Kwaze kwasa is an organisation founded in 1990 by women who came together after the post-apartheid era which were the likes of Bertha Gxowa, Elizabeth Thabethe, Lucy Shale, Lungile Mtshali just to mention a few. The only misfortune is that the founders are late however their legacy lives on through the services that continue to serve the community.
What inspired the Kwaze kwasa organisation was to help empower women within the community with skills development however with time the country went through the HIV/AIDS pandemic, then Kwaze kwasa saw an opportunity to do more and they then started with the Kwaze kwasa home based care (HBC) for ill people in the community. This initiative was financed by the Department of Health.
As the country was faced with a huge number of fatalities because of HIV/AIDS, most families were left with no parents and children turned into orphans, with no one to care for them. The organisation sat down to find a solution to assist child headed households.
They started a day-care centre in a small shack while searching for sponsorship to offer a helping hand of which did finally happen as now they have a facility for Early Child Development and they also serve the community with Home Based Care for the elderly as well as vulnerable children. They provide mostly Psycho-social support counselling for children who have been exposed to abuse and neglect and also those struggling with grief.
Kwaze kwasa does door to door outreaches and health care awareness in so doing they are able to identify homes within the community that need urgent assistance. The organisation provides food parcels which are sufficient for three months. They empower beneficiaries with skills such as food security (gardening) jobs, learnership programme and also information to those who need bursaries. They have proudly raised and produced business owners, social workers and graduates whom went to college or university through the services and referrals of the organisation.
Since the new Covid 19 pandemic more challenges have come forth and more demand for service is needed. Kwaze kwasa organisation has touched many families including the proud and ambitious Project Manager Nonhlanhla Mashinini born in Katlehong who lost her mother at a tender age and had to raise her siblings all by herself. Although her story turned out victorious as she has graduated in the field of Business studies and since the high rate of unemployment, she found herself serving the community which was encouraged by her former mentor, coach and co-founder Lucy Shale.
It is but a breath of fresh air that gives the community hope, restoring smiles and laughter in sad homes Kwaze kwasa brings light in the darkness….as the light shines through, new beginnings dawn.
By Thato Mofokeng