A full time director was appointed to iThemba Projects with a view to building sustainability and growing the work which now included extensive work in 4 creches, 2 Grade R classes, quarterly teacher training workshops, 5 Bible study groups, 3 holiday camps, a life skills programme, a cross country running club, school assembly work, a ladies support group, the Saturday JKC, training workshops for Christian children’s workers and a partnership in teaching English communication to schoolchildren in Sweetwaters. Staff had grown to 4 full time members and 1 part time staff member and more than 50 volunteers added capacity, many on a weekly basis.
While remaining accountable to Hilton Baptist Churhc (a major funder), iThemba Projects began to fall under the umbrella of the iThemba Trust. A generous donation allowed iThemba to employ a consulting organization to set up structures, procedures and policies. The organization continued to make use of office space at the church.
A concerned group of people from Hilton Baptist Church met to discuss what could be done to help uplift the neighboring poor and disadvantaged community of Sweetwaters. A group of women decided to teach beading and sewing skills to women in Sweetewaters to give them a means of earning an income.
The church began a feeding scheme and the running of a Saturday kids club – the jabulani Kids club – that provided fun activities for children on Saturdays and continued to build connections with the children of Sweetwaters. The weekly Bible study and the ladies group meetings continued.
The first iThemba Staff member was employed to develop the work with the children in Sweetwaters and to investigate the long-term goal of assisting preschools in the area as well as setting up a new preschool in the community. An intern also began working with iThemba in 2006 as well as a further staff member in the form of a foreign missionary who committed to the work for a year.
During 2006, the Jabulani Kids Club (JKC) continued to grow, another bible study group was started and the first iThemba teens camp was held. Working in the community had led iThemba to recognize the lack in preschool educational facilities in the area, and a request had been received from the community for assistance in this area. The international missionary had foundation phase education training and so support of educators in schools in the Sweetwaters community began. An educational programme was established which focused on Grade R learners. The 3rd iThemba Kids Camp took place during this year.
The iThemba Trust was formed and 2 more full-time Zulu speaking staff were employed to assist with the work in Sweetwarters. Inkosi Zondi, the local chief, met with iThemba to share how impressed he had been with the work he had seen the team doing in the area and donated a piece of ground to iThemba to use as a permanent base. This land was zoned for a preschool which fitted well with iThemba’s goal of establishing a preschool in the area.
Fifty children from Sweetwaters attended the first iThemba Kids Camp – a short holiday at the seaside. Relationships were formed with these children and a need for follow up was identified, leading to the formation of a weekly Bible study group for kids.
© 2017 iThemba Projects
Phone: +27 (0)31 0200 200
Physical Address: 8 Pin Oak Avenue, Hilton, Unit 07,
Pin Oak Park, KwaZulu-Natal, 3245 South Africa //
Postal Address: Box 765, Hilton, 3245 South Africa