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Nelson Mandela is famously quoted as saying: “As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest”.

Inspired by this ethos, as an employment and skills development provider, i-Fundi continuously looks for opportunities to better the lives of the youth and unemployed in South Africa. To honour Madiba’s legacy, the i-Fundi team spent Mandela Day, 18 July, engaging in service at Othandweni Family Care Centre – a project of Jo’burg Child Services in Soweto. Othandweni is home to 30 infants and 60 older children.

The Home provides a safe and loving environment by catering to the children’s physical, emotional, spiritual, and educational needs.

United in camaraderie, i-Fundi undertook to give back by donating necessary goods and parcels, as well as selflessly labouring in the cleaning of the premises, gardening and feeding the children at the Home.

i-Fundi staff sweaping at Othandweni Family Care

Some of the i-Fundi staff clearing out weeds along the pathway at Othandweni Family Care Centre on Mandela Day.

According to Fariba Bowen, Director of Operations and Support Services at i-Fundi, “the day was as rewarding as it was emotional”, she says.

“Seeing infants and children from abandoned, abused, and neglected backgrounds was heart wrenching. It made me appreciate the need to support our communities in caring for vulnerable children.”

Othandweni supports children up to the age of 18, guiding them through their education up to matric level. Understanding the plight of unemployment in South Africa, i-Fundi sees an opportunity to support the youth of Othandweni in securing possible employment opportunities through learnership placements, or further education in vocational skills training. This is the opportunity that i-Fundi has pledged to seize. “We are definitely looking into establishing further cooperation with the Home, to continue to support their children to become adults who will positively influence the future of South Africa”, says Bowen.