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097-319 NPO

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Young Men Workshop 7-2007 (11).JPGThe aims of this project are that:


  • Leadership agree to focus on economic development
  • They include Sinani and CBO partners in developing LEDs
  • CBOs agree to focus on LED capacity building
  • LEDs are developed together
  • LEDs are shared with Sinani and CBO partners
  • LEDs are implemented

Sinani has managed to get copies of the plans for each community and is sharing these with community based partners. The organization is also consulting local municipalities about how Sinani may support this process, as well as linking CBOs with the municipalities.

CBO Development:

Supporting the development and programmes of community based organisations working on peace, poverty and HIV & Aids

Sinani is increasingly being recognised for quality capacity building interventions which empower community based organizations (CBOs) in areas affected by violence, poverty and HIV & AIDS. The approach of combining focussed training with long term personalised support appears to meet the varied needs of the CBO’s, ensuring sustained developmental impact.

The overall aim of the project is to increase the capacity of community-based organisations to respond effectively to the needs of the community which they serve. More specifically, the following are proposed impact objectives:


  • Improve internal functioning and constructive communication within the partner CBO’s
  • Develop systems of good governance of the partners CBO’s, including strong board or committee functioning and active internal leadership and membership engagement
  • Improve capacity of CBO’s to source funding, including improved fundraising skills and diversity of funding and income generation methods and sources
  • Improve financial management capacity and systems of accountability and control
  • Increase strategic planning to maximise leverage of interventions to meet the needs of communities
  • Ensure that each leader and member of the CBO has a clear role and set of responsibilities
  • Increase the reflective capacity through improving systems of monitoring, evaluation and narrative reporting
  • Improve quality of interventions through accessing specialised training
  • Improve networking with other organisations and state services to increase access of communities to a range of possible support

Sinani has also managed to secure grants for the CBO partners, which the organization supports the CBOs to manage effectively and to use to build their financial track record.

Income Generating Projects:

Supporting small business development with particularly marginalized and unemployed youth and adults

Sinani supports small scale business development through its work with community based structures. This involves:

  • Organisational capacity development
  • Business skills
  • Assistance with accessing markets

Photo trauma work.JPGAgricultural Projects:

Supporting subsistence farming and agricultural projects through linkages with other organisations and government departments providing technical assistance and access to outside markets for selling produce

 Since many of Sinani’s community partners are from rural areas, agricultural projects are an important part of the work of capacitating community based structures. Sinani also encourages subsistence agriculture to improve nutrition in areas affected by HIV and Aids. Sinani does not specialize in technical support, but fosters linkages with the local Department of Agriculture development officers and other specialized organisations like LIMA

Career Development:

Community awareness campaigns and support to unemployed youth to encourage them to further their formal education or access skills development opportunities

Sinani’s career development project aims to promote unemployed youth to further their formal education and skills development. Community career awareness days are held to reach youth with messages about specific opportunities and resources available to them. Networking is done with the Department of Labour, local tertiary institutions and Further Education and Training colleges (FETs). The youth are supported with career counseling and bursary applications.

  One young woman's story reads:
After the first Sinani workshop, one young lady described looking at her family, and realising that the poverty, alcoholism and abuse were inter-generational. Her father and her father’s father lived in a shack. She thought “I am going to end up like my Mum, and my son will be in the same cycle” and decided to break this cycle. She knew she would have to do this without support from her family, but the group helped. “The workshops built me from inside.” she says.

She came from a family of 3, but lived communally with extended family. All the siblings had children from a young age. All family members were drinking heavily, and she used to drink occasionally. She had failed matric dismally, and felt that there was no hope. After attending the Sinani workshops she started looking for a job. She heard a neighbour speaking about a job for a domestic worker in DBN North. She decided not to use the money that she earned, but to try to save it to re-register for her matric. It was difficult to save money because she had a child, and her parents demanded money for drinking. She also wanted to look nice as a young person, and so was tempted to spend her money on clothes.

She felt she couldn’t miss the workshops, and wanted to ask her employer if she could miss one day’s wages to attend the workshops. She said the group was her support system, and she decided to sacrifice this money to attend the workshops. At the end of the year she realised she had saved very little, out of the R 150 per month she was earning, yet she had managed to register for her matric. She managed to at least get F and E symbols for the second time. She continued working again and re-registered the following year. This time she got E’s and D’s. It was tough to study, living with 6 people in one shack, and the demands from her parents. Others complained when she lit candles at night. Her books were used as trays, so she hid them outside in a tree because inside the house no-one looked after them.

After passing matric she wanted to do pharmacy, but didn’t have money. But then she was employed as an IEC officer - it was the first time for her to earn a decent salary. But it was at the end of the year, and she wanted to buy nice things for her son and herself. She realised that she had used at least three quarters of the money. The family was always screaming at her to use the money, and said she was stingy. She used to keep the money on her body, and even had to be careful when she was sleeping, because her family wanted the money. Eventually she went to Technikon Sa to register, but they said her symbols were not good enough, and that she needed R 1 500 to register. She pleaded with them, and eventually asked to speak to the rector. She described walking into his office and the strength she felt inside her. She said to him “I want to study”. He said to her “There are so many people like you who are poor and don’t have money - what is different about you?” She replied “I am determined. I am driven by the community I come from where I want to make changes. I want to make changes in my family.” She was in tears and kneeling down while pleading with the rector. The rector said “You know I’ve never done this before, but I want to give you a chance.” They didn’t have bursaries, and he asked how much she had. She said R 500, and said that she needed to use this for transport. He agreed that she could register. When she left she was singing, but when she got home and told her family she was studying they didn’t believe her. They were very angry when she quit her job, and started abusing her child, physically, and not feeding him. It was the group who then started taking care of her child while she studied. She made a decision that she would identify kids from similar backgrounds at Tech, to make friends with. She had no lunch each day, and would study in town because at home she couldn’t even light a candle. She would sit in the library until it closed, and then go to the beachfront to work in parks.

At the end of the first quarter she got over 80% for all her subjects, and then was given a formal bursary. Her family never believed she was studying until she invited her parents to her graduation. At her graduation her mother was in tears, although still drunk. She is now a qualified pharmacist. She is living in Johannesburg, and is helping her nieces and nephews to pay their school fees while they live with her. Sinani asked her to do a motivational talk at a recent career workshop for other unemployed youth. A number of people were inspired by her story, and took important decisions about their lives. She recently contacted PSV and asked to do peer counselling training with the organisation, as she wants to do community development. She said if PSV had not come to Bhambayi, she would never have done anything, because everything around her was just negative, and she could not look beyond her family situation. Sinani showed her that there is life beyond this situation.


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“These experiences were not meant to break us. They were given to us in order that we might be strengthened. It is the same boiling water that hardens an egg and softens a carrot.”- Sinani participant
“ The peace that we have experienced here today is remarkable. If only Sinani could have been here two decades ago – think of all the lives that could have been saved.”- Leadership forum member
“I wish to die here at the Sinani offices – the way people care for you when you are not feeling well.”- Person living with Aids
“We will no longer be known as the Beirut of Durban, thanks to Sinani.”- Leadership forum member
“I live next to an area where many people were killed. Every night I was woken by the voices and screams of those people. But the day after the ceremony the voices were quiet and have been at rest every since.” - Leadership forum member
“I wish to die here at the Sinani offices – the way people care for you when you are not feeling well.”- Leadership forum member
“I live next to an area where a lot of people were killed. I used to wake up hearing voices outside, but when I went out there was no-one. The day after the cleansing ceremony it was quiet and I have not heard the voices anymore.” - Richmond community member

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