The National Development Agency (NDA) heeded a call made by elderly persons at Imizamo Yethu for Elderly Persons in Mdantsane. During a visit by the Social Development Minister and MEC in March last year, Imizamo Yethu elderly persons pleaded with the Minister to upgrade their work and recreational facilities that were previously housed in a classroom at a school next to Imizamo Yethu Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre.
A 12-meter container was handed over by the MEC, Pemmy Majodina, and the NDA at a ceremony held on 1 February 2013 in Mdantsane. The container houses an administrative office and work stations for 30 elderly persons. The centre is the first of its kind in Mdantsane, used as a facility where the elderly gather and make handcrafted materials for sale.
Pillows and other sewn materials are sold to locals while there is also a big demand for their cooking wonder boxes, with a regular consignment dedicated to the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa (WESSA). Wonder boxes are cloth-made pots that require very little use of electricity or any other form of heating to prepare food.
"This partnership is in line with the NDA's continuous efforts to work with poor communities and eradicate poverty, as well as our National CSOs Capacity Building Plan which aims to implement capacity building programmes that uplift these very communities", says Nokulunga Skeyi, NDA Provincial Manager.
The MEC of Social Development, Mayor of Buffalo City and CEO of the National Development Agency officially handover the container to the Imizamo Yethu for Elderly Persons.
"The availability of this container has gone a long way in motivating and building our confidence; it has drawn attention from the community. It will enhance our production capacity as the premises we were operating from were not adequate," says Priscilla Sondishe, Imizamo Yethu Services Centre beneficiary.
The project is a good example of government cohesion as this is a special programme that the NDA undertook to extend the services already offered to Imizamo Yethu Centre by the Department of Social Development who are funding the Imizamo Yethu ECD centre.
The NDA will also handover an additional three sewing machines to assist in the expansion of the business. Imizamo Yethu is a profit-making organisation whose beneficiaries do not receive monthly stipends; the income is shared equally amongst members at the end of the year.
The NDA's primary mandate is to contribute towards the eradication of poverty and its causes. It provides development grant funding to civil society organisations to implement integrated and sustainable community-driven programmes and contribute towards the eradication of poverty in the following focus areas: