As South Africa continues to grow and evolve as a new democracy we sometimes forget the incredible need that still exists. I have seen and heard so many stories of ordinary people stepping out of their comfort zones to help the less fortunate. Uthando is this kind of effort. The name, translated from Zulu, means love. Reading through their projects, seeing the faces of the elderly and children that Uthando helps I can see the love.
Uthando initiates and/or supports a number of projects that improve the lives of people in the impoverished townships of the Western Cape. As South African Government decreases their social spending it has become important for projects such as Uthando to fill the gap. They won’t shy away from any need, whether it is caring for at risk or disabled children to establishing home vegetable gardens, or caring for the elderly.
I think the best part of this project is that it doesn’t just offer a hand out to the people. It actually empowers them through educational opportunities, skills training, child care and agricultural initiatives. Uthando is creating a way for township residents to become self efficient.
This is a non profit program that relies on third party funding, but they also offer a tour through the townships. They take interested visitors to the township to show them around but also to enlighten them on all the good that is sprouting out of volunteer projects. Uthando prefers to call their tours, philanthropic not township tours. As one spokesman said in a You Tube video, they aim only to shine a light on the Uthando initiatives and some of the good that is coming out ofSouth Africa.
Read more about Uthando and the fantastic grass roots programs that is changing the lives of the underprivileged from the ground up.
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Author: Principle writer – Celeste Wilson
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