Our mission is to catalyse investment in community driven, quality Early Childhood Development (ECD). We want to see a fair start in life for children aged 0-5 years in marginalised communities.
We will only see an equal tomorrow when children are given a fair start in life.
Research shows that the first years of a child´s life are crucial and that the effects of malnutrition and poor stimulation are almost impossible to repair.
The South African Annual National Assessments in schools clearly show that the poorest quintile of pupils enter school in grade 1 already at a lower level of achievement than the richest quintile. This gap widens until grade 4 and stays constant through to adulthood, leaving the poorest section of the population increasingly marginalised with poorly skilled young adults who will likely fail to access decent work.
We build on what already exists by investing in existing grassroots ECD services.
If it was not for the 700 ECD centres currently in existence in UGU District and the Bizana area in Eastern Cape there would be no ECD services for the majority of children in these communities. Despite their importance these centres remain unknown and significantly under resourced due to the lack of effective systems for data collection and resource allocation.
We get communities, government and business working together to support early childhood development.
WE REACH THE MOST MARGINALISED AND ACHIEVE HIGH RETURNS BY DIRECTING INVESTMENTS AT GRASSROOTS
Experience tells us that isolated ECD services fail to progress due to lack of access to information and support.
Our aim is to identify and profile unknown ECD services, to develop strategic partnerships and lobby support from government and other We do this in response to the significant lack of opportunities and resources on the ground which cements cycles of inequality for generations to come. By working closely with government and building relationships with the private sector we mobilise investments in grassroots ECD.
Interview with founding Chairperson, Nomkhosi Mdluli, talking about our history and why we started.
Impande Foundation (formerly Network Action Group or NAG) was established in the year 2000 by Nomkhosi Mdluli, a local woman in UGU District with a passion of facilitating social change in communities. Her vision in establishing Impande was driven by a need to create a platform for information sharing where local organisations could interact and deliberate on real issues affecting their communities. This became an appropriate platform for linking these organisations with various stakeholders including government, simultaneously building their capacity to manage and run community initiatives.
During its establishment, the majority of organisations that were affiliated to Impande focused mainly on HIV/AIDS which at that time was the major concern for communities in UGU District. With time, more organisations focusing in other areas of community development became members of Impande and a network organisation with multiple focuses on social initiatives was born. However, in the past seven years Impande has evolved and now works with organisations supporting children and youth. In other words, in order to service communities more effectively, Impande has refined its strategy to focus exclusively on strengthening organisations that are working with children from 0-5 years old.
Impande currently operates in all four municipalities in UGU District and Ubuhlebezwe and uMzimkhulu Municipalities in Harry Gwala District, KZN. In Eastern Cape we operate in Ntabankulu, Umzimvubu and WM Mandela Municipalities in Alfred Nzo District.
The people that work at Impande share the vision and values of grassroots development.
Mandisa has more than 20 years’ experience working with Community-based Organisations (CBOs) in UGU District and has been Impande Chairperson for the past 7 years. Mandisa is passionate about rural women and linking them to opportunities to recognise and develop their passions and talents. She runs a development consultancy with vast experience in victim empowerment and community works programmes, as well as being a very talented trainer.
Co-ordinator in the office of the CEO at National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) and former researcher and programme manager at UKZN Graduate School of Business and Leadership in local economic d Nolwazi brings links to NEDLAC, the university and research as well as youthful energy to the board of Impande.
Inkosi Mxolisi Xolo
Chief of KwaXolo Tribal Authority and Deputy Chairperson of the UGU District house of traditional leaders. Inkosi Xolo is passionate about development of rural communities and is actively involved in many initiatives impacting KwaXolo tribal authority and beyond.
Nozuko previously served as an advisor to the board when she was working for national government. In 2017 she joined Impande as Executive Director. Nozuko has vast government and civil society leadership experience with the Aids Foundation and the Department of Social Development. She is passionate about supporting grassroots organisations and comes from Alfred Nzo District Municipality in the Eastern Cape.
Mathilda pioneered Zenzeleni crèche more than 20 years ago and built it into a fine example of early learning centre in a rural community – Manzamhlophe. Mathilda has wide experience and knowledge in the field of ECD and CBO management and has been a vital person on the Impande executive committee for the past 8 years.
Brian Liggett (Ex officio)
Brian has ten years’ experience working with rural Community-based Organisations in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). His undergraduate studies in human geography and postgraduate in rural development led him to pioneer Impande office and programmes over the last 9 years. He was a founding member of Siyavuna.org.za and Siyakwazi.org and sits on many government forums. Brian has knowledge and experience working with government and extensive government networks in KZN, Eastern Cape and at national level.
All our work is grounded in community participation. Our advisory committee comprise of elected representatives from grassroots organisations who drive our network agenda and inform what we do.
Dweshula Drop In Centre
Othandweni ECD Centre
Khulisa ECD Centre
Bringing Hope ECD Centre
Sakhokuhle ECD Centre
Bhekamanyuswa ECD Centre
Ubuntu Abande HCBC Centre
Khalipha ECD Centre
Lithas ECD Centre
Zenzeleni ECD Centre