Where Communities Lead
Founded in 2002, Ubunye is a rural development trust based in the Eastern Cape and working in partnership with marginalised communities in the Ngqushwa Municipality in Amathole District and Fort Brown village in Makana Municipality, Sarah Baartman District of the province.
Using an Asset-Based Community-driven Development (ABCD) approach, our mission is to create an environment where Communities Lead in pursuing Sustainable Development that builds Resilience to Climate Change’.
As the only NPO working in most of our partner communities, we take a holistic approach to our work with communities.
We have three interconnected programme areas that are managed through Siyakhana, our community-led governance structure.
Health and Wellness Programme
Savings and Livelihoods
Education for Life
Ubunye Foundation has been fast in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to lockdown, communities identified their key challenges as being: first, myths and misunderstandings around the virus. Ubunye addressed this through our wellness programme, initiating Q&A sessions with both Ubunye and Kwandwe staff, providing them with accurate information and clear infection control measures to protect themselves and their families. Developing them as ‘knowledge ambassadors’ all these staff are able to disseminate correct messages through their work and community relationships.
Next challenge was limited access to water supplies meaning infection control using soap and water was difficult. In partnership with Rhodes University Chemistry and Pharmacy Departments who manufactured WHO standard sanitizer with ingredients supplied by Ubunye with donor funds, Ubunye has mobilised savings and livelihoods groups in an on-going distribution of both sanitiser and accurate health messages about infection control to programme communities.
As the lock down phases continue and in preparation for COVID-19 taking hold in South Africa, key community concerns and issues will be addressed within a flexible 3-phase intervention strategy. This strategy is responsive to the situation in communities as they grapple with a constantly evolving circumstances.
COVID-19 Rapid Response.
Communities shaping their own futures, with help from partners.
Our COVID-19 Response Strategy
The strategy, based on community-led feedback and requests and on partnerships with other agencies (Department of Health, Social Development and other key NGOs) focusses on quick responses to ensuring food, water and health and illness support to vulnerable communities.
Ubunye follows a 3-phase set of interventions (REACT, ADAPT and BUILD) through an existing network of community partners including ECD centres’ practitioners and parent body members, savings and livelihoods groups and Community Health Workers.
REACT focused on relieving acute food insecurity of vulnerable individuals, monitoring, reporting and facilitating solutions to water outages and maintaining access to medications by those who are chronically ill, distribution of sanitizer and maintaining COVID- 19 updates and infection control messages.
ADAPT focused on supporting women’s enterprise groups to change to production of face masks, piggy-backing on distribution of food relief to local communities with these face masks, sanitizer and fun-learn materials for kids by a local person promoting accurate information on COVID-19 and infection control measures and continuing support for clinic outreach to enable those with chronic illnesses to maintain access to care and treatment
BUILD focused on recovery of rural economy and ECD, primary and secondary education and access to quality health care based on an assessment of the existing resources and potential services and business opportunities. The plan (and Ubunye’s response) remains flexible in content and timing because conditions and challenges are changing on a daily basis but the central themes of ensuring community access to food, water and health care will remain.
Ubunye has set up a phone and Whatsapp network of programme community partners and community leaders in the Ngqushwa Municipality. Through this network we find out the challenges communities are facing and send out accurate and up-to-date information on COVID-19 and infection control.
Through our community network, Ubunye has been guided in their response to needs in the community.
Screen & Test COVID-19
Chronic Illness Care
Ubunye Health Team has continued to provide support to the Department of Health clinics by ensuring outreach services to isolated communities living at distance from the clinic.
Figures for May 2020
“Ubunye is working with us to help those people in our area devastated by this corona virus period”
- Letter dated 14th May 2020, Ndlambe Village Association
Vegetable Tower Gardens
Sourcing and distributing vegetable seedlings and the components for building tower gardens for vulnerable households
Support to Local Spaza Shops
Working with local spaza shops to restock, access local produce for resale and return to profitability