Za’s work in South Africa is focused on Nkomazi, a rural region in the north east of the country near the borders with Swaziland and Mozambique. The area has one of the highest rates of HIV in the world (over 40%) and this has had a devastating impact on the lives of young people. Over half of the local population are under the age of 19 (53%) and there are now an estimated 12,000 orphans and vulnerable children living in Nkomazi. The unemployment rate is around 70%.
Working with our partner charity, Thembalethu, Za Foundation funds several projects relevant to the needs of the local population focusing on education and practical support as the best way to help young people change their future for the better.
According to the Nkomazi Integrated Development Plan, poor access to education is one of the main factors contributing to the high levels of poverty and HIV infection, with young people as the most vulnerable.
Although a key objective of our work is to promote greater understanding of HIV/AIDS and social issues within the community, we also strive to develop a broader global outlook amongst children and young people in the communities in which we work. We do this by building educational, supportive and mutually beneficial links between young people and their communities in the Nkomazi area of South Africa with their counterparts in North Somerset in the UK (where Za Foundation is based).
Za Foundation Programmes in SA:
a) Work of Zakhele
Za Foundation funds a truly dynamic, energetic and inspirational group of young people called the Zakhele Group. They consist of young people aged 18 – 25 years of age who use music and drama as an educational medium in which to deliver important information to children and young people in the Nkomazi region of South africa. In an area where 3 or 4 different languages are spoken and where illiteracy is common place, drama and music and song help young people learn a range of different skills and information to help equip and empower them in a society with many social issues.
Zakhele work in three different settings: 1) Ante and Post-natal clinics, 2) Schools, primary and secondary and 3) After-school clubs. More information can be found about their work in Zakhele Programme
b) Thembalethu Community Library
Za Foundation proudly built a community library in the grounds of our partner charity in Novermber 2013. See Thembalethu Library to learn about the fast expanding membership of this library in the following link Thembalethu Library.
c) School Uniforms
Za Foundation raised funds to purchase school uniforms for orphan and vulnerable children in Nkomazi. Last year we purchased £4,500 of uniforms. This enables these very vulnerable children to go to school with their head held high not having to face the humiliation and stigma of not having a uniform which clearly labels them as orphans. Take a peek at some of the happy recipients: Mcebisi and Kwanele
d) After School Clubs
We currently fund three after school clubs which support around 300 of the most vulnerable children in the community every day. Find out more here: After School Clubs.
Find out more about our work in South Africa:
Zakhele in 2014 – video