Community


Communities we are involved in

Click on the name for more information on the project


Mbuba

Est. June 2008
- 254 children involved
- 13 abahambi
- 3 food gardens
- 1 toy library with toy librarian
- 1 community facilitator
- 78 buddies
- 11 SHGs

Eshane

Est. Dec 2008
- 265 children involved
- 13 abahambi
- 5 food gardens
- 1 toy library with toy librarian
- 1 community facilitator
- 78 buddies
- 5 SHGs


Matimatolo

Est. May 2007
- 203 children involved
- 10 abahambi
- 3 food gardens
- 1 toy library with toy librarian
- 1 community facilitator
- 60 buddies
- 7 SHGs

Njengabantu

Est. Jun 2012
- 192 children involved
- 9 abahambi
- 7 food gardens
- 2 garden motivators
- 1 toy library with toy librarian
- 2 homework assistants
- 1 community facilitator
- 54 buddies
- 10 SHGs


Msinga

Est. 2016
- 480 children involved
- 50 Smartstarters
- 3 club leaders

The Barracks

Est. Dec 2014
- 121 children involved
- 1 food garden
- 1 nutrition program
- 1 homework club facilitator
- 1 toy library



Components of our projects



Abahambi

(Singular = Mhambi)
- Translated from Zulu, this word means "those who walk/go".
- Trained ECD practitioners
- Visit the homes of children from the community they live in
- Facilitate play groups for children who are not enrolled in ECD centres
- Chosen by the community committee to work with their children
- Have a basic resource kit
- Supplement their kit from the community Toy Library
- Ensure a variety of age-appropriate resources and equipment which ensures ongoing stimulation and participation
- Run parenting workshops for caregivers in their communities



Toy Libraries

- Non-centre based ECD programme
- Stocked with games, books, puzzles and other resources
- Provide play sessions for children who don't have access to ECD services
- Lending service for parents and Abahambi
- Play-to-Learn training for parents
- We are part of the Toy Library Association of South Africa
- 5 Fixed toy libraries: Mbuba, Matimatolo, Njengabantu, Eshane, Barracks
- 2 Mobile toy libraries: Visit 20 different venues to provide play sessions and resources to areas far from the fixed toy libraries



Food gardens

Cluster gardens
- Purpose: To ensure continual access to fresh vegetables for household consumption
- Also for income generation if there is surplus in production
- Contributes to food security: Fights to reduce malnutrition among our programme children
- Gardened by caregivers of beneficiary families
- Cluster is ten or more caregivers (mainly women)
- Cluster garden is divided into individual plots
- Each cluster member grows vegetables of her choice in her plot
- Responsible for the maintenance of her plot
- Currently 16 cluster gardens

Community garden
- Much larger co-operative garden
- Beneficiary families work alongside other community members to grow vegetables

Bag gardens
- Gardened in bag
- Kept and maintained at each household
- Mostly for herbs and smaller vegetables



Buddies

- Children between the ages of 5 and 12 years
- Two categories of buddies: 5-8 years of age and 9-12 years of age

- 5-8 years old buddies
Work closely with the Abahambi to contribute to play and learn with younger children

- 9-12 years old buddies
Participate in various activities that are aimed at developing and preparing them for the future.
- Programmes include life skills, indigenous games, competitive and cooperative games.
- Competitive games include rope skipping through Mbutho jumbers who facilitate the buddies' training and competitions on provincial level.



Self-help groups (SHGs)


Savings groups
- Savings groups made up of community members (including beneficiary caregivers)
- Aim to empower community members through savings
- Every group saves R5.00 per member every week
- Members can start loaning from the group savings after a period of six weeks of contributing
- Loans are used to start up businesses or to use in social cohesion groups
- Loans are paid back with interest as determined by the group
- 33 functional savings groups in the four communities we work with
- 1 Cluster level association (formed by ten savings groups in Mbuba)
- Total of 503 community members participating in SHGs (480 women and 23 men)
- 11 Business opportunities started so far from SHGs

Social cohesion groups
- 5 Social cohesion groups
- Members buy items/goods in bulk and share among each other in equal quantities
- Includes blankets, plates, groceries, building materials and home renovations
- Minimises costs and maximises opportunity to get discounts on goods purchased
- Done through negotiations with retailers around prices, quality of goods and transport costs



Community Management committees

- Made up of beneficiary caregivers and community gatekeepers
- The purpose is to co-manage the project with the community and also to prepare for the exit strategy
- Each committee consists of 7 members: 5 of them form the executive and 2 additional members
- Once committees are established, they are capacitated through governance workshops
- Workshops are aimed at improving management skills, accountability and various other skills needed to manage the project