Isibani Sethemba

Isibani Sethemba empowers local communities affected by HIV and AIDS in Ingwavuma, a rural community in the far north of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Poverty is a huge issue. Unemployment is estimated at 60% and 49% of families have no income at all. 35% of households still don’t have access to water and sanitation. The HIV infection rate is estimated at nearly 41%. AIDS-related illnesses are the leading cause of death among adults, leaving many children not only without parents, but with little or no extended family. Grandmothers are often caring for several of their grandchildren.

This context results in many children not attending school and instead being employed for child labour. In the last three years, most regions in South Africa have experienced drought and Ingwavuma is one of the areas that has been most affected. This has worsened the extreme poverty and misery that people face.

Kenneth Macheri is the Director. E3 has supported this work for a number of years and is partnering in:

  • Supporting 450 orphaned and vulnerable children and in particular grandmother-headed households. This includes creating community food gardens to help families provide for themselves in a sustainable way.
  • Church strengthening activities, including income generating activities for 136 local pastors so they can earn a living and provide for their families, as well as marriage counselling and training.
  • Educating 594 women who look after orphaned and vulnerable children to save part of their government social grant to help with education costs in the future for those children.
  • Supplying of Bibles to 37 pastors with another 99 pastors waiting for a copy of the Bible.
  • Budget: £7,200

Following an E3 pastor training workshop, a group of pastors worked together to start a vegetable garden. E3 funded a pump to bring water from a nearby river. They are planting beans and potatoes and will use the proceeds from what they sell to help support their families. Like all the communities in which we work, pastors do not receive wages from their local churches and struggle to earn a living to support themselves.