Project information

Adopt a Future Leader

Many able indigenous students in Salta are disadvantaged because their socio economic circumstances preclude further education. Within the community very few aspire to professional training. The project will support & contribute to academic achievement and raise expectations within their communities

February 2011 - December 2016

Charity information: The David Mather Foundation

The David Mather Foundation logo
  • Need


    Less than 15% of the university population is from the indigenous groups who form 60% of the population. Of those fewer than 4% graduate. This inequality in educational attainment is a result of poor vocational guidance, no facility to study outside school, many large families live eat and sleep in one room, and the socio economic environment requires young people to contribute to family income as soon as possible. There is little aspiration or expectation of further education, despite ability


    The Adopt a Leader Programme supports 15 young people each year to aspire to & attain university entrance criteria & apply for scholarships. The Foundation provides study space, internet, mentoring, career advice & additional lessons in core & required subjects. So far 30 young people are engaged in the 6 year programme, a further 3 cohorts of 15 are planned. They are recruited from 2 of the poorest Barrios and are identified by the schools has having ability but major barriers to education

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Enable student access, & maintenance of, tertiary education without financial hardship to families


    » Provide a safe, secure & accessible, equipped learning environment conducive to individual study, with learning support & required additional classes
    » Enables access to aids to learning, books , paper pens, computer suite,
    » Work with students and families to overcome disincentives and short term problems
    » Overcome the immediate need for increase in family income before professional salary is earned, including travel between learning environments.

    Success will be 90% of students attaining university course of choice, and 85% maintaining their education to graduation and professional employment.

    Aim 2

    Support students to seek scholarships and additional financial support


    » Assist students to identify scholarship opportunities and support applications
    » Work with Ministry of Education to improve access to \"Becas\" ( Salta scholarships). Curently available to all comers not targeted to disadvantaged.
    » Seek work experience and linked sponsorship with local industry and employers, ideally with job security at end of training.

    Success will be 85% of students associated with Foundation gaining scholarships or sponsorship

    Aim 3

    Raise aspiration and achievement


    » Build confidence through self awareness classes and Discovery Insights profiling to ensure students work to their strengths & capitalise on potential
    » Provide career and study counselling. Introduce to university courses and work experience to ensure good career and study pathways
    » Provide university mentors to breakdown barriers with university, advise re academic and personal commitment required and instill good study practice

    Success will be 90% of DMF students achieving their potential with knock on effect into families, peers and communities, this will be assessed with University Research.

    Aim 4

    Create a business enterprise to subsidise students, based on the UK Young Enterprise scheme


    » Make and sell handicrafts, predominently featuring recycling materials
    » Investigate and understand design, marketing and fabrication processes
    » Keep accounts, and understand ordering supply and demand systems
    » Understand and develop excellent customer service practice

    Success will be 35% profit on investment which will be reinvested in further enterprise development and subsidy of travel for students

  • Impact


    Negotiating research with the Universidad Nacional de Salta
    ( UNSA) which will explore:
    - baseline data on student academic development and track progress through 6 year attachment.
    - ability to to cope with expectations of university life, family pressure and whether DMF attachment is assisting
    - achievements re employability
    - family & peer aspiration and achievement over period of involvement.
    - school involvement
    - sustainability of programme through schools & Ministry of Education


    1. Some students have disengaged due to family pressures: Improved recruitment and monitoring processes with greater family involvement.
    2. Funding, so far consistent from UK but at risk with world need eg Japan: seeking core funding from Ministry of Education Salta, industry sponsorship and generating income with enterprise scheme
    3. School engagement: The family of schools is providing international links and language support for all students not only DMF students.


    Quarterly newsletter emailed to all donors
    Donors will be able to specify which career opportunities they wish to support & will be linked to specific students who will report on their progress termly or monthly as required ( Safeguarding limitations in place)
    Web site & on line communication

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £91,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £6,000 30 school students £200 per year per student covers all costs including subsistence and travel
      £5,000 10 university students 2011-12 £500 per year per student covers all costs including subsistence, travel and study materials
      £80,000 40 students 2012-1016 £500 per year per student covers all costs including subsistence, travel and study materials

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Lydia Brown £2,700 Guaranteed
    Mather family £3,000 Guaranteed
    Mair Williams £2,500 Guaranteed
    Janet and David Longman £1,200 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Salta is the largest city in Northern Argentina, population approx 600000. "Tourist" Salta appears wealthy but the young people in this project live in shanty towns on the edge of the city. Homes are frequently one room breeze block with polythene roofs and limited sanitary facilities. Poverty is endemic with high rates of drug alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy and short life expectancy. There is no culture of further education and young people rarely aspire to professional careers.


    Directly: Young people identified as having the academic potential to reach university but who lack the socio economic or family support to attain this.
    Partner schools are linked to English schools so all students benefit
    The communities, all DMF students are required to utilise new skills within the area during & post training
    The level of aspiration is increased, we already have evidence of this.
    Older students become mentors & ambassadors for younger students

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    DMF is dedicated to achieving its distinct aims. The links with British schools provide a unique international perspective which benefits all participants. The project is based on the Aim Higher programme in the UK and is implemented with the full knowledge and co-operation of the Salta Municipal Government, improving chance of sustainability. The Foundation members have health & education expertise based in the UK and Salta and therefore has close control on both ends of the project.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr Geoffrey Thomas

    Patron Emeritus Professor Kellogg College, Oxford University, the largest and most international graduate college. British Council, HEFCE

    Ian Mather

    UK President Retired school principal specialising in establishing education and employment opportunities for disadvantaged young people

    Lydia Brown

    Finance lead Project Manager Price Waterhouse Cooper, tight control on finance

    Raul Peyrera

    Salta Project Co-ordinator Bi lingual, strong links with schools and universities. Advocate with Municipalidad. Strong motivator with students

2011 intake from Autodromo

2011 intake from Autodromo


keeps a student at university for a full month

The Foundation is a big brother to me, it makes everything possible & enabled me to learn extra skills to earn a living while I study