Nolonwabo Batini, a 15-year-old girl from Ndzondelelo High School in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, made this self-confident discovery when Roger visited her school. Her conviction became the vision and central theme of the Roger Federer Foundation.

The Roger Federer Foundation enhances a world where children living in poverty are able to take control of their future and actively shape it. There is sufficient evidence that proves that education is a prerequisite for reducing poverty, improving preventive healthcare and creating a committed civil society. In particular, access to quality early education is crucial as it is the foundation of all learning. In low-income countries, more than 80% of children do not have access to early education. We thus aim to give children the best start on their educational path through life by establishing and further develop existing early educational services in a sustainable way. Our guiding principle in this endeavour is that children should be ready for school and schools ready for the children. This means that not only should children be prepared to start school, but also that the schools should provide a child-friendly environment, especially for the youngest. They should be healthy and develop their skills accordingly, enabling them to enjoy a happy childhood.

We believe in the potential of all people and do everything possible to empower them to improve their situation on their own. Therefore, the Roger Federer Foundation only works with carefully selected local organisations in long-term partnerships. We support the development of skills and ensure that the community accepts responsibility in solving its problems. We do not deliver equipment to people but empower them to organise resources needed on their own. We follow this approach strictly, because we truly believe that this is the only way to achieve sustainable systemic change and resultant improvement of the situation. In order to be both cost-efficient and cost-effective we limit our engagement to one region in Africa and are conducting programmes in six countries in southern Africa as well as Switzerland.

The Roger Federer Foundation is a professionally managed grant foundation which is committed to the rules of the Swiss Foundation Code. The organisation strictly follows a system of checks and balances and an efficient project management cycle. Transparency, measurability and evaluation of the activities are fundamental. As a learning institution, the Foundation seeks the advice of experts and stakeholders and is a member of SwissFoundations, an association of Swiss grant foundations.