Ellen and Jerry Gallagher first visited South Africa on vacation in 1998. A number of attributes caught their attention including its natural beauty, the delightful and friendly people and the existence of an impressive economic infrastructure. This experience led them to design and eventually create the Gallagher Foundation. Since the people of South Africa provided them with the inspiration, it was only fitting that their nation be the inaugural country for the scholarship program in 2001.
In South Africa, all of our scholars attend University of Cape Town (UCT). UCT was selected because of the strong faculty, good facilities, success in educating people from disadvantaged backgrounds and an environment that was both stimulating and safe for our Scholars. UCT is also the top ranked University in Africa and has a spectacular setting in the heart of Cape Town. Former Deputy Vice Chancellor Martin West was instrumental in designing and launching our program. The current administration at UCT, led by Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe continues to support our program. To find out more about UCT, visit their website at www.uct.ac.za/
Wiedaad Dollie became the Country Director of the South Africa program in 2018. She comes to the Gallagher Foundation with extensive wrap around scholarship program experience having previously worked as a Dell Young Leaders Program Associate for many years. Since 2011, Wiedaad has worked as a Student Development Consultant in the Department of Student Affairs at University of Cape Town. She also has experience as a Mentor Program Specialist and Psychologist at UCT. Wiedaad completed her undergraduate studies at University of Cape Town and her post graduate studies at University of Western Cape.
Wiedaad enjoys the high energy of scholars, their receptiveness to the environment, their openness to new ideas and their willingness to challenge anything that stands in their way. She believes that scholars can be predictable in some ways; however, she enjoys their ability to continually surprise her. She finds that there is never a dull moment when working with scholars; humor is always present.
Wiedaad comes from a close knit family consisting of her husband and two children, ages 20 and 14 years old. As a family, they strive toward teamwork, and they find meal time discussions to be enjoyably colorful with topics ranging from current affairs to day-to-day occurrences. In her free time, Wiedaad enjoys time spent with her family and friends, visiting coffee shops, cooking, hiking, and traveling.
"There is no passion to be in found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." – Nelson Mandela