54 Practitioners,

29 Principals
Graduated from ECD

443 Preschools
on registration helpdesk

50 assisted to register
this year

75 Children
attended Ikamva
Labantu’s model
preschool, KwaKhanya


1119 Senior citizens + 649 Frail senior citizens received services during the year.

197 Senior citizens earned income from Relate beading.


  • Food parcels
  • Psychosocial support
  • Nurse home visits

29 Afterschool sites

1110 Families received maize meal


164 Community Kitchens

Each provided food for an average of 232 people 3 times a week

Together served approx. 506,000 meals per month


Psycho-social support is offered across all programmes and includes telephonic counselling, referrals and sharing information through WhatsApp messaging.

649 people supported through interventions.


14 entrepreneurial ventures supported

As life returns to normal after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, at Ikamva Labantu we reflect on the solidarity, ingenuity and inspiration that has galvanised township communities during this turbulent time. In a moment of uncertainty and unprecedented threat to lives and livelihoods we, together with our donors and other partners were privileged to join hands with remarkable community members, leaders and change agents to address the challenges of the pandemic to achieve great impact in 2021.

In June 2021, Ikamva Labantu was honoured to receive two Mayoral Committee Service Awards to acknowledge its partnership with township communities during COVID-19. We were able to be at the forefront of these efforts due to our long-standing relationships and networks of trust, developed over decades with courageous community members. Through these, we were quickly able to develop a strategy to address the most urgent needs and formulate responses to reduce contagion, address the burgeoning hunger crisis and adapt our programmes. It was at this time of immense upheaval that the value of deep and honoured relationships was witnessed through the commitment of our staff, community members and donor family.

Since the start of 2022, we moved from our COVID-19 emergency response to resume regular programming. It is now time to leverage the many lessons of the pandemic to build greater resilience to social and economic shocks and to work further to address the rights and dreams of citizens living in the townships. Our emphasis going forward is Ikamva Phambili (‘future forward’) which speaks of an organisation that is future-focused and able to rise to the challenges that we face as a collective. Embracing our emergent strategic approach, we will continue to flexibly innovate and enhance new projects to address the changing needs of township residents while learning and collaborating with our partners.

We are proud to work towards 4 of the global Sustainable Development Goals.

Messages from


General Manager’s Message

Ishrene Davids

As the head of Ikamva Labantu, I remain thankful for the privilege of working alongside our protectors and board, our dedicated staff, community leaders and project participants who dedicate themselves to the betterment of the lives of their fellow South Africans. This is the Ethic of Ikamva Labantu’s proud 59-year history which I hope to continue serving for many years to come. We appreciate the generosity of our donors and partners who provided immense support and resources that allowed us to continue our work.

Chairperson’s Message

Neetesh Ramjee

On behalf of the Board, we extend our immense gratitude to Ikamva Labantu’s 125 staff members and fieldworkers who continue to go over and above what is required of them in order to help build and care for their fellow citizens.

I am particularly proud of the organisation’s innovation when it comes to fundraising and programme activities in what was a truly tough year economically. In 2021, with the help of many amazing individuals and corporates, we were able to launch Ikamva Labantu’s Endowment fund to ensure the sustainability of the organisation and the longevity of its impactful programmes.

This selfless giving enables our organisation to bring hope, happiness and healing to tens of thousands of men, women and children living in Cape Town’s most vulnerable township communities.

Ikamva Labantu is pleased to present the Annual Report and financial statements for 2021. We look forward to working hand in hand with the community leaders to develop their programmes and partner with more like-minded individuals and corporates both locally and globally.

Note from Founder and Honorary President

Throughout my many years of community involvement, the support and encouragement of Ikamva Labantu’s wise, caring protectors and trustees have enabled me to enjoy and continue my 60 years of involvement in diverse and disadvantaged communities.
My privilege has been the learnings, the friendships, and the creation of the organisation named Ikamva Labantu.
Hundreds have built it and Thousands are participants. All sharing the same sincere caring and deep commitment to improving the lives of Others

Helen Lieberman

Take an Ikamva Labantu Virtual Tour

During the lockdown period of the pandemic, the Ikamva Labantu family and community missed the regular visits to programmes from friends, funders, and partners. These community visits have always been a vital part of building deep relationships of mutual understanding.

Therefore, as a means of sharing the remarkable work that was taking place, we created a virtual tour of Ikamva Labantu’s programmes and activities for our partners to be kept updated and to meet the inspirational community activists with whom we partner.

Click on the video below to take the virtual tour.



How it all began

Ikamva Labantu’s Programmes developed over the last six decades to address the injustice of Apartheid and poverty, and continually evolves to tackle the emergent needs of our participants, while staying true to its founding ethos of building communities that thrive.

Click on the video which takes a brief look into the history of Ikamva Labantu and pays homage to its founding members. This video highlights the ingenuity and determination of community members who made great sacrifices to innovate change in the harsh and unjust conditions of the townships.

Early Childhood Development (ECD)

Ikamva Labantu’s early childhood development (ECD) activities were started by courageous community women in the late 1950s who opened their homes to take care of children while mothers went to work.

The organisation has grown and refined its founding ECD initiatives. Since 2012, the ECD team has partnered with township community preschools to train principals and practitioners in best-practise techniques to raise the level of education so that the most vulnerable children are school-ready, as well as support these preschools to be financially sustainable.

“Children need to be holistically mentally stimulated and nurtured, as part of the preparation for their scholastic years,” says ECD Programme Manager, Mildred Bopoto. “Early stimulation plays a huge role in academic performance in the later years.”

Ikamva Labantu’s best-practise model preschool in Khayelitsha, Kwakhanya Educare, serves as a training facility where practitioners gain practical experience. This is complemented by onsite mentorship in the classroom by Community-based Workers (CBWs) so that participants gain knowledge and confidence to provide a nurturing and stimulating environment for children.

In 2021, Ikamva Labantu delivered its ECD training programme virtually, thus gaining experience in a flexible delivery model. To prevent contagion, the practical aspect of training at Kwakhanya preschool was suspended. However, from February 2022 we were pleased to welcome a new cohort of participants for face-to-face theoretical and practical learning. Our programme delivery will continue to be flexible, according to the changing status of the pandemic.

In response to the high levels of gender-based violence in the country, we recently initiated a new project to deepen our work in gender equality in preschools and in the home so that boys and girls may grow up in a more egalitarian setting and learn to share mutually respectful spaces. This work will be embedded in our ECD training.

Building Sustainability of Precious Community Preschools – Auntie’s Educare

Nandi Ntantiso is the principal of Auntie’s Educare Centre. She took over the preschool in 2015 when her aunt passed away, starting with a large group of 78 children. The Khayelitsha-based principal joined Ikamva Labantu’s ECD training and graduated from the ten-month training course in December 2021.

Nandi’s preschool was one of the 189 community preschools supported by Ikamva Labantu with monthly food parcels during the pandemic, preventing hunger for thousands of children and their families.

“I have always loved this work and was involved in running the preschool when my aunt was still alive. I used to help her, so it wasn’t difficult to take over because she taught me everything. Nothing was too challenging except not being able to access funding.”

The course took place via virtual learning using smartphone technology to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Nandi believes that the training has made a positive impact on the preschool. “The way we work has changed a lot since I started to attend the training. We know how to talk to the children properly without shouting at them. We set up our theme table every day. The training has been a real eyeopener,” she says.

Ikamva Labantu has also supported Nandi to obtain funding from the Department of Social Development and is helping with building plans, zoning, and fire safety so that Auntie’s Educare can be fully registered to obtain further funding.

This community stalwart loves children and doesn’t want to see the children in her community roaming the streets. She encourages parents to bring them in even when they are struggling to pay fees. For Nandi, the children’s safety, not money, is a priority.

Nandi’s dream is to see her preschool fully registered and financially sustainable.

Senior Citizens

Thousands of senior citizens in Cape Town’s townships are living in abject poverty and regularly experience isolation, abuse, and neglect. There are extremely limited health and social services to address the needs of these precious citizens who have lived most of their lives under Apartheid.

During the 1960s, specifically in the townships and Cape Flats, many selfless community members took care of vulnerable elders, ensuring they had a safe haven, warm meals, and medical care. These initiatives led to the establishment of 21 senior citizens’ clubs in the townships that are supported by Ikamva Labantu’s Senior Citizens’ Programme.

The clubs provide a ‘home from home’ for the elders in the community, a safety net of social support which offers an environment of health, psychosocial care, and companionship along with opportunities for income generation through Ikamva Design, our social enterprise.

In 2021, the senior citizens received their services at home to prevent contagion from COVID-19. Dedicated radio programmes on local radio station Zibonele FM not only provided entertainment for those stuck at home but also delivered programmes on important topics such as health and senior citizens’ legal rights.

While the clubs were not being used, Ikamva Labantu took the opportunity to renovate the ablution facilities at 14 clubs so that participants can bathe in dignity as many do not have decent facilities at home. In addition, the clubs have been fitted with Clearvu perimeter fencing to protect their participants and assets and to provide opportunities for outdoor recreation such as gardening.

When the COVID-19 vaccine became available through the Department of Health, Ikamva Labantu educated and supported senior citizens to be vaccinated. This project was a great success, with most participants now being vaccinated. Vaccination is a critical step for senior citizens to reintegrate into the community after spending so much time in isolation at home. We are proud to announce that the clubs are back in full swing, with participants enjoying reconnecting with their peers. This must-watch video describes what it was like for the elders during the hard lockdown period and the joy that they now feel being back at the clubs.

Going forward, in response to the lack of disability rehabilitation services for senior citizens in the townships, we plan to expand the Senior Citizens Programme, making it increasingly holistic to include rehabilitation for persons with disabilities. We have recently recruited an Occupational Therapist who will train Community-based Workers in simple rehabilitation techniques which will also be shared with families.

Relate – The thread that connects us

For well over a decade, Relate has been an integral part of Ikamva Labantu’s Senior Citizens Programme. This partnership adds tremendous value to our goal to support our seniors to age actively and with dignity. In 2021, over 300 senior citizens participated in the making of the cause-related bracelets, and collectively earned R233 605.00.

Relate is a 100% not-for-profit social enterprise, which raises money for charities globally and create jobs for the underprivileged.

We are proud of our continued partnership with Relate and grateful for their unwavering support of our seniors.

Visit www.relate.org.za to find out more.

Getting Creative with Ikamva Design

An important component of the Senior Citizen’s Programme is the beautiful crafts that participants create while learning new skills and earning an income through our social enterprise, Ikamva Design. In 2021, they participated in specialised beading and looming training to advance their skills.

According to the Programme Manager, Lulama Sigasana, “The beading training is very important because when we received big orders, we found that there were only 11 seniors that could do this type of beading. So, we could not accept orders as we did not have a good foundation of skilled seniors. Hence, we decided to go back to the roots in terms of upskilling our seniors to make sure that we have a broad base who are trained. Our target is to train the 400 seniors who are also beading for the Relate bracelet social enterprise”.

“When I was talking to the seniors, I said ‘you guys are business people because you are not restricted to only working for Ikamva Labantu. You can also bead to sell in your communities’. In essence, these skills are ensuring financial sustainability for running their homes.”

Mnyamezeli Mpama, 77, a member of Ncedisizwe Senior Citizens’ Club in Khayelitsha says “It’s been years since I joined the club. This beading training keeps me busy as I now have something to do. I have been learning and it hasn’t been difficult. Instead of sleeping at home, my mind and body are focused on beading and the time moves really fast. I’ve been beading for about six years for The Relate Trust. I like the fact that I’m living a good life, I’m healthy because beading keeps me busy. This is really not difficult – they show you once and you are good to go.”

Afternoon Angels

Most township schools lack extracurricular activities and aftercare facilities, and many parents return from work late. As a result, when the school day is over, children are often left to roam and play in the streets unsupervised, increasing exposure to violence, crime, gangsterism, abduction and drugs. Children in the townships are particularly vulnerable to school dropout.

The Afternoon Angels programme was started by a group of 53 women from Cape Town’s townships in response to this crisis. These women opened their homes to local children to provide a place of safety where they can receive a nutritious meal, emotional support, and a place to play and do their homework in the afternoons. This is a preventative intervention that keeps children away from the dangers of the streets and provides a warm, nurturing environment for them to feel safe, supported, and free.

In August 2020, we partnered with the Afternoon Angels to pilot an innovative outdoor street soccer project, with the support of street safety marshals, recruited from the community, who are paid a stipend. After being piloted at 4 sites, the project extended its benefit to 9 sites in 2021.

The project is run by the Afternoon Angels and supported by Ikamva Labantu Community-based Workers. By employing local youths as safety marshals and soccer coaches, the project has led to a new vibrant movement of ‘taking back the streets’. In the future, the project will extend to a further 6 sites, providing greater opportunities for children’s physical and social development and the ability for unemployed youths to earn an income and develop leadership skills.

“This project helps the kids to make better choices in life. They learn a useful skill that gives them responsibility,” says Vuyisa Mawaba, mother of two boys enrolled in the street soccer project.

Coach Luyanda Ndela says, “This work means a lot to us because we are building families here – teaching children to work together. They are learning how to think. When they are here, they are always active and safe. They miss out on dangers in the townships.”

Meet Thembisa Panziso, Afternoon Angel

Thembisa Sylvia Panziso, an Afternoon Angel in Khayelitsha, discovered that children in her community had nothing to do after school which made them targets of crime and recruitment into gangs. Passionate about the well-being of children, she invited them to her home where they learn social skills, independence, and how to stand up for themselves.

Mama Thembisa relates that in her community, there are broken homes where both parents are substance abusers. In addition, many children live with grandparents who are unable to help them with homework, so there is a great need for after-school care and stimulation.

With Ikamva Labantu’s help, Mama Thembisa can give the children a meal every afternoon. “Since I started the project, no child goes to bed on an empty stomach. There hasn’t been a case of early pregnancy. We don’t have an incident where a young child is using drugs. Before the programme, there was a case of a 12-year-old who overdosed on drugs and there was a four-year-old who was raped and murdered in Khayelitsha. These incidents are no longer prevalent because the children attend the programme after school.” she says.

The children spend some afternoons playing soccer and the younger ones play with educational toys. Mama Thembisa is conscious of gender equality in her centre. “Dolls aren’t only for girls; they also teach boys how to engage with women when they are older to avoid violence,” she adds.

Ikamva Ventures

Community innovation has always been a driving inspiration for Ikamva Labantu. The organisation is built on the ideas and solutions developed by community-based entrepreneurs who are creatively addressing problems using local insights. Since its inception, Ikamva Labantu has a proud history of supporting many such ‘ventures’ of social and economic upliftment through its emergent strategy.

The organisation supports these thought leaders and change-makers by building their capacity and complementing their efforts with resources. In 2021, with the evident need to build socio-economic resilience we placed increased emphasis on identifying entrepreneurs who could grow the assets and resilience of the community.

The Chess Challenge

One of the inspirational ventures is a community-based chess academy, which was started by social entrepreneur Sidwell Mayekiso, who used his own disability grant to challenge and educate children in this strategic game. Sidwell has created a passion for the game and his students have been invited to compete nationally and internationally.

To find out more about the chess academy, watch the video clip.

Supporting Teen Moms

Ntombesizwe Mqhayisa-Basso, based in Mandalay, Mitchells Plain, runs Intyhatyambo Yesizwe ‘Flower of the Nation’ Teen Moms Organisation, empowering young mothers from under-resourced communities. “We motivate them to go back to school so they can break the cycle of poverty. Once you have a baby, life stops, only to realize six years later that you haven’t achieved anything,” says Ntombi. Many teen moms contract HIV and may become suicidal as they cannot imagine how they will cope.

The project started in 2018 after Ntombi studied psychology and communication science where she developed a passion for talking to people. She learnt to put herself in people’s shoes – not to judge as everyone is fighting a battle. “I wanted to focus on the plight of the teen moms as they are often judged by the community. There are many reasons teenagers fall pregnant,” she says.

After starting with only 15, she is now working with 160 young moms, the youngest being 14. Nthombi encourages teen moms to go back to school to get their matric certificates. “Many girls end up in retail jobs, but if they go back to school and get their matric certificates, they can apply for bursaries that have many benefits. And they can later get better jobs.”

Ntombi works with volunteers, including her daughter and a qualified counsellor in the project. Apart from emotional support, she provides the young moms with food, toiletries, bus tickets to school and clothing, using the stipend she receives from Ikamva Labantu and donations from the community. “When you’re around these children, hearing their painful stories, seeing how appreciative they are of the little that we give makes me happy. Just seeing them happy and becoming successful in their studies. As much as I don’t get paid for what I do, I’m happy that I’m contributing to society instead of complaining about what’s wrong.”

Launch of Ikamva Labantu’s Endowment Fund

In June 2021, on Helen Lieberman’s 80th birthday, Ikamva Labantu launched an Endowment Fund, a strategic financing tool to ensure the sustainability of the organisation. The fund will enable donors to secure their legacy so that Ikamva Labantu can continue to partner with communities to realise the dignity of township residents.

“I believe that every human being has the right to a dignified life. There is still so much pain, poverty, and hunger all over the world and now more than ever, we are witnessing the great divide between those who have and those who have not. This absolute poverty is right on our doorsteps and cannot be ignored.” – Helen Lieberman

Thanks to our loyal donor’s generous bids and pledges, we were able to raise much-needed funds for the future. Every rand, dollar and pound will work towards building thriving communities of peace, wellness, self-sufficiency, and enhanced capabilities.

A HUGE THANK YOU from Helen and the Ikamva Labantu family to all our donors, and auction sponsors.

Watch the action of the launch event here.



The activities presented in the annual report of 2021 would not have been possible without Ikamva Labantu’s incredible 120 staff members, 90% of whom are community-based workers who work tirelessly to implement the projects and create real-life impact in our programmes.

You are honoured and respected for your work ethic and courage to continue through unimaginable odds.

The Ikamva Labantu staff team looks forward to continuing building and strengthening communities by working together with the inspirational community members in the township neighbourhoods.

Watch staff members come together to sing the Ikamva Labantu Song in celebration of the Endowment Fund launch.


Ikamva Labantu collaborated with many partners in 2021 in the implementation of the community programmes.

Yebo Fresh
Department of Social Development
City of Cape Town
Waves for Change
Child Safe
Cedric Buffler from Trident
Jonga Trust
Clowns Without Boarders
Light of Africa
Bambelela Healing Arts – Psychosocial training
Mr Ndyebo Genu – Kwakhanya Educare Transport operator
Matumaini Planbuilder – the architect
Town 2 Clinic nurses
Heart and Stroke Foundation
UWC Dental Faculty, Department of Oral Hygiene
Philani Nutrition Trust

Ikamva Labantu would like to thank the video production company Makhulu Media for impactfully telling our story in the videos of this report with grace, sensitivity and care. As a dedicated partner, they have always provided an exceptional service.



THANK YOU to each donor, partner, and friend of Ikamva Labantu for your generous contributions and donations. Without your support, we could not have had such an immense impact during the pandemic.

Your generosity has brought hope, enabled self-sufficiency, activated community networks, and significantly improved the circumstances of thousands of vulnerable men, women and children living in Cape Town township communities during a time of unprecedented insecurity.

The Ikamva Labantu Donor Family remains active worldwide. The township families and Ikamva Labantu staff appreciate every contribution, and we trust that this report reflects the significant impact of your generous investment.



Ikamva Labantu prides itself on good governance and is fortunate to be supported by an extensive donor community. Our committed Board of Trustees and Protectors is made up of individuals who are dedicated to Ikamva Labantu. We are immensely grateful to the loyal support of Friends of Ikamva Labantu (FOIL) USA and UK for spearheading our international activities.

Ikamva Labantu Board of Trustees

Neetesh Ramjee (Chair)
Helen Lieberman
Ilana Shone
Avin Lieberman
Africa Melane
Ntobeko Ntusi

Ikamva Labantu Board of Protectors

Gaynor Rupert (Chair)
Philip Krawitz

FOIL UK Board of Trustees

Noeleen Cohen (Chair)
Barbara Alikhan
Carl Snitcher

FOIL USA Board of Trustees

Trevor Norwitz (Chair)
Shannon Norwitz
Carla Stein
Nancy Muirhead
Judith Milne
Jeanette Kruger
Grant Smuts



Ikamva Labantu Charitable Trust

(NPO registration number 082-581)

Annual Financial Statements for the year ended 28 February 2022

Statement of Financial Position as at 28 February 2022

Notes 2022
Current Assets
Trade and other receivables 2 784,086 109,152
Investment: Endowment fund 3 9,565,421 1,969,105
Cash and cash equivalents 4 20,737,695 16,321,691
31,087,202 18,399,948
Non-Current Assets
Property, plant and equipment 5 15,638,458 16,064,952
Total Assets 46,725,660 34,464,900
Equity and Liabilities
Current Liabilities
Trade and other payables 6 1,347,281 1,338,865
Designated funds 3,410,446 9,929,335
General funds 32,356,273 20,960,571
Endowment funds 9,611,660 2,236,129
45,378,379 33,126,035
Total Equity and Liabilities 46,725,660 34,464,900
* See Note 18

Annual Financial Statements for the year ended 28 February 2022

Statement of Comprehensive Income for the year ended 28 February 2022

Notes 2022
Revenue 7 70,378,843 79,358,015
Other income 8 562,397 299,875
Operating expenses 9 (59,323,654) (67,422,430)
Operating surplus 11,617,586 12,235,460
Investment income 10 635,119 445,615
Finance costs 11 (361) (1,576)
Surplus for the year 12,252,344 12,679,499
Other comprehensive income
Total comprehensive surplus for the year 12,252,344 12,679,499
Total comprehensive surplus/(shortfall) attributable to:
Designated Funds (6,518,889) 8,787,943
General Funds 11,395,702 1,655,427
Endowment Funds 7,375,531 2,236,129
12,252,344 12,679,499
* See Note 18

Download the full financial report