The Njengabantu project began in June 2012 after Mr Ngubane, the Traditional chief, had approached LETCEE to ask that we replicate the project operating in Mbuba, in Njengabantu. His concern was that there was no crèche and also that many matriculants had no employment. His instruction was that all of the Abahambi selected had to have matric, and that everyone should volunteer for at least six months in order to ‘pay’ for the their training.
The project started with LETCEE carrying the cost of training and management. In January 2013 Kinderfonds Mamas began funding the project.
Njengabantu is a vast, sparsely populated community. The area is split into two sections: one at the top of the mountain and the other in a deep valley. There is little public transport which means the Abahambi and community members have to walk very long distances.
Only a small percentage of the children are able to visit the Toy Library which is situated in the grounds of the Community Hall, but the Toy Librarian travels to 4 different venues with her boxes of toys so that many more children have the opportunity to attend a Come and Play session. Caregivers also have the opportunity to exchange the toys they have borrowed to encourage more educational play at home.
The food gardens in this community are very successful and have contributed significantly to improving the food security for families. The cluster committees donate a percentage of the food grown to families in need.
The self-help groups in Njengabantu have impacted on the social cohesion in the community, and members have realised the benefits of shopping in bulk. A sewing business has been started so that the costs of school uniforms are lowered.
LETCEE and the Njengabantu community are grateful to Kinderfonds MAMAs who support this project so generously.