Philanthropy, Voluntarism, and Grantmaking

Education Matters Africa Foundation

Where Talent Meets Opportunity

North Haven, CT


Education Matters matches talent with opportunity. We believe that there are many determined and talented Zimbabwean students who lack only financial resources and information to better their educational futures. We are building the USAP Community School, a residential 11th and 12th grade (A Level) school that educates high-achieving, low-income Zimbabwean students to excel at the world’s top universities and return home to build society.

Notes from the Nonprofit

Education Matters Africa Foundation is linked to and supports Education Matters which is a registered educational non-profit trust in the Republic of Zimbabwe. We are launching the USAP Community School which can be found at

Ruling Year



Ms. Rebecca Maile Zeigler Mano

Main Address

PO Box 966

North Haven, CT 96473 USA


Education, Equity, College Access





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Single Organization Support (T11)

Single Organization Support (B11)

Single Organization Support (O11)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Social Media


Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

The Education Matters Africa Foundation supports the work of Education Matters, an educational non-profit trust in Zimbabwe that seeks to match talent with opportunity to help young people reach their potential. Education Matters' flagship program, USAP, assists high-achieving, low-income students to apply for admission and financial aid at top colleges and universities in the United States and internationally. We are trying to level the immensely uneven educational playing field so that talented, hardworking students determined to make a change in their communities can access top higher education. Unlike other college access initiatives, we are also very concerned to support students throughout their college years and help them to make the transition home to use their education to build society on the African Continent.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

United Student Achievers Program (USAP)

USAP Community School

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

Our vision is to enable talented young people from economically-disadvantaged backgrounds to gain scholarships offered by colleges and universities. With a strong believe in the transformative power of international education, we believe that these youth can have a deep impact on bringing their skills and experiences abroad home to make positive change. To this end, we aim to see an increased number of students from our cohorts gain admission and scholarship to study overseas. We also aim to see them come home after sophomore or junior year to participate in an internship program with a successful and productive organization or company here in Zimbabwe and ultimately to return home after they complete their higher education and get exposed to some work experience internationally. We have the goal of cultivating future leaders in all fields who are ethical, skilled and empowered to make an impact.

Our main strategy at present is to transform our successful USAP model into a two year residential non-profit 11th and 12th grade high school in Zimbabwe. We are currently fundraising to build the school which will open its doors in January 2020. Our target group will remain to recruit high-achieving accomplished students with demonstrated leadership potential and a strong ethos of giving. The USAP Community School will be a living and learning community that in addition to offering a strong academic A level curriculum in STEM, will also include an intensive reading/writing/critical thinking curriculum and project-based engaged learning. We are creating and developing this one -of-a-kind school in Africa after nearly two decades of honing the USAP model and through it sending almost 400 students on full scholarships to study overseas.

Our organization, which incorporated in Zimbabwe in January 2016 and now as a 501(c)3 in the United States in July 2018, is very capable of reaching its goals, despite Zimbabwe's harsh economic environment. Our staff at Education Matters in Zimbabwe are led by an American permanent resident in Zimbabwe who has 20 years of international education experience including 15 years working as the Country Coordinator for EducationUSA at the US Embassy in Harare. The other staff members are all Zimbabweans who studied at top liberal arts colleges and universities in the United States and returned to work on education in Zimbabwe. We have a fully incorporated and active Board of Trustees in the United States which includes Zimbabwean immigrant professionals, a former U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe and the Director of International Students and Scholars at Yale University, who has supported and guided past USAP students. The board is diverse and includes a very successful USAP alumnus.

We have both quantitative and qualitative indicators to measure our goals. These include scholarship dollars and college placements, the impact alumni are making on initiatives impacting Africa and the growth of our programs. One example is scholarship dollars and college placements our students earn - in 2018 we sent 39 students to colleges and universities in six countries and they collectively earned more than $7.7 million in scholarships. We have set a strict timeline for the development of the USAP Community School in 2019 which will guide our progress.

In the three years that Education Matters has been in existence in Zimbabwe, we have sent two cohorts of students and are preparing the third now, who will enroll in August 2019. We are now building and opening of the USAP Community School. The USAP Community School will be holistic in approach, built on pillars of community, sustainability and impact, breeding young people who radiate values of integrity, generosity of spirit and engagement. Alongside Cambridge A levels, our students will participate in an intensive reading and writing English core, gain computer literacy and immerse themselves in critical thinking and problem solving through a project-based curriculum. Beyond traditionally strong math and science skills, we also want to hone students' communication and analytical skills. so they will be ready to excel at any top college or university. Our school will be environmentally sustainable, powered by solar energy and with an organic garden providing food for the school.

External Reviews

Affiliations & Memberships

Global Giving Top Ranked Organization



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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable


Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable

Organizational Demographics

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.


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Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity