Phambili ngeThemba (“Going forward with Hope”) was established in 2000 by Pinelands Methodist Church as an emergency relief response to a devastating shack fire in the Joe Slovo community of Cape Town. Almost one thousand homes were destroyed, leaving thousands of people destitute.
Since 2000, the church has been involved in many areas of the Langa/Joe Slovo community, faithfully remaining as the community continues to change. Activities have included the running of a successful sewing course, leadership training at Kulani High School, and the maintenance and development of the Chris Hani Primary School. As the years have gone by there have been many changes in the project.
In 2007, Phambili ngeThemba officially registered as a Non-Profit Organisation and set about making a greater impact on the community of Langa by focusing on specific needs. Currently, three projects are being successfully run:
- The Zanokhanyo Training and Resource Centre offers a job readiness course which trains, assists in placing and mentors unemployed persons in the hope of helping them build sustainable futures.
- An orphan care programme developed in 2005 has continued to be effective in caring for some of the needs of children at Mokone Primary School.
- Supporting Mokone Primary School allows volunteers to use their skills to help teachers educate students and provide them with a bright future.
In addition to these three projects which target the Langa community, since October 2008 we have been involved in supporting Barcelona Children’s Centre in Gugulethu. We have assisted Pastor Julius Bonani and his wife Irene with work projects, gardening, and holiday club activities on a monthly basis. This centre is currently home to 21 orphaned and abandoned children and Barcelona Baptist Church, which is meeting the spiritual and some of the physical needs of the people in the surrounding informal settlement.
In Zanokhanyo (“Bringing Light”) we train, equip and develop unemployed persons in various ways to enable them to become financially self-supportive. We also aim to develop our graduates socially, spiritually, and emotionally, with a specific focus on work-related situations. We desire to see them become personally fulfilled and economically viable through an employment situation that is mutually satisfying for the employer as well as the employee.
For more information, visit the Zanokhanyo website (www.zanokhanyo.co.za).
The orphan care programme started as an attempt to provide assistance to families that include orphans. Many of these children stay with relatives that struggle to support their needs along with those of their own immediate family. Currently, over 35 children are supported by the provision of a monthly supply of food that includes a breakfast porridge, a nutritious drink and an evening soy mince meal. Before the food parcels are distributed the children hear a Bible lesson and the gospel is clearly presented so that each child has the opportunity to commit his or her life to Christ.
Many schools in the community are struggling to meet the educational needs of students. Before Chris Hani Independent School closed down, Phambili ngeThemba was involved in many areas. However, the potential impact was limited due to poor infrastructure. The closing of the school turned out to be a blessing in disguise as all of the children and some of the teachers were absorbed into Mokone Primary at the beginning of 2009.
Since then, we have discovered this school to be a gem, doing great work in a desperate area and being incredibly open to whatever we can offer. We envision ourselves supporting this willing school in whatever way volunteers are able to use their skills. At the moment, several volunteers are involved with different aspects of the teaching curriculum. This includes teaching English via after-school English clubs and English literature and teaching life orientation to Grade 8s using the Life at the Crossroads curriculum which focuses on character development and choices.
For further information about Phambili ngeThemba, visit the website at www.phambilingethemba.org.za.
We at Haxby & Wigginton hope to continue assisting Pinelands with this project in tangible ways.