AS SOUTH Africans struggle to make ends meet, a Gauteng NGO, Rhiza Babuyile, is helping communities in areas like Orange Farm, Diepsloot and Alexandra with much needed healthcare, skills development and other projects The NGO was founded in 2005 under the name Babuyile Community Development, initially focused on skills and enterprise development for former inmates. Now, its goal is to aid communities to become sustainable within five to 10 years.
“Our focus is to eradicate extreme poverty, close the gap of inequality and develop communities. We develop township communities through holistic community development which includes programmes related to healthcare, skills development, enterprise development and education,â€ spokesperson Mmabaho Makotanyane said.
She said between 2013 and 2016, they implemented projects in Alexandra, Fisantekraal, Diepsloot and Orange Farm. “We have heard hardship stories in our townships and work tirelessly in making a difference,â€ Makotanyane said. In 2015, Elizabeth Tavavaringwa came to enrol for an IT course and told the NGO about her story.
“Tavavaringwa was bitten by a snake in 2004 in the evening and was unable to get to the clinic as she had no transport. On the following day she was told to come back after a week to be treated, but by then her leg was swollen and had to be amputated. Rhiza Babuyile is raising funds to get her a prosthetic leg,â€ she said.
In Diepsloot, there are only two clinics — the queues are also long and often patients are sent back home without being treated due to the sheer volumes that the clinic deals with. “We started a mobile clinic project and offered health services. The mobile clinic has made things easier for people in townships,â€ Makotanyane said.
The NGO raised funds for the Malesa crÃ¨che in Diepsloot, after receiving a proposal from the founder, Lerato Malesa, about the poor state of the crÃ¨che. The school was operating in a RDP house with 15 children all housed in one room.
“We offered training for teachers, and the crÃ¨che has 46 children. In May last year, we built three classrooms, one kitchen, office and bathrooms for girls and boys. Now, the children are allocated according to their age groups, and there are no longer potties,â€ she said. Rhiza Babuyile is assisting five crÃ¨ches, three in Diepsloot, one in Alexandra and one in Finetown.
Some of their signature projects includes the Jozi business hub in Diepsloot and their fashion and design skills development project in Orange Farm. The business hub was started to offer business management training, to help formalise students to businesses, to give business mentorship and support so that young people can empower themselves and develop their communities. Students are mentored by multinational companies and given an opportunity to further their studies through Unisa.