About the organization

Ubunye Foundation
Zimbabwe | Founded in 2002 | Thousand Currents Partner since 2010 | www.ubunyefoundation.co.za

Located in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, the Ubunye Foundation was originally established in 2002 by the founders of Kwandwe Private Game Reserve. Ubunye’s programmes have developed organically in response to local priorities and over 15 years they have grown to become an independent non-profit organization with a reputation for innovation and a genuinely developmental approach. In a context of economic poverty and psychological and spiritual ‘woundedness,’ Ubunye, which means “togetherness” in isiXhosa, aims to support people to realise their own agency and ability to shape their lives and communities in the following positive and lasting ways:

Leadership development – Ubunye builds local capacity for the long-term by supporting the growth of individuals as catalysts for change in their communities through the ‘Community Champion’ model as well as supporting the development of strong and active community structures that enable informed, collective decision-making and enhance sustainability.

Savings Groups and Financial Education – Groups of 10-25 individuals save together using a simple yet powerful model that encourages financial discipline and independence, helps people to access affordable credit, and to break out of crippling cycles of debt. It also supports the growth of social capital (trust, support and reciprocity).

Livelihoods – Ubunye tackles unemployment and enables meaningful livelihoods through life skills courses aimed at enabling people to realise their potential, find and keep employment, or create their own; and through basic business training and mentoring, using participatory asset-based community driven development tools to support people in identifying opportunities.

Integrated Early Education and Health – Ubunye’s integrated early childhood development programme emerged from the desire of rural self-help groups to create safe and stimulating spaces for children. Within the homes of willing community members and making use of their own resources, pre-schools were established which now provide a structured daily educational programme, supplementary nutrition and support for family health and parenting.

Learn more about Ubunye’s work on our blog.