Praise for caring Rejoice Shumba whose foundation brings hope
‘She is deeply committed to empowering communities and individuals to achieve independence and unlock their full potential’
Through her selflessness, compassion and unwavering commitment, Rejoice Shumba has become a beacon of hope in her community, creating sustainable pathways to economic prosperity and empowering the marginalised.
The Zimbabwean-born Shumba is the founder of the Siyakholwa Development Foundation, which promotes skills development and job creation.
“The commitment to building resilient communities is key to Siyakholwa’s goal,” Shumba said.
“Because of its unique ability to recognise service shortfalls, the organisation responds with fresh and sustainable solutions.”
The organisation also plays a key role in developing stronger communities, with devoted and passionate team members in East London, Mthatha, Gqeberha, Keiskammahoek, and Johannesburg.
With the emphasis on essential socioeconomic concerns, such as poverty, education, maternity and child health and welfare, early childhood development, youth unemployment and food security, the organisation intentionally targets underprivileged communities in informal settlements, townships, and rural areas, ensuring that its efforts reach those who need it the most.
Siyakholwa’s comprehensive programmes target important concerns such as childhood stunting, nutrition assistance, and food security.
The initiative protects the wellbeing of pregnant women and children in numerous underprivileged communities, by giving nutritional supplements, practical courses on food preparation, and stimulating growth and monitoring.
Shumba said they accomplish this through resource mobilisation, co-operation with stakeholders and partners, and the development of creative programmes that have a direct impact on the lives of community members.
The “First 1,000 Days Programme”, which focuses on pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, is one of the initiatives that aims to reduce the prevalence of slow development in children.
“We experience quite a lot of stunted children and malnutrition among children from informal settlements and rural areas, so we are working to address the issue,” she said
“When a child’s growth is stunted it is often difficult to correct this in terms of brain function and this becomes a problem when they get to school.”
The programme uses health technology to provide direct communication to women, informing them about the needs of their newborns and facilitating access to vital healthcare services during the critical first 1,000 days of a child’s life.
“Her selfless ways are what make her an extraordinary person, as she has helped so many people who have no financial means, equipping them with lifelong skills to empower and help them generate income for their families.”Glynis Abrahams
Shumba said Siyakholwa’s commitment to food security included the establishment and maintenance of agro-ecology community gardens, which provide fresh vegetables to institutions and needy households.
The organisation works to improve the wellbeing of community members by tackling hunger and increasing community engagement.
“We equip our people with farming skills which can also generate income,” Shumba said.
Furthermore, Siyakholwa’s developing neighbourhood project strives to create parks and recreational places within informal settlements and townships.
These thoughtfully planned places improve residents’ quality of life while also contributing to general development and unity.
Glynis Abrahams said she had nominated Shumba as a local hero because she was deeply committed to empowering communities and individuals to achieve independence and unlock their full potential.
“Her selfless ways are what make her an extraordinary person, as she has helped so many people who have no financial means, equipping them with lifelong skills to empower and help them generate income for their families,” Abrahams said.
“She transfers her skills and knowledge to mothers who are not knowledgeable about the dangers of lack of nutrition.
“Some don’t have the financial means to buy food so with the food garden it is like killing two birds with one stone,” she said.
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