Living in a township in South Africa is hard. Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children live in small structures made of corrugated iron, wood, or any materials they can find. In South Africa we call them “shacks”. Many are unemployed but want to better their lives and circumstances.
Ikamva Labantu devotes itself to the most vulnerable communities in the Western Cape. Our mamas (women), tatas (men), caregivers and practitioners (teachers) are our heroes. They are the ones who find sustainable solutions to problems facing them and their township communities. They are agents of change.
Children born into extreme poverty stand very little chance in life. However, there are leaders in their communities who see their potential and are doing something to maximise it. The first few years of a child’s life are critical to their future development. That’s why Ikamva Labantu places enormous importance and emphasis on Early Childhood Development, which lays the foundation of a child’s future learning.
Our gogos (grandmothers) and tatas (grandfathers) have lived through the inhumanity of apartheid. They still struggle and many are neglected. They receive a mere R1 270 (about $120) government pension grant per month. These creators of our history, who should be enjoying their golden years, are increasingly becoming the sole caregivers of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. At Ikamva Labantu, we believe that our seniors should be given the care they deserve, as well as be encouraged to age actively in their communities. This is why we started Seniors Clubs 40 years ago – to keep their minds and bodies active and use their unique gifts and wisdom to leave a legacy in our communities.
Many children in township communities have been left without a mother and/or father due to HIV/Aids, neglect, violence or abuse. They are left vulnerable, with no one to care for them. Families within their communities welcome and foster these orphans and vulnerable children. We support these families by providing assistance, resources and training to ensure that the children receive the best possible care.
Poor nutrition and inadequate healthcare services in very densely populated communities make it difficult for adults, and especially children, to access basic and primary healthcare. Because many families cannot afford basic healthcare, we provide primary healthcare knowledge and understanding through training, raising awareness, and developing programmes aimed at preventative healthcare, as well as providing support and referral services.
We are committed to our beneficiaries. They tell us what they need. Our community relations programme provides a vital link between Ikamva Labantu, our beneficiaries and the broader community. Frequent engagement with our beneficiaries, through our Community Forums, enables us to understand community dynamics, know what their needs and aspirations are, and provide them with valued and appropriate services.
Each of our programmes – Early Childhood Development, Orphans & Vulnerable Children and Seniors – have their own community forums that meet regularly. These forums are organised by our beneficiaries with the assistance of our Community Relations team. Forums offer a space for training, assist with problem solving, offer services, and peer support.
It’s been quite a year for us at Ikamva Labantu. 2013 marked our 50th anniversary, having been founded in 1963 by the many women who built our organisation to what it is today. It has been a testing time for many in the non-governmental and non-profit sectors, but we have managed to stay afloat to […]
A collaboration between Ikamva Labantu, Neighbourhood Old Age Homes, the District Six Museum and the Sector Task Team for Older Persons brought together seniors of all ages to celebrate, through storytelling, on Heritage Day (September 24). A packed District Six Museum Homecoming Centre saw over 150 seniors gather for a day filled with storytelling, nostalgia […]