22 November 2007
Alleviating poverty is a matter which is high on the agenda of government, and finding sustainable solutions that will improve the lives of previously disadvantaged rural people remains an ongoing challenge. On the 26th November 2007, a project will be launched that will celebrate the bringing together of a remote rural community, the Department of Social Development in Kwazulu-Natal (KZN), a private sector donor (Toyota Tsusho Africa), the Local Municipality (Umhlabuyalingana) and the P.E.A.C.E. Foundation (an NGO dedicated to the alleviation of poverty in rural communities) in a groundbreaking partnership which is providing a blue-print and model for alleviating poverty in one of the most disadvantaged regions of KZN.
The Centre in question is the Sicabazini Development Centre, built several years ago by the Provincial Department of Social Development as a skills development centre to benefit local weavers and carvers in the Umkhanyakude community. The P.E.A.C.E. Foundation was officially invited to participate in the project at the beginning of 2007 and duly sourced funding from Toyota Tsusho Africa who willingly provided the funds to transform the existing buildings into a vibrant hub of information and community service facilities. The Centre will provide a venue for local entrepreneurs who will have support in the form of financial service management and access to markets. In addition, the venue will house a variety of government services and a computer centre that will provide local teachers, local scholars and unemployed youth an opportunity to acquire IT skills and access local and global information.
The Centre also comprises a large community hall, a state of the art preschool fully equipped with an optimal range of educational equipment, a bakery and a craft centre. Also, with accommodation for forty people, the venue will be an ideal training centre for a variety of courses for local communities and unemployed youth.
The P.E.A.C.E. model being implemented to develop this partnered initiative has been evaluated and accredited by Ashoka, a global organization with a Head Office in Atlanta USA, as an original, sustainable and replicable model through which to alleviate poverty.
For further information, please contact Nora Tager, Executive Director of The P.E.A.C.E. Foundation`, on 011 783 0024.