Ikamva Labantu 60 years Logo

Celebrating 60 years of Ikamva Labantu

As we approach 60 years of Ikamva Labantu and this important milestone, we reflect on our humble beginnings, but also on how much we have grown. We are privileged to have joined hands with remarkable community members, leaders and activists. We will continue to be led by the community whose voice and ownership are at the heart of everything we do.

There have been many pivotal moments over the six decades of Ikamva Labantu’s rich history. We bought land and built schools, preschools, seniors’ clubs, and multi-purpose centres. We helped young children, orphan children, school-aged children, destitute people, the blind, the disabled and seniors. Today, the organisation is a registered non-profit and public benefit organisation with 122 employees, 90% of whom come from the communities we serve. We will continue dedicating ourselves to improving the lives and opportunities of the people living in Cape Town’s township communities so that they can thrive.

After many years, we decided to concentrate on our three core programmes: Early Childhood Development, Older Persons Programme and Afternoon Angels Programme. Through the ongoing commitment and incredible support of our staff, community members and donor family, we were able to once again address the challenges and achieve great impact in 2022. We now look to the future of Ikamva Labantu as we continue to learn and collaborate with our community partners and strive to meet the needs of our township communities.

“People often ask me why I went back into the townships after my first visit in 1963. The answer is simple: I saw hope, and I wanted to be a part of that hope. After experiencing the destructiveness of Apartheid, I wanted to join a movement towards a better future for the country. I also could not live with myself, knowing what I had just seen and knowing I could use my training and resources to assist.”

Helen Lieberman, Founder of Ikamva Labantu

The launch of Stichting Ikamva Labantu in the Netherlands

We are very excited to announce that in July of 2022, we established Stichting Ikamva Labantu in the Netherlands to grow our network of supporters further and develop new donor partnerships. This is an important step in the growth of Ikamva Labantu internationally. Alongside Friends of Ikamva Labantu in the USA and the UK, Ikamva Labantu in the Netherlands will support us in fundraising. We look forward to the opportunities this new foundation in the Netherlands will provide Ikamva Labantu and our programmes in the future.

Messages from


Director’s Message

Ishrene Davids

Our 60-year celebration is the fruition of the strength of one individual who stepped forward and the many thousands who led the way. For the past 60 years, there has been an exemplary display of dedication and selflessness towards underprivileged communities by the founders and mamas of Ikamva Labantu. Countless individuals, activists, and volunteers have inspired Ikamva Labantu to continue its work in communities in the townships. Their unwavering commitment has brought about significant changes and improvements in the lives of their fellow human beings. Through various community-led initiatives such as education, seniors support, health, training, and psychosocial outreach, they provide hope and opportunity, daily. The impact of this dedicated service is immeasurable, as it has not only provided vital assistance, but has also instilled a sense of empowerment and belief. These remarkable individuals have set an inspiring example for generations to come, reminding us all of the power of compassion and the ability to make a difference in the world.

Chairperson’s Message

Neetesh Ramjee

On behalf of the Board, we are particularly proud to reflect on 60 years of Ikamva Labantu, its programmes and how much the organisation has evolved. In 2022, we established Stichting Ikamva Labantu in the Netherlands – another great stride to grow and ensure the sustainability and prosperity of Ikamva Labantu. This is in addition to the boards that we have in the USA and UK who have been growing the awareness and support for our programmes over a number of years. We extend our immense gratitude to Ikamva Labantu’s committed staff, partners and generous donors. Your contributions bring hope to thousands of people and Ikamva Labantu could not do its work or change people’s lives without you. In this annual report, Ikamva Labantu’s remarkable impact is exceptionally clear. We look forward to the future and continuing to serve Cape Town’s township communities to ensure all people have the opportunity to thrive.

Founder and Honorary President’s Message

Helen Lieberman

The last few years have proven the strength, legitimacy, and the skill and dedication of every member of the Ikamva Labantu family. As we look to the future, we are very conscious of the changes there have been in South Africa. Under the leadership and guidance of Ishrene, we are well poised to move forward facing further obstacles and opportunities. We are blessed to enjoy the work ethic and dedication of each other that assures the further success of Ikamva Labantu. Here’s to another 60 years of community-led service to ensure a better future for all in South Africa.



Early Childhood Development

Ikamva Labantu’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programme has a rich history that dates back to the late 1960s. During this time of Apartheid, in defiance of the security police who harshly sanctioned public gatherings, courageous community women opened their homes to provide care for children while their mothers went to work. Over the years, our partnerships with the local ECD community have grown and evolved, to create a deep understanding of township preschools so that we can better serve the preschool children in their care.

Since 2012, the ECD training programme has been enhancing the skills of preschool practitioners and principals to improve the quality of ECD opportunities in the townships, creating a nurturing and stimulating environment for young children to develop holistically.

Ikamva Labantu’s best-practice model preschool in Khayelitsha, Kwakhanya Educare, serves as a training facility where practitioners gain practical experience and mentorship.

Ikamva Labantu’s Registration Helpdesk was established in 2015, to assist principals and guide them through the registration process in order to access government’s early learning subsidies and critical income.

In 2022, the training programme returned to full face-to-face instruction, after virtual delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic, graduating 31 principals and 61 practitioners. We assisted 42 preschools to register this year and had 417 preschools on our Registration Helpdesk.

This video highlights our Early Childhood Development training programme and speaks to the importance of the first 1 000 days of a child’s life that forms the foundation upon which they build their future.

Implementing the gender equality curriculum

In response to the high levels of gender-based violence in South Africa, we piloted a gender equality curriculum. With this curriculum, we strive for gender transformative education that challenges traditional gender norms and stereotypes, and promotes mutual respect, acceptance and equality of all gender identities.

We aim to give preschool children a safe place to explore and talk about their gender identity and to help them develop healthy relationships. Viewed through a gender transformative lens, the curriculum makes practitioners think about how children learn about gender identity and norms through play, interactions and language. The curriculum also encourages building partnerships to involve the children’s homes, families and communities.

Through this curriculum, embedded in our Early Childhood Development training, our practitioners will be able to evaluate their actions, communications and lesson plans to make sure they do not promote gender-bias or discrimination. Starting with our society’s youngest members, we hope this will result in a future egalitarian society that is inclusive and free from gender based harassment, violence and discrimination.

Older Persons Programme

Amplifying the voices of older people and ensuring their human rights are realised, as well as enabling them to have better health and well-being has been a cornerstone of Ikamva Labantu’s work since the 1960s – when brave anti-Apartheid activists dedicated themselves, sometimes risking their lives, to provide care and sanctuary for the vulnerable elderly population. These efforts led to the establishment of 21 community-led seniors’ clubs in the townships, which receive support from Ikamva Labantu’s Older Persons Programme.

The seniors’ clubs are safe havens that provide these valuable citizens, who spent most of their life under Apartheid, with access to a wide range of services. These include:

  • Nutrition and two meals a day
  • Health and psychosocial support
  • Cognitive stimulation and socialisation
  • Opportunities for income generation

Clubs are places of warmth, peace and community – a refuge from the struggles they face at home, which promotes dignity and companionship. In 2022, Ikamva Labantu’s festive and vibrant Cultural Day was a major highlight for local senior citizens, and this was particularly apparent after enduring the isolation that the Covid-19 pandemic brought to many older people.

Life in the townships for older people is extremely hard. Many are isolated, neglected or abused and have to care for their children and grandchildren with a meagre old age pension. There are limited health and social services dedicated to older people, and for an older person who is bedridden and alone, accessing help can be nearly impossible. Our Umelwane project, or ‘neighbourhood friend’, is a home-based model that provides health and social support to both frail older people and their caregivers.

In 2022, 21 senior clubs supported 1 182 older people, and 767 frail seniors received home-based care. Relate is an integral part of Ikamva Labantu’s Older Persons Programme. This partnership helps support our seniors to have opportunities for income generation. In 2022, 435 seniors participated in the making of cause-related bracelets and collectively earned R408 590.

Community-based rehabilitation services

In response to the lack of disability rehabilitation services for senior citizens in the townships, we expanded our Older Persons Programme to include community-based rehabilitation services. Many older people in the townships have treatable impairments and disabilities, but due to limited services and referrals or lengthy waiting periods for mobility devices, they are not able to lead full and independent lives, with many being frail and home-bound. With inadequate rehabilitation services, participants develop secondary impairments or disabilities such as muscle contraction or pressure sores, which has a negative impact on their day-to-day lives.

In 2022, Ikamva Labantu welcomed Siphokazi Sompeta, an Occupational Therapist with a wealth of experience in improving the lives of older people with disabilities. From May 2022, Siphokazi conducted assessments on the rehabilitation requirements of 107 elderly individuals who receive home-based care through Ikamva Labantu. For each person, our Occupational Therapist worked alongside family members to identify their needs, engage in problem-solving and develop a personalised rehabilitation plan.

An essential aspect of this cost-effective service is empowering overwhelmed family members with the skills to take an active role to assist their relatives. It is critical for carers to feel that they have the knowledge to help and that they too are supported. Siphokazi worked closely with and trained our community-based workers to screen for impairments and in simple rehabilitation techniques, which can be shared with families and caregivers to support their elderly relatives at home.

“Rehabilitation improves function and overall well-being of seniors. Once a senior has function, they can do their daily activities with minimal assistance from their families or caregivers. Rehabilitation supports families and caregivers of seniors with information, services and skills, making them confident in meeting their relatives’ rehabilitation needs. Ikamva Labantu has filled a gap by providing a service that speaks to seniors who have been left to recover by themselves at home without any form of rehabilitation or who have been asked to wait another year for an essential mobility device. The overall aim is that seniors are not seen as burdens within their families, but important members and elders within their communities who deserve dignity and respect.”

Siphokazi Sompeta, Ikamva Labantu’s Occupational Therapist

A story on the impact of the community-based rehabilitation services

An 81-year-old senior, Thandiwe*, was suffering from hypertension, a heart condition and arthritis. Thandiwe’s main challenge was fatigue and swollen legs from the heart condition, painful joints and difficulty walking from the arthritis. She was given tablets at the clinic, which assist in decreasing the swelling by draining excess water from her body.

This medication made her pass urine more frequently, and as she struggled to walk, she ended up wetting herself. She was also using a bucket, which was very low down for her, so she struggled to sit down on the bucket without pain. Eventually, she tried using disposable diapers, but this frustrated her.

Through Ikamva Labantu’s community-based rehabilitation services, our Occupational Therapist, Siphokazi Sompeta, assisted Thandiwe. Siphokazi provided Thandiwe and her caregiver with education on arthritis, heart disease and hypertension and advised that it can result in peripheral vascular disease (PVD), which causes the narrowing of blood vessels. Siphokazi explained that the pain, aches, fatigue, cramps and swelling she was experiencing is from PVD as it affects the circulation system, which can be dangerous. Siphokazi gave advice on regularly elevating her legs and feet to try ease her symptoms. Due to Thandiwe’s arthritis, walking or any movement was especially difficult. Siphokazi also provided guidance on pain management, joint protection, as well as mobilisation or joint movement exercises not to worsen her arthritis.

Our Occupational Therapist issued the senior with a commode, adjusted to her height, so she no longer has to use a bucket. The senior is now using the commode with the aid of a walking stick. As she has now been exercising as part of her rehabilitation, she is finding walking easier and can move around the house. Before our intervention, it was difficult for Thandiwe to do self-care activities, such as bathing and it required her caregiver’s assistance. She has now gained more function and is able to bathe herself independently.

*Not a real name

Afternoon Angels

Children have a right to be safe and supported throughout their school years. Sadly, life in Cape Town’s townships does not always allow for this. Most schools lack extracurricular activities and aftercare facilities, and many parents only 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. This time on the streets increases their exposure to the dangers of violence, abuse, crime, gangsterism, school dropout and substance abuse. Growing up amid these circumstances can stifle a child’s ability to grow and thrive.

Ikamva Labantu’s Afternoon Angels Programme supports dedicated women to provide protection and nurturing care to children after school. These women open their homes to provide a place where the children can receive a nutritious meal, emotional support, and play and learn in a safe and loving environment.

In 2022, there were 29 Afternoon Angels sites that supported 1 884 children. The Afternoon Angels Programme provides children with food, skills training, sports and recreation, psychosocial support and excursions. Ikamva Labantu held uniform, stationery and sports equipment donation drives for distribution to Afternoon Angels children. Our community-based workers also successfully completed their Peace Discipline Behaviour Management Training over six weeks.

Some of our Afternoon Angels sites provided soccer and netball. We also hosted a netball tournament for our children to get involved in. We recruited street marshals to assist with sports at these sites and ensure the safety of our children. The street marshals are local youth who are unemployed and are paid a stipend for their assistance. We had many partnerships, including Isivivana, who provided movie screenings and Save our Seas who sponsored marine workshops. 156 parents or caregivers graduated after being trained over an eight week period.

Children’s Forum

Ikamva Labantu recently launched the Children’s Forum, which aims to shape and upskill young leaders attending the afterschool clubs to become the voice of their peers and communities, as well as develop their confidence and public speaking. The Children’s Forum is in partnership with Habonim Dror, a non-profit organisation that focuses on educating the Jewish youth about social issues. Children, identified as leaders in their afterschool clubs attended a two-day training workshop on leadership.

Habonim Dror was instrumental in the training, which was conducted in the school holidays. The training focused on the role of monitors in the afterschool clubs, unpacking challenges and expectations from those the young leaders represent. The training also introduced public speaking, which received a great response from the children.

This is an initiative by Ikamva Labantu’s Phambili Department under the Afternoon Angels Programme, which brings young leaders or monitors together from the Afternoon Angels sites. Monitors are responsible for the day-to-day running of the afternoon programme.

Their duties range from arranging the daily activities, administrating the register and ensuring that the children’s needs are being catered for.

“The forum is aimed at enhancing the children’s leadership skills, increasing their confidence and resilience while standing out as the voice of their peers in their communities,” says Mejury Mushanguri, Ikamva Labantu’s Phambili Programme Manager.

Communiversity: a story of change

Communiversity is a three-month, pre-college programme with online classes young people can attend, under the supervision of Ikamva Labantu monitors, to prepare them for tertiary education. The classes include mathematical literacy, English communication, introduction to engineering science, computer applications technology, introduction to entrepreneurship, basic economics, debating, career guidance and personal development. Students also get support with applications and submissions for Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Higher Education and Training (HET) and National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). In 2022, we had 72 students graduate from Communiversity.

This is a story from Siseko Mshudulu, a 22-year-old young man from Gugulethu.

He was with Ikamva Labantu’s after school programme for five years and went through the three-month Communiversity course to help him get into tertiary education.

“I started at Ikamva Labantu as a young, naughty boy who just needed guidance on life. I was introduced to the programme by my friends in Grade 6 and there were a lot of activities for us in the programme, but I was more interested in debates and computer literacy. I started to enjoy coming to the centre, because I saw that I was learning something new every day and our facilitators helped us enjoy the programme.

In 2020 I passed my matric and then I started to look for higher education institutions for available space, unfortunately I couldn’t find one. I started to lose hope and I gave up on my dreams to go and study. I spent two years of my life looking for work, but there was no luck in that too.

In 2022, Zimkhitha Dywili, a facilitator for Ikamva Labantu’s afterschool programme Afternoon Angels, came to visit my home and checked my well-being. I told her that I was struggling to find a school. She introduced me to a programme called Communiversity where it helped me prepare for a tertiary institution, they helped us by applying for NSFAS and we were also taught life choices during the sessions. I was happy to be there as a student and the facilitators were amazing. At Communiversity we had free lunch and we didn’t even pay for transport – all because of Ikamva Labantu.

I then completed the three-month course at Communiversity, and I was accepted at Westlake False Bay College, which I’m currently at now. I am doing a three-year Safety and Society Course and I am grateful to Ikamva Labantu for never stop believing in me. There are payment challenges that I am having with NSFAS that really put a strain on my unemployed mother, but I’m grateful that Ikamva Labantu has yet again done amazing work in assisting me while I am waiting for NSFAS. I would recommend Ikamva Labantu’s afternoon programme to every child who wants to bring positive things to his or her life, because Ikamva Labantu gives a solid foundation to young children.”



The activities presented in the 2022 annual report would not have been possible without Ikamva Labantu’s wonderful staff members who work tirelessly to implement our programmes and create real-life impact. The Ikamva Labantu staff team looks forward to continuing working together with the inspirational community members in Cape Town’s townships.

Kwakhanya Educare gains a new principal

In May 2022, our preschool, Kwakhanya Educare welcomed a new principal. Nocawe Nompunga has experience being a principal in two different preschools and is currently studying lay counselling to learn to better assist children and other clients from socially challenging backgrounds. Nocawe’s passion for early childhood development is evident and we are sure our staff and children will continue to flourish under her leadership.

“I enjoy working at Kwakhanya, because it is a community educare that assists children in need with a safe space to learn, play and enjoy two warm, nutritious meals a day.”


Nocawe Nompunga, Principal at Kwakhanya Educare

Meet one of our Senior Club Assistants

Eubetina Noluthando Maphempeni joined Ikamva Labantu in 2018. She looks after the seniors at Noluthando 1 Seniors Club in New Crossroads. Eubetina has always enjoyed caring for the seniors and bringing positive change to their lives. Eubetina feels free and comfortable with this generation, and enjoys listening to their stories and sharing knowledge with them.

The seniors need to be comfortable calling her to the side to talk about any challenges they are facing. For her, this is important because some are carrying major burdens of family issues where they do not feel loved, so she has to show them love in the club as they spend every day of the week with her. Some are experiencing abuse at the hands of their own children or grandchildren so the club provides a safe haven for them. They often need help with wills to avoid family conflict when they pass on. Many of their issues require Eubetina to refer them to our social workers to ensure they get all the help they need.

“I was inspired to apply as I always dreamed of working with older people. The seniors who join our clubs face many difficulties at home so I have to be approachable to them as they spend a lot of time with me. They should always be happy here and be able to participate in activities so they forget their problems. One of my highlights is that the seniors are able to trust me enough to tell me their problems and I find ways to work with them and try to help.”

Eubetina Noluthando Maphempeni, Senior Club Assistant


Ikamva Labantu collaborated with many partners in 2022 to implement our programmes. We would like to thank our partners for working with us to make a difference in the lives of the people in Cape Town’s township communities.

Alzheimer’s South Africa
Arthritis Foundation of South Africa
Baphumelele Respite Care Centre
Beaconvale Frail Care Home
Breadline Africa
Centre for Early Childhood Development
Clowns Without Borders South Africa
Communiversity of South Africa
CPOA Erica Place
CPOA Lilyhaven Place
Dementia SA
Department of Education
Department of Fire
Department of Health and Wellness
Department of Home Affairs
Department of Social Development
Disaster Management
Elle Orford
Environmental Health
FoodForward SA
Healing of Past Memories
Heart & Stroke Foundation
HearX Foundation
IHATA Shelter
Ikhaya Labantu Care Home
Ikhaya Loxolo Lase Frail Care Centre
Ilitha Labantu
Ilitha Lekamva

I-Section Neighbourhood Watch
Isilwana Security Rehabilitation
Isivivana Centre
Jonga Trust
Khayelitsha Development Forum
Khayelitsha (Site B) Community Health Clinic – Dental Department
Kings College Land-Use-Stocks & Stock
Light from Africa Foundation
Lingelethu Police
Michael Mapongwana Community Health Clinic – Oral Health Department
Neighbourhood Old Age Homes (NOAH)
Persona Doll
Philani Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition Trust
Radio Zibonele
Relate Trust
School for International Training South Africa
Sound Future Group
South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)
Tehilla Community Collaborative
The Association for the Aged (TAFTA)
The Mayor’s Office
Town Two Community Day Centre
UCT – Psychiatry and Mental Health
UWC – Department of Dietetics and Nutrition
UWC Faculty of Dentistry & Department of Community Oral Health
UWC – School of Public Health
Yebo Fresh



In 2022, 380 generous donors from around the world supported Ikamva Labantu. A massive thank you to each and every person and organisation for investing in our work and entrusting us with your support. Without your assistance, we could not have made such a significant impact in improving the lives of the people in Cape Town’s township communities. Ikamva Labantu’s staff and the communities we serve appreciate every contribution. Your generosity has brought us gratitude and hope to take strides towards a better future for all. We trust that this report shows you the remarkable impact and difference your generous investment has made in people’s lives.



Ikamva Labantu prides itself on good governance and our committed Board of Trustees and Protectors is made up of individuals who are dedicated to Ikamva Labantu. In 2022, we were extremely proud to launch Stichting Ikamva Labantu in the Netherlands. We are immensely grateful to our board members in the USA, UK and the Netherlands for supporting the growth of Ikamva Labantu’s international fundraising 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

UK: Ikamva Labantu Board of Trustees

Barbara Alikhani
Carl Snitcher
Noeleen Cohen

FOIL USA Board Members

Trevor Norwitz (Chair)
Shannon Norwitz
Carla Stein
Judith Milne
Jeanette Kruger
Grant Smuts
Ericka Fur

Netherlands: Stichting Ikamva Labantu Board Members

Frank Lenselink (Chair)
Maarten Smits
Paul de Ridder



Ikamva Labantu Charitable Trust

(NPO registration number 082-581)

Annual Financial Statements for the year ended 28 February 2023

Statement of Financial Position as at 28 February 2023

Notes 2023
Current Assets
Trade and other receivables 2 384,267 827,211
Investment: Endowment fund 3 12,219,634 9,565,421
Cash and cash equivalents 4 20,833,650 20,737,695
33,437,551 31,130,327
Non-Current Assets
Property, plant and equipment 5 14,071,002 15,638,458
Total Assets 47,508,553 46,768,785
Equity and Liabilities
Current Liabilities
Trade and other payables 6 1,402,508 1,390,406
Designated funds 3,410,446
General funds 33,886,411 32,356,273
Endowment funds 12,219,634 9,611,660
46,106,045 45,378,379
Total Equity and Liabilities 47,508,553 46,768,785

Annual Financial Statements for the year ended 28 February 2023

Statement of Comprehensive Income for the year ended 28 February 2023

Notes 2023
Revenue 7 52,227,141 70,378,843
Other income 8 688,066 562,397
Operating expenses 9 (53,651,263) (59,323,654)
Operating (deficit) surplus (736,056) 11,617,586
Investment income 10 1,464,093 635,119
Finance costs 11 (371) (361)
Surplus for the year 727,666 12,252,344
Other comprehensive income
Total comprehensive surplus for the year 727,666 12,252,344
Total comprehensive surplus/(shortfall) attributable to:
Designated Funds (16,194,322) (6,518,889)
General Funds 14,267,775 11,395,702
Endowment Funds 2,654,213 7,375,531
727,666 12,252,344

Download the full financial report