Building sustainable communities has become fundamental to driving economic transformation in South Africa and ensuring that communities across the country thrive.
This is impossible to achieve without a collaborative partnership between corporates and local communities. Clover Mama Afrika identifies and empowers women within disadvantaged communities that go beyond the call of duty by caring for the vulnerable, children and the elderly, with much-needed skills to help them become a more sustainable resource to their communities. The initiative truly believes in the concept of “give a mama some food and she will feed her community for a day, but teach a mama a skill and she will serve her community for a lifetime.” Many of the mamas under the Clover Mama Afrika initiative have inspiring stories to share.
Mama Thokozile Ndlovu from the Vukani Traditional Centre was Chief until her son came of age and she is still responsible for an area of 6 500 hectares, which covers 11 schools in Ofafa Village in Ixopo KwaZulu-Natal. She also represents the Sisonke district as a provincial member of the House of Traditional Leaders. Mama Thokozile has a farming project at her centre that includes a piggery and a poultry farm. Her passion for farming has enabled her to employ and empower two local women. Through her farming project, Mama Thokozile supplies pork and chicken to the local community, as well as to local school feeding schemes. Children on educational tours also come to her farm to learn more about farming and how to treat the livestock, as well as how to maintain their environment. She explains, “It is so important for me to empower women and to teach them to become self-sufficient and to assist in alleviating poverty in my village. God gave you eyes, ears, a mouth, a brain and hands – use them wisely and you will succeed.”
Professor Elain Vlok, Founder of Clover Mama Afrika explains, “By supporting the empowerment of women and their self-help projects, we advance the sustainability of their communities. Each mama is committed to becoming sustainable and manages her self-help projects appropriately to ensure that the members in their care are the true beneficiaries.” Good jobs are key to sustainability for the people of South Africa and creating these opportunities for other individuals in their community is empowering. Another wonderful example is the dynamic Mama Doris Ndingane.
Mama Doris manages a nursery school as well as various self-help projects in Keiskammahoek in the Eastern Cape, where she empowers her community members with practical skills and an income. She identified the great lack of employment opportunities and was inspired to start her self-help sustainable projects so that these community members could support their families better. Some of the sustainable projects include sewing, vegetable plantations and poultry farming. Mama Doris says, “Clover Mama Afrika has really helped me a lot. Today I am able to help build better lives in my community.” Giving back to her community also brings her great joy. “There is no time to waste – every day brings new opportunities!” Mama Doris adds.
Source and images: Clover Mama Afrika