iThemba Labantu – Hope for the People
Lutheran Community Centre
iThemba Labantu is a community centre situated in Philippi. We are a registered non-governmental organisation working to create safe spaces and access to education and nutrition. Our goal is to contribute to the improvement of social and economic conditions in our area. We aim to empower our beneficiaries through income generating programmes and skills development projects. We aim to serve our youth with education, recreation and sport resources.
Philippi is one of the largest ‘townships’ in the Western Cape, and its history and progress is linked to apartheid policies. The area experiences substantial increases in numbers. In the last decade the population is said to have doubled (Stats SA), with current estimates placing it at 250 000 people. As is the case in many South African townships Philippi experiences severe degrees of poverty. There are high levels of unemployment and a high ratio of people living in collapsible ‘shacks’ as opposed to brick houses- often without adequate access to running water and toilets.
The community works hard to combat negative symptoms of poverty and unemployment such as crime and gang related violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, and illnesses associated with insufficient health care and education such as HIV/AIDS and TB. Levels of crime are dangerous, with Philippi residents subject to one of the highest per capita rates for murder in the country.
Against this backdrop iThemba Labantu strives to deliver excellent services in a warm and caring environment. Working in partnership with youth, job seekers and educators we aim to access the strengths and talents of our community to build a brighter future.