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New development brought by African community group, Umthombo Wolwazi

 Homeless Talk - South Africa 28 November 2019

A community project, based in Dobsonville South Africa, that has taken nine years to establish itself now faces a bleak future, but the future of those it has helped has already changed dramatically. Attempting to create a legacy of hope by tackling HIV, low employment, crime and sports, Umthombo Wolwazi has touched the lives of many, providing support, education and opportunities to those who need it most. (699 Words) - By Musawenkosi Kumalo


Homeless Talk_New Development Brought by Umthombo Wolwazi

Numisani Nhlapo the secretary of Umthombo Wolwazi (Portrait picture - Download to see full image). Photo: Musawenkosi Kumalo

The idea for Umthombo Wolwazi multi-purpose center was formed in the year 2002 .The facility itself arrived in 2007 and started running in the year 2008 .The main purpose of Umthombo Wolwazi is to provide local services within the community of Dobsonville. The organization is working in partnership with the City of Johannesburg which is responsible for the maintenance of the facility.

The organization focuses more on the promotion of HIV/AIDS awareness and education rather than on the promotion of treatment. Dumani Nhlapho the secretary of Umthombo Wolwazi, says, "As an organisation we believe that HIV/AIDS education is cheaper than treatment". The education program promotes the prevention of the disease, while the treatment promotion encourages people to use preventative measures against practices that increase the HIV/AIDS infection among the society.

Given that the government spends millions of rends on treatment, prevention is better than cure. The project brought by Umthombo Wolwazi has made an impact towards the understanding of HIV/AIDS within the community members of Dobsonville and has also promoted voluntary testing with the area.

Umthombo Wolwazi is also engaged in the life orientation skills project, where it provides school children with skills on how to deal with the various challenges that life throws at them.. "This project has brought good results in the passing rate of school children because we also persuade them to take their school work seriously .The life orientation project has also reduce the teenage pregnancy rate and teenage drug addiction among the community" Dumsani Nhlapho.

The organization has managed to develop safety within the area of Dobsonville by introducing the education and crime prevention project .This project has helped the community members  work together with the South Africa Police Service in fighting crime .In the 2008 were the issue of xenophobic attack was the main problematic  issue in our country ,Umthombo Wolwazi held a community dialogue on 31May 2008 to resolve the xenophobic attack issue within its  community which was a success and brothers and sisters learned to love one another .

Dumsani Nhlapho points out that: "As we achieved such outstanding results in solving the problem of xenophobia in the year 2008 we are worried about the evidence showing that xenophobic attacks might come back due to the lack of service delivery such as unemployment.

"As an organization we are working very hard in finding job opportunities for our community members .We have introduced the agricultural project which is still in process .We have approached the Department of Agriculture to help us to start a hydroponic project, but we are waiting for a response. Although we stated in our proposal that we have a security wall and enough land space that for the required 100 square meters with proper access in water".

Umthombo Wolwazi is also helping people by both allowing them to use their skills in the organisation and to learn new skills.  The organization is worried that our schools are not providing the necessary skills to young people in preparation for entering the job market.

The organization has maintained a good working relationship with Moroca Swallows with its soccer team (The Clinics under-14 boys Clubs) .The organization is trying to bring a progressive development program for young.

Umthombo Wolwazi has developed the area of Dobsonville and also provided its community with efficient and effective service delivery .The organization has some ongoing challenges that need to be dealt with: such as lack of funding which has leaded the organization to loose good people with qualified skill due to the lack of stipend provision .The organization also lack enough sponsorship for some of its project such as Agriculture project .But other then that the organization will continue to provide efficient service delivery within its community members.

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