HAVING a strong passion for helping women, children, the elderly, and people living with disabilities inspired Siphosami Ndala to start a foundation that aims to tackle social issues in the rural areas of South Africa. Ubomibami Foundation is a non-profit organisation that has a mission to educate, empower, uplift and advocate for women and children. “I have a passion for our youth and the myriad of challenges they face nowadays.“The same passion exists for men and their struggles to rise up and take their positions in our society, as fathers and as protectors,” she said.As founder of the NPO, Ndala said that she started the foundation in 2014 because growing up in the township meant that exposure to many of the social issues that the organisation is addressing was inevitable. “The only difference with today and 20 years ago is that the rate and extent of impact has now escalated drastically. More and more children are abused sexually; there’s more violence on women today than ever; and our youth are hung up on more complicated drugs than ever before,” she explained.The foundation deals with gender based violence, awareness of self-defence (in partnership with Fight Like A Girl), cancer awareness (breast, cervical and prostate cancer), Child Protection Programs (abuse awareness, road safety, child health and wellness) and girl empowerment programs which focus on personal hygiene, self identity, peer pressure, purity, teenage pregnancy and abortion, and education.“We are seeing a rapid health deterioration of our elderly because of the strain of taking care of their grandchildren on their own and the statistics of cancer in South Africa are at a shocking rate. “The dynamics have changed so much that interventions have never been more critical now and it’s close to home because there is always one or more person I know who is experiencing the social ills we are addressing as an organisation,” she said.In conclusion, she said that a cord of three strands is not easily broken: “If, as a community, we can stand together to learn, to protect, and empower each other — we can accomplish so much more.” “I always say that life transformation begins with mind transformation and that’s the only way to have lasting change; by addressing the mindsets and attitudes linked to our social problems. Together, we can be the change,” said Ndala.