Imibala is a non-profit organization whose primary purpose is to raise money to sponsor children who cannot afford to attend school in South Africa.
Imibala Sponsor a Child programme assists needy children to attend primary school. R700 / 70 Euros – will buy a school uniform and encourage them to attend school for a year. Since 2002 Imibala has helped over 8500 children, giving them the chance in the future to enter the workforce and earn a living. 100% of contibutions goes to the children.
The Imibala Trust was started by Gaynor Rupert in 2002. Since then, it has changed the lives of many underprivileged children and their parents alike. Imibala’s main focus is providing a primary education for children in schools serving the underprivileged communities of the Helderberg area located just outside of Cape Town. Imibala, in Somerset West, has a Restaurant and an Art School as well as an Art Gallery which showcases the work of local artists. The Imibala Restaurant was established to help achieve the aims of the Imibala Sponsor-a-Child programme. The profits from the restaurant pay for the administration costs of Sponsor-a-Child. Photos of the children can be viewed in the restaurant. The Sponsor A Child programme, the third leg of Imibala, also supports computer classes and dance classes for children from the schools it works in.
Since its inception in 2002, Imibala has facilitated more than 10,400 sponsorships of primary school learners. In 2011 alone over 2,100 children in the Helderberg Basin were sponsored. Additionally, Imibala provides training in painting, crafts, pottery, paper maché, poetry, drama and life skills for approximately 40 children from three local schools.
The Art Centre appointed a Creative Director in 2010, Leo van Straten, who is tasked with evaluating and co-ordinating events for the gallery, as well as providing support and structure for the art volunteers who teach in the art school:
The Art Centre established by Donna Downie in 2000 has grown in size and volume. Children selected from 6 of the schools on the Imibala Sponsor A Child programme visit the art centre as an extra mural activity where with the help of competent volunteers instruction on all forms of art takes place. In addition, senior learners that have proved to have a keen interest and ability in art attend a special senior class with a more intense focus on technique. As opposed to formal art training, the art centre acts as facilitator for art, self esteem, interaction and group work.
Once every 2 months an exhibition of children’s art work from the centre is displayed. We pride ourselves on interaction and having youngsters believe in themselves.
For 6 years, Imibala has been paying the dance class fees for a group of up to 20 learners who are taught by Amanda Peaceful Dance Company. The learners come from the Somerset West Methodist Primary School which is located in town. Many learners have talent. Some are still supported by Imibala even though they have gone on to High School. Our most newsworthy pupil is Jocelyn Solomons who is in Grade 9. In August 2010 she went to Reunion as a member of 2 teams of dancers representing South Africa and competed against 100 other entrants. In the individual sections she won the Latin Section as well as the Classic Section and she was awarded Silver for the Energy Section.
Computer classes are offered to one Grade 6 class and one Grade 7 class from a school in the township which does not have its own computer facilities. They learn all the basics of computers and various programmes which will help them as they continue their studies in High School. As with the art learners who come from the township schools, our Imibala bus fetches them and returns them back to school at the end of the afternoon. Imibala has also taught school teachers themselves.
Xhosa Classes for interested friends of Imibala
Xhosa classes for adults. The class leader is Thuliswa Skotshi. This class is more conversational than grammatical, the idea is to master pronunciation and tenses, and then build up a vocabulary. Cost for an hour and a half session will be R50.00 including a cup of tea or coffee and a snack, with all proceeds to IMIBALA.
I hope you will consider supporting this charity to help the children realize the possibility of a more colourful future.
For further information, see their website videos.