Ekukhanyeni – Home of Light and Hope – is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization that focuses on community upliftment in two poverty stricken informal settlements close to Johannesburg, South Africa. In partnership with the local communities, this project supports some vulnerable children by creating self-sustaining communities through its green and holistic design approach to community development. Through its numerous sustainable technologies and lifestyles education, Ekukhanyeni is helping the adults in these impoverished zones to achieve (and sustain) food and nutrition security alongside providing effective early childhood care in ways which do not negatively affect natural resources and benefits human attitudinal and cultural systems in a positive manner.
Food and Nutrition Security
Ekukhanyeni contributes to community-owned sustainable development and poverty alleviation in a real and meaningful way. The organization uses creative and green ways to introduce food and nutrition security into two chosen informal settlements. Through environmentally friendly practices, the project centres around 15 crèches that take care of some 892 little ones. Adults involved with the project are trained up to use Permaculture design, to assist the development of food, herb and medicinal garden systems and other sustainable and lifestyle modalities at their creches in collaboration with community elders in an effort to increase food supply and to boost the nutritional status of its beneficiaries to create a win-win situation for all concerned.
Early Childhood Development
This element takes on an integrated and holistic approach to early childhood care, providing the appropriate stimulation, nutritional and developmental support to its 892 beneficiary children taken up in 15 “backroom” crèches during their critical developmental period. Educating the inner circle of caregivers to better care for the children at their crèches is key to this intervention, as well as the upgrade of the creches to create a safe and loving environment for the little ones.
Building the Community
‘It takes a village to raise a child.’
Developing communities is key to the relief of poverty. However, due to circumstances brought on by poverty and HIV/AIDS many communities are fragmented and dispersed. One of the key factors of the Ekukhanyeni project is to bring communities together through the various projects. The project cannot succeed without the community pulling together, so it’s essential that the communities of Lawley and Finetown are brought together with a common goal – a better life for all.
Ekukhanyeni has designed a strategic framework to strengthen communities from the bottom up – and through the holistic nature of the programmes initiated will provide the uniting elements so needed in these fragmented communities.
Ekukhanyeni’s goals are implemented in conjunction with local government authorities, local communities and its structures using a cooperative and collaborative support network. Local action, self-empowerment and community participation is promoted to ensure community-owned development.
Despite low donor interest in these little-known informal settlements the work of Ekukhanyeni is healing and strengthening this under-reserved community.
It’s Easy to Help
By donating just R120 per month, Ekukhanyeni will be able to continue in its endeavours to make a real difference in the lives of these vulnerable children. Your R120 will go towards the early childhood development programme and will contribute to the establishment of the permaculture gardens. These little ones need your compassion and kindness… Become a sponsor now.
Meet the Kids
The children of Ekukhanyeni may come from disadvantaged backgrounds, but there is not much that will damper their spirits. Ranging in ages from 0 to 6 years, these children have only known poverty in terms of material wealth, but when it comes to spreading their laughter and light they are wealthy beyond measure. We’d like you to play a role in giving them the future they deserve.