Rural communities, women and the youth are the closest to my heart. Having worked in many diverse communities as both a community worker and later a Ward Councilor, I have been privilage to understand the inequalities that apartheid brought ot our communities, scars of directionless young people who are failing to access clear path to the main stream economy due to lack of skills and broken families. I have been encouraged by many leaders I have worked with, inspired me to note that in small spheres and own backyards; we can indeed make a difference.
In my entire career I have been confronted by many women and young people who would knock on my doors to seek some sort of help in many alarming situations one would help here and there. It is until later 2015 where I realized that I needed to focus on this in a more organized manner as it clearly presented me with an opportunity to track the impact, thus measure the progress. I am grateful to all those who encouraged me to establish this vehicle. Both men and women of the board and management team of this Foundation who are giving up their time for this worthy course in building the prosperous communities and bridging the gaps of the inequalities; I thank them profoundly!
Growing up in a strict, God fearing family- my parents tought me the importance of giving, the spirit of Ubuntu (humanity), this is the base of which we are establishing this Foundation upon. I was never lucky to obtain the secondary education to the best level I would have wanted to, growing up in iNanda during those times, when the country was challenged with many riots and social ills, this certainly directed my life to a complete devotion of social work, at times I even forgot I had my own family and kids to look after thus today when I look back, I have a sence of pride and more drive of continuation of a different “fight” now, that of steering our people to better pastures through empowerment and education to change our plight as the nation.
I hereby invite all the individuals and corporates with a common goal of building a cohesive, non sexist, non racial and prosperous nation; to join us as partners of social change. This Foundation is not mine, but a self reflection of my life in an effort to better people’s lives. Issues of women empowerment, dignity of young girls and skills developmental programmes are going to be the centre of operations through education.
I am looking forward to this journey with all of you, which I hope will give us an opportunity to reflect into the purpose of God’s creation in becoming His image through selfless efforts in helping one another thus developing a prosperous nation.
Mama Zandile Gumede