You Know our name, this is #HIStory
IThemba Lethu meaning ‘I have a destiny’ was founded by in November 2000 by Professer Anna Coutsoudis and her team of seven equally brave, and pioneering, board members, The heart and purpose of the organistaion was, and still is, to restore the destiny of babies, children and youth threatened by the effects of HIV/AIDS, by building families through reunification, adoption and life skills education.
As such, iThemba Lethu has been commited to strengthening the youth in schools and community of Cato Manor in eThekwini, KZN for the past 16 years.
Through collaborative partnerships with other NGOs, their Life Skills Curriculum has been used and shared in several communities: Amaoti, Cottonlands, Valley of 1000 Hills, Bergville and all the way down to Cape Town. However, many of the vulnerable babies and children placed in their transition homes have come from various parts of KZN.
The services offerd are categorized into three programmes:
- 1. The Family Integration Programme – To care for 6-12 orphan and vulnerable children aged newborn to three years old in two transition homes in Manor Gardens, in order to facilitate their Reunification/Adoption into permanent forever families. To date, iThemba Lethu has facilitated 93 adoptions and 26 reunifications, They’re no longer orphans, they’re now sons and daughters, being raised in secure families.
- 2. The Breastmilk Bank – To increase awareness of the importance of breastfeeding, and to collect donated breastmilk that is used to nourish the vulnerable babies in the transition homes, Year on year, a steady number of local and international breastfeeding mothers donate their excess breastmilk for the benefit of nourishing 6-12 vulnerable babies, to ensure they can develop and flourish as they grow.
- 3. The HIV Prevention Programme – To reduce risk-taking behavior in the youth via the 5 year Life Skills Behavioural Change Intervention Programme in local schools, and to strengthen their home environment through education and enterprise initiatives. The Life Skills Programme inclides Class Sessions, Youth Clubs, One-on-One Counselling, Holiday Clubs and Leadership Development, as well as Parent Workshops, Home Visits, self-Help Groups and Enterprise Projects. The first pilot cycle was in 2002 with 350 learners, and currently iThemba Lethu has implemented their ninth 5 year cycle, impacting over 1600 youth, their families and the community of Cato Manor.
Marketing & Fundraising Co-ordinator