Names: Lindokuhle Zikhali & Nobuhle Ngidi
School: Chesterville Extension Secondary School
Community Issue: Community Development
Hometown: Chesterville, KwaZulu-Natal
“….It helps a lot because these children need young people that they can relate to, and guidance, especially because they grew up without parents. I have seen an improvement in the learners – they are far more disciplined and less volatile. It is good to see them doing their homework and being excited about school.”
Mama Mkhize from Ngilonde Community Care Centre
South Africa has an estimated 3.7million orphans, over half of these due to parents dying of AIDS related causes (UNICEF). A number of these are living in child-headed households and require the support of community care centres before finding longer-term solutions or foster homes. In Chesterville, a township of about 15 000 people in Durban, one centre – Ngilondile – is striving to provide a safe environment for orphaned students, some of them the head of the household. They provide care, motivation and homework assistance for over 200 orphans.
Community Action Project
Grade 11 students, Lindo and Nobuhle and their team want to help young people channel their passion for their community to improve infrastructure. Five learners from Chesterville Extention Secondary School started the initiative “Through it all, Do it all” to address food and education issues, and give back to the older members of their community. This has resulted in three separate projects being run – a fruit and vegetable garden at the school; homework club at Vukukhanye community centre and; weekly visits to an old-age home to help residents with chores like washing dishes and cleaning.
At Vukukhanye they assist the young people with their homework and motivate them to lead positive lifestyles. With the money they won from enke’s Incubator Fund they have held sessions on positive attitudes and inspiring action for a better community – this included purchasing stationary for the students and providing food at the peer-education sessions.
Over 100 people have benefited from this project so far. Mama Mhkize from the centre says she has seen an improvement in focus and behaviour of some of the young residents of the home. Seeing them become more excited about school and learning has given her hope that young people will be able to make many changes in her community. She believes Chesterville residents need to contribute to building their community because the government cannot, and that’s what makes these Lindo, Nobuhle and their team so inspirational.
Community members are now recognising the members of “Through it all, Do it all” as young change makers and in the process the adults are changing their attitudes about the power and capabilities of young people.