At the beginning of August, the month we celebrate Women's Month in South Africa, we met three women - Astrid*, Margaret* and Refilwe*, each with different stories but the same plea - their own safe space to call home. Their situations were desperate and we couldn't turn them away, so we released a call for help to raise funds to build them each a low-cost home, and were positively overwhelmed by the instant response. Within just 2 days, we had enough money to go ahead with the building!
The saying "it takes a village" comes to life when volunteers put their unique skill sets to work to increase and improve our impact in Mabopane.
This past weekend, a group of 5 students from the University of Pretoria's JCP Module volunteered in our computer lab, improving infrastructure and software systems - a long-awaited project disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown restrictions.
Their handiwork came just in time for us to reopen several of our free skills training courses for community members. Computer Skills is by far our most popular course, and, being a highly desired skill in the workplace, has enabled numerous learners to secure employment in various fields.
Lesedi la Batho was very fortunate to celebrate Mandela Day 2020 (Saturday 18 July) in Mabopane this year, amidst the chaos and perpetual need. As a non-profit organisation, we strive to empower vulnerable women who have survived rape, abuse and trauma to rediscover their self-worth and become more independent. We offer free skills training and job placement assistance, support groups and counselling, referrals to supporting institutions and emergency relief such as food parcels and clothing donations.
Congratulations to Katherine Leonard from New Jersey, USA for winning the GivenGain Foundation "Most Creative" fundraiser award! We are honoured to be on the receiving end of your skill, compassion and commitment - a true force for change altogether!
Kate was one of five students from Fordham University in New Jersey, USA who landed on South African soil early this year for a 6-month community engagement project with Lesedi la Batho. They were just mapping out their project ideas, when their experience was cut short as they were hurried back to their home country just before the international lockdowns at the end of March.
Rays of Hope, a foundation based in Germany which has supported the work of Lesedi la Batho for several years, have brought new life and revival to the Lesedi Strikers Ladies Football Team in Mabopane, South Africa. The semi-professional team, coached by Nhlanhla Maseko - CAF A licensed coach and former Banyana Banyana centre forward, was founded in 2011 to improve the soccer skills of talented young black female soccer players while proactively teaching them essential life skills. In recent years, the program slowed due to a lack of funding, however in January 2020, Rays of Hope revived this story of hope and a future for young black female soccer players in Mabopane by generously sponsoring the program, and our ladies would like to say THANK YOU!
It was a very exciting day at Lesedi la Batho when we welcomed our special guests from the IDSA and the Embassy of Georgia!
Thank you to our visitors who not only took the time out of their very busy schedules to visit our community centre, but also donated one whole month of groceries for the Ratanang Day Care children!
The lovely Mrs Nino is the President of the IDSA (International Diplomatic Spouses' Association), and her husband, Mr Beca Dvali, is currently serving as the Ambassador of Georgia to the Republic of South Africa. Mrs Elena, from Bulgary, is the General Secretary for the IDSA. The IDSA South Africa members comprise of the spouses of accredited Heads of missions and accredited spouses based in South Africa. The objective of the organisation is to promote cultural and social exchange between members of the Diplomatic Corps and South Africans. IDSA extend assistance and support to various charitable organisations in South Africa, including Lesedi la Batho.
Dear Lesedi friends, partners & supporters,
Welcome the Lesedi la Batho blog! Stay in touch with our latest stories, beneficiary testimonials, partnerships, events and achievements right here in the “Our News” section of our website.
As they say, happiness is only real when shared - and we have a lot of positivity to share - thanks to YOU!
We hope you enjoy sharing in real, positive, uplifting stories from our community centre in Mabopane, South Africa…
Together, we create hope!
The Lesedi la Batho Team