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. 

the challenge

of children are developmentally at risk due to malnutrition and poor stimulation

of ECD centres operate from poor facilities with minimum resources.

of the women working in ECD centers lack income.

our Operations

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.

our approach


Local Staff and Network with Community buy-in


Strong government relations and partnerships


Investment unlocks government funding


System in place to map preschools and allocate resources

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.

South Africa continues to face systemic marginalization and dire poverty where children are stunted and unstimulated. Statistics show us that most poor children in South Africa continue to be in the former homeland areas of KZN, Eastern Cape and Limpopo provinces. Alfred Nzo district, the most recent area we have started working, is the poorest district in the country according to Stats SA multiple deprivation index and performs poorly (bottom 10 districts in the country) on pediatric health indicators in the district health barometer.

Good-quality early learning services are of particular importance when it comes to ensuring children from poor households are supported in their development and readiness to learn. The Thrive by Five Index show that 61% of South African preschool children from poor communities are behind or at risk in their development. This is of great concern as 90% of brain development happens before the age of 5.

We get communities, government and business working together to support early childhood development.​

We build on what already exists by investing in existing grassroots ECD services.

If it was not for the 1459 centres currently in existence in the areas where we work, there would be no ECD services for children here. Despite their importance, ECD centres in marginalised communities remain unknown and significantly under resourced. This cements cycles of inequality for generations to come.

Whilst South African government policy is pro-poor, government regulations for support of ECD centres are such that more than 50% of ECD centres do not manage to access the ECD (partial care) subsidy, further disadvantaging the poorest children. In WMM Municipality the situation is even more dire, only 25% of ECD centres that exist have partial care registration. The majority of these centres operate from buildings that do not meet minimum standards. These centres run from makeshift buildings such as shacks and traditional mud structures and lack toilets facilities.


Experience tells us that isolated ECD services fail to progress due to lack of access to information and support.

Our work fits into the broader landscape by providing a strong response to the 2021 ECD Census. This was a process in which Impande was highly involved. It is the first time that a census of ECD centres has been done in South Africa and it has revealed there are a huge number of unsupported ECD centres in existence.

Impande works work closely with government, stakeholders and the private sector to drive investment in grassroots ECD. All our work is grounded in a solid ECD network to ensure community participation and effective resource allocation. The Impande journey represents a holistic approach to ECD. To ensure sustainable ECD programmes we work towards registration of more centres with the aim of increasing subsidies. We also see to immediate needs of nutrition, infrastructure and ECD resources. To achieve quality, we provide ongoing support and training to strengthen institutional capacity and classroom practice.

meet the team

The people that work at Impande share the vision and values of grassroots development.

Brian Ligget

Siphindile Gasa

Nosipho Gumede

Sanelisiwe Ncama

Nelisiwe Rabukana

Muzi Ncane

Nondumiso Mbatha

Maria Ligget

Sthombe Sibiya

s'lungile mnikathi

christiaan pieters

Aphiwe fAKU

Asanda Dabula

nwabisa msomi


Interview with founding Chairperson, Nomkhosi Mdluli, talking about our history and why we started.

Play Video

Impande Yotshani NPC (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.


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.

Xolisile Ndawo

Masakhane ECD Centre

Thulisile Zenda

Nongese ECD Centre

Balungile Dzabile

Khulisa ECD Centre

Nontokozo Mbanjwa

Thuthuka ECD Centre

Noluthando Mabinda

Othandweni ECD Centre

Thulisile Kheswa

Bhekamanyuswa ECD Centre

Thembeka Mkhize

Ubuntu Abande HCBC Centre

Constance Mtshali

Khalipha ECD Centre

Ntombenhle Mbatha

Lithas ECD Centre

Mathilda Ngcobo

Zenzeleni ECD Centre

our board

Mandisa Luzipho

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.

Nolwazi Mthembu

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 department Nolwazi brings links to NEDLAC, the university and research as well as youthful energy to the board of Impande.e.

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 Majola

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 Ngcobo

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.