Our Responsibility

Ekukhanyeni members Non-Profit Company – NPC:

Founder and Executive Director:
Liza Rossi
Chairperson of Board of Directors:
Dr Khulu Z Mbatha
Nonhlanhla F Morekure
Sr Brigid R Tiernan

A local steering committee comprised of representatives from partnered institutions in the beneficiary area ensures and facilitates greater community involvement and participation in decision making and resource allocation.

Community-Based Team: Jerminah Nzuza, Nhlanhla Nzuze, Victor Qhali, Gladys Mooki, Dennis Radebe and Nomfundo Ramba, Annah Sibande, Serame Mokhati, Vumile Mchunu, Sthembiso Msimanga, Solomon Tsimile.

Volunteers: Nathalie Beauchesne (Quebec, Canada) & Michelle Mulley (USA)

*click on images to enlarge

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Our History

Ekukhanyeni – a zulu word meaning “Home of Light and Hope” – is a community service organization created in 2003, and registered as a Section 21 (not-for-profit) organization in 2005 and a Public Benefit Organization (PBO) in 2008. The organization was founded by the current Executive Director in response to the desperate situation facing children and families in the targeted beneficiary areas. The Founder has years of practical volunteer experience with HIV/AIDS affected areas, specifically with children in various urban townships and rural areas across the country. This has afforded her the privilege to meet with amazingly courageous and precious children who are the inspiration for her passion as the Organization’s driving force.

The project currently assists some 600 vulnerable children in the impoverished communities of Lawley and Finetown, near Johannesburg. Interventions in these areas focus on community-owned sustainable development and poverty alleviation. The backroom crèche’s in these informal settlements are the lifeblood of the project, and the initiative revolves around taking care of the children and using Permaculture design to grow food, herb and medicinal gardens to not only sustain the little ones but to sustain whole communities as well.

Poverty and the low levels of nutrition, inadequate access to health care and lack of basic community resources have undermined the development of countless children on many crucial levels. The onslaught of the HIV/AIDS epidemic has fragmented an alarming number of households, leaving many children orphaned and vulnerable. Through building the community and teaching adult members to learn skills that will help create sustainable food security and to better care for the children in a unique process which is mindful of the environment and focuses on a bottom-up approach, the Ekukhanyeni project is slowly making a brighter future for all concerned.

The organization is geared towards real sustainability and calls for ‘social investment’ as opposed to a ‘charity-type’ approach.

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