Resource centre focuses on community

2016-03-15 06:00
 Photo: nosipho mkhize Greater Molweni Community Resource Centre manager Nontsikelelo Gwamanda.

Photo: nosipho mkhize Greater Molweni Community Resource Centre manager Nontsikelelo Gwamanda.

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GREATER Molweni Community Resource Centre was founded in 1983. It was a place where people voiced their concerns and reported cases during the apartheid era.

In 1993 the Diakonia Council of Churches saw a need for the community to have an advice centre because the main advice centre was in Durban and most people who came from the rural areas did not benefit from it.

Centre manager Nontsikelelo Gwamanda said in 2000 the centre became independent where members were taught skills and how to conduct fund-raising events in order for the organisation to be operational.

“Diakonia Council of Churches introduced us to potential donors and at that time we were sponsored by National Lotteries, Foundation for Human Rights and Aux Firm for Australia.

“Our purpose as an organisation is to provide and facilitate an integrated delivery support services of social justice and to make sure that people get legal support from the organisation,” Gwamanda

The centre provides its services to the communities of Molweni, Embo and Kwangcolosi and consists of six staff members - manager, administrator, librarian, IT specialist, paralegal counsellor and receptionist.

Over the years the organisation became well known and members saw they working in an area where people experienced a number of challenges such as HIV/Aids infection and unemployment.

“After seeing the challenges we faced we started HIV/Aids programmes, which enabled us to educate and support people affected and infected with the disease while providing counselling because you find most people are in denial after finding out about their status. We counsel them until they accept the disease then we transfer them to various support groups.

“We have youth support programme where we teach the youth lifeskills, assist them with filling out COA forms that helps them find suitable universities as well as a mini-library they use to get information on certain assignments or when they need to study for exams.”

Since the organisation is based in a community where many are poverty-stricken poverty they decided to intervene by starting an economic development programme.

“For poverty alleviation we approached community health- care workers and the Department of Agriculture to educate people on how to start a garden at home, schools and crèches.”

She said the biggest challenge the centre faces is being in busy and noisy area.

“We do not have a problem with the area, but the centre is in a noisy place, which makes it difficult for students to concentrate when doing assignments, studying for exams and when counselling our clients.

“King Mthembu of Molweni donated a site to us, but we need support in putting together material to build a new centre.”

For more information, contact Gwamanda on 031 776 4093 or 072 368 5871.

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