Ikamva Labantu Commits to South African Health and Education Development as Part of CGI 2011

Sep 30, 2011, 07:00 ET from Ikamva Labuntu

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, September 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

At the Clinton Global Initiative 2011, Ikamva Labantu, one of South Africa's longest-standing social development organizations, announced that it will be launching a Health and Wellness Center and an Early Childhood Development Training & Resource Center in the Khayelitsha township outside Cape Town by the end of 2011.

These two centers will employ a uniquely interlinked approach to the improvement of health and education in the township areas of Cape Town, providing necessary support and resources for thousands of vulnerable members of these communities.

Ikamva Labantu is a non-profit, non-governmental Trust dedicated to supporting those who are most vulnerable in South Africa's severely deprived township communities. Through three focused program areas - Community Health, Community Learning and Development, and Community Resources - Ikamva Labantu touches and improves the lives of orphaned children, impoverished children, youth at risk and vulnerable senior citizens.

The Early Childhood Development, Training, and Resource Center will provide services unique to South Africa's township communities, serving as a best practice model for experiential learning. The center aims to empower community caregivers through the creation of a holistic learning environment, which will incorporate a school, as well as an on-site training facility and parent center. Through practical and experiential training within the school setting, community educators and parents will be better equipped to provide guidance and education to children placed in their care.

The nearby Health and Wellness Center will act as an all-encompassing preventative health care destination, promoting and educating caregivers and their beneficiaries about health-conscious behavior, disease prevention and the vital role of nutrition, even with limited means.

Incorporating a wide-range of services and activities, and collaborating with other NGOs and partners in order to deliver services, dispense medications and refer patients, the center will serve as a prototype for community health promotion, education, awareness and preventative health, capable of being replicated in other parts of the country.

Helen Lieberman, who founded Ikamva Labantu in the early 1960s, and continues to serve as its Honorary President, believes that resources such as these will prove invaluable in terms of developing and uplifting Cape Town's impoverished communities.

"Ikamva Labantu has always employed a community-driven approach to social development, reacting to the requirements of our beneficiaries by supplying them with resources that will ultimately empower them, and enable them to live fulfilled lives," says Lieberman.

"These centers will act as key building blocks in the development of our communities, providing them not only with necessary care and support, but with the relevant skills and knowledge required to promote independence and self-sufficiency."

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About Ikamva Labantu

Ikamva Labantu is a South African non-governmental, non-profit organisation assisting and empowering vulnerable families and communities in township areas. The organisation traces its roots back to the 1960s and the apartheid era when Helen Lieberman and other community activists started working on addressing the severe lack of services and support for black communities. Today, Ikamva Labantu touches the lives of more than 25,000 people every day including over 1,000 children in 300 foster homes; more than 12,000 pre-school children in 200 under-developed daycare centres; and about 540 senior citizens in 17 seniors clubs.

The organisation's programs are focused on three main areas - community health; community learning and development; and community resources. These programs are interlinked to ensure that community leaders, teachers, parents, caregivers and families are empowered to find and implement solutions, with resources and guidance where necessary, enabling them to achieve independent and fulfilled lives for themselves, and for those whom they help and care for.

SOURCE Ikamva Labuntu