Our vision is to awaken in people the realisation that they can be a dynamic force for positive change in the world. We aim to improve the lives of under privileged communities in South Africa. Finally, we aim to connect people regardless of age, gender, culture and language.
The Simunye Project empowers young people with the skills and attitude to make a global difference. It is a non-profit organisation, which assists disadvantaged urban and rural communities in South Africa. The word ‘Simunye’ is Zulu, meaning “we are one”.
In 2006 Peter met with Susan Rammekwa, in Roodepoort, South Africa. She was running the Tshepang After School Programme for orphaned and vulnerable children out of Princess Crossing, a shanty town. He was struck by two things. One, the fact that we have the means to make a massive difference to the lives of children in poor communities. We have the resources, skills and capabilities to do so. Secondly, he was acutely aware of the lessons volunteers could learn from the Princess community. Lessons of joy, resilience, community, resourcefulness and Ubuntu.
In 2007 The Simunye Project ran their first trip; a three week experience where volunteers do hands-on work in underprivileged communities. Since then The Simunye Project has sent over 180 volunteers and raised over $250,000. Every cent goes directly to those who need it most. This makes the Project unique.
The work done is sustainable and decisions are made with the community leaders. The aim is to leave a legacy of sustained improvement and not one of dependency.
Who we support
Tshepang Programme for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children
An after-school care program for orphaned and vulnerable primary school children. In 2006 the programme under the leadership of Susan Rammekwa supported 12 children In 2013 the number is over 300 children and families. It provides a safe haven for children after school where they are fed a nutritious meal (often their only one of the day), homework support is provided, programmes on health, careers, appreciation, child protection and youth talents. The social workers are provided continuous training on First Aid, health and safety, and youth services. There is also a library, local baking and a clothing industry on site.
Tshepang is under-resourced and relies heavily on small government grants and donations from business and individuals. It is located in the Princess informal settlement just outside Johannesburg.
The Simunye Project provides scholarship and bursaries for students, school uniforms, a feeding scheme, care packs, school resources, renovations, teacher salaries and supports the sewing and baking programmes.
Manyeleti Primary School
This school is located in the rural area of Limpopo Province where unemployment is above 70%. The school is under-resourced and The Simunye Project provides ongoing support in the area of facilities improvement (classroom renovation, buying new desks and chairs, building playground equipment). It also provides students with a three day holiday programme each year and develops teaching skills amongst the staff.
New Life Day Care Centre
This centre cares for over 50 small children during the daytime whilst their parents work. Silence, the lady who runs the facility, works tirelessly to provide young children two meals, health checks and early childhood development. It is located in Limpopo Province in a largely subsistence community. The Simunye Project has completely refurbished the centre as well as providing a borehole, vegetable garden, toilet block, playground facilities, scholarships for teachers, classroom supplies and equipment, a new kitchen and a feeding scheme.
Educare Day Care Centre
The Educare Day Care Centre was built entirely by The Simunye Project and looks after over 60 young children. Gertrude, the director, was able to secure land from the local chief. Located in Hluvukani and near a primary and secondary school the location is perfect as it creates an ‘educational hub’.
The Simunye Project has built a classroom, provided eco-toilets, shading, storage, teaching resources, clothing, a large feeding scheme, a kitchen and funds for teacher training.