After being awarded a bursary to do an MBA in the UK, Lyndon joined Standard Bank where he served as Director. He is now the Group CEO of Primedia Sport, having spent some time as the CEO of the National Olympic Committee of South Africa. Over all these years, Lyndon continued to support his former Dean’s community projects and when Mr Douman died, he took over his work and paid for his children to attend school.
The DAD fund has helped thousands of young people with bursaries, internships, mentorship, and skills and leadership training. It supports the DreamGirls International Outreach and Mentoring Programme which encourages young women to fulfill their potential, obtain a tertiary education and become independent, empowered and successful professionals. The DAD Fund also runs the Sakha Ulutsha Lwethu (‘We are building our youth’) programme which seeks to increase the number of rural and township youth who aspire, qualify, have access and can afford to enter institutions of higher learning.