“If we are to see our country thrive then we must work together to empower and support community-based organizations to fulfil their mandate of uplifting their communities through social programs.” said Vivian Reddy, chairman of the Sibaya Community Trust when addressing the guests at the handover ceremony of Imbeleko Digital Academy, a project on which Sibaya Community Trust spent R1 million to build.
This was so profoundly expressed when Sibaya Community Trust prioritised the need to provide sustainable solutions by building this infrastructure which will house a fully functional Digital Academy to empower 1000’s of vulnerable children and youth living in rural Communities in the Valley of 1000 Hills, thus preparing them for a life-time of knowledge.
In her speech, the Imbeleko Foundation co-founder and CEO, Sbusisiwe Myeni said – “In rural Valley of 1000 Hills communities; deep – rooted inequality and under- development has weighed families down in a vicious cycle of poverty. Our goal is to inspire and empower rural children and youth to experience new opportunities and become advocates for self-sufficiency for youth throughout South Africa – through education, workplace experience and entrepreneurship. This Academy is a huge step towards achieving our vision and we cannot thank Sibaya Community Trust enough.”
The Imbeleko Model is a unique development in the Valley of a thousand hills, offering a digitized training space. The Vision of Imbeleko Foundation was a solid and tangible one leaving behind a legacy for the future generation to come.
Reddy added that the following facilities were provided in terms of the infrastructure with various other sponsors coming on board to make the Academy fully function. They include EOH, Defy, McKinsey, Advantage Learn as well as Bank of America Securities in partnership with iSchoolAfrica.
Three digital classrooms – beneficiaries will access iPads with various online learning platforms as well as Coding and Robotics. The classrooms will also be utilised as a Training Space to teach tech skills to entrepreneurs and financial literacy to local youth and women entrepreneurs – with plans to expand the Infrastructure into a Digital Marketplace that will give them access to local and international markets.
The Kitchen will provide nutritional meals to 300 children who attend Maths, Science and English classes.
The Planter Boxes are an extension of a vegetable garden that will supply the kitchen.
The Courtyard will be covered in due course – creating more working space for learners to have homework discussions, read, share meal, s and extramural activities
Ablution Facilities include a paraplegic toilet
This project is one of our initiatives that displays the true ethos and values that underpin the work of our Trust. It further reinforces that we are passionate and deeply rooted around practical initiatives that will leave lasting and meaningful legacies within local communities.
We are proud and humbled to have spent over R230 Million on projects, a large spend was focused on Education which included the massive MADI project costing us over R14 million to help youth attain excellent pass rates in science and maths, this included upgrade of classrooms, digital study facilities, bursaries and much more.
We have built additional classrooms at many schools around KwaZulu-Natal, including upgrade, restoration, and renovations. Our Skills Centre in Kwadukuza has seen over 1400 graduates qualify, attaining great results in the fields of Plumbing, bricklaying, plastering, welding and administrative skills.
Amongst our other projects are included the Food For Life Kitchen, Soup Kitchens in various parts of KwaZulu-Natal, the Kwamashu Child Welfare, The Sahara Shelter for Abused women, Lakehaven Childrens Home, etc.
Our list of community upliftment projects is endless, and we have served over 250 NPOS to go out daily and do phenomenal work. Reddy thanked Sbu Myeni for bringing this project to the Trust and EOH who has done a fantastic job in being a co-sponsor. Through partnerships, so much more can be achieved he added.