Ikamva Labantu’s strength in driving change in communities lies within our Community Forums – originally informal peer support networks that have grown into formal associations that represent the interests of our communities. In turn they act as sounding boards for our work, and their feedback is invaluable in helping us develop programmes and services that meet the needs unique to impoverished township communities.
As part of our efforts to constantly improve our work with the community forums, smaller Area Forums were introduced in 2011 in addition to the larger Community Forums. The successful pilot, which was trialed in our Orphans & Vulnerable Children (OVC) sector, saw representatives of the community meeting regularly in the smaller Area Forums, and then convening monthly at the larger Ikamva Labantu Community Forums.
To help prepare members of the new Area Forums for the task at hand, they underwent a structured series of learning-driven workshops, culminating in a graduation ceremony with their peers in November
The success of the pilot area forums in OVC means that we will be rolling this model out to all of our other sectors in the new year.
Towards the end of the past year we also introduced specialised programme sub-committees representing elected community forum members who will work specifically at a programme level with Ikamva Labantu’s teams to develop new insights and programs for the future We are excited about the closer, more focused working approach with Community Forums which promises much opportunity in the year ahead.