In this last week it has be a year since South Africa went into lockdown, and so much has happened since. I know it has been a taxing year for everyone and, in these unprecedented times, flexibility and compromise have been key. This has been a year worth acknowledging and your partnership and support have not gone unnoticed. This email newsletter aims to serve two purposes. Firstly, I wish to inform you of my new email address – my NAG email address will be phasing out in line with our renaming. Secondly, I’d like to introduce you to Nokuzola Songo, a former colleague and current Impande supporter.
As most of you are aware, I am from Ireland and my long-term development work in South Africa was inspired by the work of Mrs Mdluli who was essential in the establishment of Network Action Group (NAG), now known as Impande. Mrs Mdluli’s mentorship furthered my understanding of developmental nuances, more so, context-specific challenges and the enormous potential of grassroots organisations. As Impande, we were acutely aware of the need to assemble a local team that not only speaks the languages of our beneficiaries but people who are passionate about the cause. In doing so, we recruited young adults from around Southern KwaZulu-Natal, who even with limited experience had the potential to be mentored into developmental leaders in their own rights.
One such young person was Nokuzola Songo who joined our team in 2014. She came with more world experience than most of our new recruits and energy that could electrify a room. It is so heartening to see the young lady who didn’t have the patience to fill in some details on a spreadsheet leave us to head for Wits University to complete her honours and masters, then Oxford University for a second masters degree and now as a PhD candidate in the esteemed Canadian University of Toronto! While Nokuzola left the region for her studies, her heart and research have always been with the communities we serve and she is now using her writing skills to put to words some of the things our team has been busy with so far in 2021. Please click on the link to read her blog post about our work on the ECD Presidential Stimulus.