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Sihamba Sonke is a registered non-profit organisation based in a rural village, called Zithulele, close to where Mandela was raised in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The unemployment rate amongst the youth in our area is 96%, with only 1% completing their tertiary education, leaving many hopeless and unsure how to navigate these difficult life circumstances. On top of this only 19% of children live with both parents, leaving most with insufficient support structures in such challenging circumstances. (Click here for more stats)

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“Mandela becomes a ‘father of the nation’ to a South Africa that is a ‘fatherless nation’. He models a masculinity which is caring for children".
Dr. OWINO (AUTHOR - Mandela Masculinities: Shifting and Contestations)



From these devastating statistics, survival becomes the norm  and consequently some are caught in a dependency mindset, negatively influencing their families and communities. These challenges cannot be faced alone. Our strength therefore lies in "walking together", each playing a crucial part to overcome the seemingly impossible.

Our goal is to break this cycle of hopelessness and build a culture where our youth have the courage to raise above their circumstances and start a restoration movement to live value-driven and purposeful lives. Our youth grow into young leaders that are a positive influence which is contagious, while restoring broken relationships in all areas of their lives and community.


We accomplish this by running community programmes, each grounded in mentorship, employability skills and character development, using a whole-person development approach. 

Helping someone out of poverty needs a holistic and not a one-dimensional solution.

If we reduce human beings to being simply physical – as Western thought is prone to do – our poverty alleviation efforts will tend to focus on material solutions. But if we remember that humans are spiritual, social, psychological, and physical beings, our poverty-alleviation efforts will be more holistic in their design. – Steve Corbett (Author: When Helping Hurts)

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The strength behind our community programmes is a 3 step process running in the background to ensure our programmes are locally run, by trained value-driven & purposeful leaders:

Step 1: Join our skills year programme, growing employability skills 

Step 2: Join our year-long internship programme, where we guide and coach our local unemployed youth to drive a community programme and gain work experience for their CV.

Step 3: Over the two years these young leaders are now enabled to purposefully integrated into the workforce or are full-time employed to facilitate one of our community programmes. They then become the change themselves as they are enabled to live, share and teach, the life values and skills embedded in them during our time, impacting any environment they enter.


This approach gives us a competitive advantage for maximum programme impact where our newly developed leaders can leverage local knowledge and relationships to help design our programmes to work best, given our rural context. Secondly, this leads to sustainable change as the transformation is led by local community members.

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Meet our team

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We are more than just a group of people working together. We are the rainbow nation that Desmond Tutu and Tata Madiba envisioned! A proud family, made up of diverse cultures and personalities all with the same vision, .

Ruan Cilliers - Executive Director and Operations

Nkosikhona Mkutsu - IT Training Programme Facilitator

Siya Galada -  Direcotr and IT Triaining Coach

Zine Mavistho - IT Training Intern

Pieter Truter - Fundraising and Team Development Coach

Sinethemba Beja - Agriculture Programme Coach 

Julian Goldmann - Chess Programme Coach

Bhekisisa Hotyo - Chess Programme Facilitator

Khangelani Kafile - Chess Programme Assistant 

Nobuhle Ludwesa - Chess Programme Intern

Nicole Jonker - Marketing, Finances and HR Manager

Andre Snyman - Social Enterprise Manager

Board of Directors

uncle ru.jpg

Ruan Cilliers




Ntlahla Nqkwili

Non-executive Director


George Carstens

Non-executive Director


Franz Struwig

Non-executive Director


Siyabonga Galada

Non-executive Director

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