iThemba Projects partners with the people of Sweetwaters (Mpumuza), to transform a generation of kids and teens through education and mentoring so that they may bring hope to their community, and be a light throughout South Africa.
We're passionate about working together in a sustainable way, about linking different communities and bridging the social and economic divisions created by our past, and about growing, learning and adapting as we proceed on this journey together. We're passionate about holistic community development: social, material, emotional and spiritual.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF ITHEMBA...
Kholeka Zama - Treasurer
Kholeka was born in Scottburgh, and is the daughter of Oscar and Viola Zama. She is a mother to Ayema Gumede. Kholeka is currently the Head of Audit at British American Tobacco SA (Pty) Ltd. She enjoys traveling, walking, reading, and is particularly interested in the subject of Neuro Leadership. Kholeka is a member of the Education Committee (EDCO) of SAICA. She qualified as a CA in 2004 after having served her articles at Price Waterhouse Coopers in Sunninghill, Johannesburg. Kholeka believes that through Jesus, nothing is impossible with God.
Locke Purdon - Chairman
Locke is married to Sonja and has three children, Luke, Simon, and Andrew. Locke lives in Hilton and has done so for nine years. He owns and manages three companies, the first of which was established in 1994. These companies serve the Trucking Industry by providing Risk Management services and insurance products and services. Locke also has a passion for helping underprivileged and previously disadvantaged people who wan to uplift themselves.
Linda is married to Rob and has three wonderful children, Dylan, Meagan, and Matthew. Linda runs and owns a bookkeeping and tax consulting business. When Linda is not being momís taxi, she enjoys reading, spending time out walking in our our beautiful country, and working in her veggie garden. Linda got involved with iThemba because she believes God prompted her to help bring about Godís kingdom on earth. She believes that iThemba is working towards that.
Sam heads up the Masihambisane outreach programme at Grace College, a local Christian high school. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this position, having been at various times a teacher educator, school inspector, and project leader for a number of education projects. Sam is married to Girlie and they have four children, two sons and two daughters. Sam is passionate about the work iThemba is doing in the community, particularly iThembaís huge impact on the preschools and children in the Sweetwaters area.
Richard is married to Kathy and they have two children, Hannah and Abigail. Richard is the Chief Executive Officer of Hulamin Limited, a JSE listed company. Richard is a committed Christian and has served as an elder and chairman of the executive at Hilton Baptist Church. He enjoys golf, running, cycling , music, woodwork, fixing things, and travel. Richard sees empowerment of all Godís people, with a specific focus on education, as an important part of his lifeís work.
Deon Le Roux
Deon is married to Kim and they have three children, Danielle, Josie, and Seb. Deon is the Managing Director of Global Composites, a company that manufactures cabs for Bell Equipments dump truck range. When not working, he enjoys fishing, playing hockey, pottering around on the plot with his kids, and more fishing. As a committed Christian, Deon believes that his skills and talents, such as problem solving, are gifts from God. When his desire to get involved for God coincided with an invitation to join iThemba as a trustee, it was an easy offer to accept.
To establish meaningful relationships with people who live in Sweetwaters/Mpumuza
To provide the training, resources and support for the improvement of the education systems in Sweetwaters/Mpumuza
To work with all people regardless of race, religion, culture and gender
To reach a new generation for Jesus Christ and raise the moral standing of the next generation
To sustain and direct our efforts by means of prayer
Accountable To be open and honest with our stakeholders and seek to be accountable as well as encouraging accountability with those we work with.
Approachable People of all ages, races, religions, cultures, males and females are able to interact with us freely, openly and with mutual respect.
Biblical truth Ensure that all our work, relationships and discipling come from the authority of Scripture.
Compassion and mutual respect Support for needy people.
Honesty and Transparency Be honest about what we can and cannot do. Ensure that we under-promise and over-deliver.
Individual and community development Encourage self-help and interdependence rather than dependence on us. Create projects that are replicable and sustainable.
Openness to new ideas and to change Hear (and appropriately evaluate) different opinions from leaders and others.
Networking Work with like-minded people, organisations and initiatives, accepting our differences.
Obligations and Objects:
To care for and develop abandoned, abused, neglected, orphaned or homeless children
To provide support to those looking after such children
To train unemployed members of the community in order to create income generating programmes
To discourage total dependence on social welfare
To reduce social problems associated with poverty and unemployment
To build relationships of credibility and trust by establishing youth, support and Bible Study groups
To work together with schools, teachers and parents
To manage feeding programmes to benefit those affected by HIV and AIDS
To develop and maintain child care centres where children can gather and be taught skills and sports
To produce work of high quality which will be recognised internationally
Our Philosophy of Community Engagement:
We understand and acknowledge that helping can be a two-edged sword, bringing apparent benefit to distressed communities while at the same time creating a legacy that is less than beneficial. When itís not done right, helping can create dependency and foster a sense of helplessness and loss of self- esteem in the target community and its members.
We are committed to thinking carefully about the type of help we offer. We want our giving to be a gift that builds capacity, meets real needs and encourages the needy to participate in their own upliftment. We want our beneficiaries to grow and mature, to gain the skills they need to eventually stand on their own two feet. Our giving must be empowering to the community rather than just providing temporary relief. We want our giving to be sustainable so that the benefit outlasts our involvement with the community.
We believe in being open, honest and accountable with all our stakeholders, and will seek to encourage similar accountability in those we work with. We want to be honest about what we can and cannot do, and do our best to under-promise and over-deliver.
We believe that all people are equal, and will endeavour to ensure that we treat people as equals, respecting their opinions and ideas. We acknowledge that we will learn more from our beneficiaries, than we will be able to teach them. We believe that it is important to listen more than we speak, and to hear and appropriately evaluate the opinions of the community leadership.
We serve the people of Mpumuza, commonly known as Sweetwaters. We attempt to create as sustainable an environment as possible, and are constantly learning new and better ways of doing effective community development.