Meet our Founder & current Chairperson

It was the late 1990’s in the Cato Manor clinic and she had again come face to face with a sickly and skeletal baby with young teenage mother both ravaged by the effects of HIV/AIDS and heard the mothers' desperate plea “please Ma, who will look after my baby?”

iThemba Lethu meaning ‘I have a destiny’ was founded in November 2000 by Professor Anna Coutsoudis (on the right in the photo above) and her team of seven equally bold and pioneering board members.

The heart and purpose of the organisation was, and still is, to bring hope through God’s destiny for vulnerable and orphaned babies, children and youth threatened by the effects of HIV/AIDS, by building resilient and permanent families through reunification, adoption and life skills education. 

  • Opened 2 transition homes in Manor Gardens for 6 babies in each home
  • Created the first Breastmilk Bank in South Africa
  • Developed a 5 year Life Skills Curriculum with auxiliary Parent/Caregiver Programme for pre-adolescent learners aged 10 - 18 years old

In June 2015, after 15 years at the helm, Anna handed the Chairperson reigns to Mark Slaughter (on the left in the photo above) , an equally courageous warrior with a passion to protect and empower God’s people. Anna's mandate to Mark “create jobs and strengthen Fatherhood”. Mark, supported by an equally valiant Governing Body have been taking the organisation into new ground and key goals and objectives include:

  • Employing a married couple (mother and father) as house parents for transition homes vs a single housemother
  • Updating Year 1 of the 5 year life skills curriculum in collaboration with other NGO partners and increase use of technology links and resources
  • Implementing a Trinitarian Leadership Model for effective internal management and transparent governance (Marketing, Operations and Admin/Finance)
  • Development of Self Help Groups for Parent/Caregiver income generating projects 
  • Initiating the creation of a company Emfuleni Enterprise Development with iThemba Lethu as the 100% shareholder

The primary calling remains "to take care of the orphans and widows in their times of distress" James 1 vs 27

For more information please contact Marketing and Fundraising Co-ordinator

Below is a link to the latest Annual Report for your information and inspiration. Audited Financial Statements are available on request from the Financial Administrator

Current Governing Body 2018:

Name Profession
Dr Lihle Qulu Lecturer/PhD School of Laboratory Medicine & Medical Sciences
Kudzai Mqingwana Past Board Member and CSI Manager at Sibaya Community Trust
Mark Slaughter (Chairman) Director at Legacy Pet Crematorium (Pty) Ltd
Mthoko Shange Past employee Team Leader, Facilitator, speaker and owner of Imbizo Foundation
Thuthukile Mkhize Past employee Team Leader; Freelance Trainer/Facilitator
Toby Rochat (Administration) Adoptive Parent; Business Consultant

iThemba Lethu

26 Archer Crescent 
Manor Gardens
KwaZulu Natal
South Africa