January 25, 2008

MAZON Mission to South Africa, Day 4

By Sarah Steinberg

The MAZON Mission continued its journey to visit our grantees in the field and see first hand their effects and workings. Yesterday we visited IKAMVA LABANTU (“the future of our nation”). One thing we continue to see in the field of anti-hunger whether it’s in Brooklyn or the townships of Cape Town, is the importance of what individuals can do to make a difference. In the South African case, we came across an amazing woman name Helen Leiberman who founded Ikamva Labantu in the late late 1990’s. It had its roots in the the clandestine “struggle” during the apartheid era. Today it has grown into a $4-5 million dollar internationally recognized network of independent community-based organizations seeking to improve the quality of life for residents in the townships. They work at the intersection of early childhood education, AIDS, youth empowerment, economic development and home-based care.