Zululand Observer - Weekender
Foundation offers bridge-builder role
SPEAKERS at the recent uThungulu Community Foundation annual general meeting highlighted some of the problems plaguing progress in the region, and suggested a way forward.
‘The challenges South African communities currently face require, more than ever before, close cooperation between community-based organisations, and private and public sector organisations,’ said the foundation’s CEO, Simphiwe Mbatha.
‘The representatives of the three major sectors of society that attended the UCF AGM all agreed and committed themselves to start joining hands and contributing public resources to help UCF and themselves better understand the communities within which they operate.
‘The Zululand region, for example, at present faces massive unemployment challenges, escalation of criminal activities and other social ills such as drug abuse, and housing shortages.
‘UCF, as one of a few local leading communitybased organisations, remains committed, among other things, to improving the state of education in our region, human skills development and an entrepreneurial spirit, particularly among the region’s younger population,’ said Mbatha.
‘UCF will do this mainly through convening different and conflicting interest groups to common discussion forums.
‘Individuals and organisations that may have a desire to contribute positively to planned social and economic stability are invited to approach UCF with a written request, indicating how they feel group participants should contribute to sustained local socio-economic stability.
‘Partnerships, in all conflictridden communities, help participating organisations share experiences with one another.
‘In this regard, partnerships operate like alliances or cooperatives, similar to those one finds in agriculture or education.
‘In the production of agricultural products, for example, farmers may decide to form a cooperative to better serve society or derive more profit for their hard labour.
‘With regard to cooperative education, teachers, parents, learners, school governing bodies and education authorities can better provide learners with quality education if they could learn to cooperate with one another.’
The UCF would be happy to coordinate such efforts and can be contacted on 035 7971882 or email email@example.com