Back in 2007, almost 12,000 kms away from a remote village in Uganda, something life-changing started to unfold in Geelong, Australia. We were asked to make a donation to a healthcare centre in Mannya – a small village in Southern Uganda. We had no idea this small action would be the beginning of the Cotton On Foundation as we know it today.


The Rakai District, where Mannya is, had just been devastated by the HIV epidemic. The virus had almost wiped out an entire generation and created a whole handful of issues for the community, including famine, orphaned children, and economic downfall.

We quickly identified education was where we could make a long-term, sustainable impact – and so, we got to work. The Foundation took a holistic approach, looking at the bigger picture. This focused on healthcare, water, food security, and wellbeing initiatives; all things that were proving to be critical barriers to kids receiving a quality education.

Fast forward to today and we have projects in South Africa, Thailand, and Australia, all while continuing our work in Uganda.

Who would’ve thought what started as a one-off donation, would become a model that makes lasting change in communities all around the world? Not us, but we’re pretty damn proud of it.