Professional Climber Launches Educational Nonprofit in Africa

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Paige Claassen gives back

Boulder, CO - June 13, 2017


Paige Claassen, world class rock climber of 18 years, University of Colorado Business School graduate, and global ambassador of La Sportiva moved to South Africa after meeting her husband (a South African citizen) in 2014. After witnessing the lack of quality education available in underserved, impoverished areas, she decided to launch Southern Africa Education Fund (SAEF) to offer kids the educational opportunities she enjoyed growing up in Estes Park, Colorado.

“Education has been such a formative part of my life, and of the society in which I was raised. To help kids who don’t have an educational advantage in life is saying ‘you matter, your life matters, and your future matters. I believe in you, and want you to be able to chase your dreams’. That’s the kick start they need to live a life of opportunities beyond poverty. I know that we can end this vicious cycle of poverty if we all work together.”

Claassen is using her June 13 birthday to launch a new campaign, whereby supporters can pledge their birthday by asking friends and family for donations to SAEF instead of gifts. “Most of us have all the stuff we need, but using your birthday to raise money to support a cause you believe in is a fun way to celebrate with your friends and family while spreading the love to children who struggle to access quality education”, says Claassen. For each $100 donated to SAEF’s birthday campaigns, one child will receive a school kit that their family couldn’t otherwise afford, including school necessities like a backpack, uniform, shoes, and school supplies.

Supporters can pledge their own birthday and learn more about Southern Africa Education Fund at

About Southern Africa Education Fund:

Southern Africa Education Fund is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit who believes education is the only path out of poverty. Kids in rural Namibia and South Africa often live in reed or tin shacks in temperatures over 120F/50C. Some kids have trouble getting to school, while others have families who don't understand why school is important. Some kids live in abusive homes, and some can't afford school uniforms or a backpack. SAEF helps children overcome obstacles to an enriched education, while also renovating schools, helping teachers access proper training, and assisting in curriculum development. 


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