August 2020

A community NPO, which was formed to provide financial education and business training for its predominantly-women members has been successful in helping hundreds of community members gain economic independence for over a decade and has played an important role in the lives of many families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mpendulo Savings’ role during the health crisis has remained relevant, as the organisation continues to offer hope to families who are faced with poverty.

The country’s national lockdown was tough on community savings group members, as many lost jobs and couldn’t continue saving. Others had members who contracted the coronavirus and the group had to stop meeting. However, in the true spirit of Ubuntu, some groups decided to share out their savings, which was a real lifesaver.

One shining inspiration of a group that shared out was the youth savings group. They decided it would be them, as children in the family, who would step up to help. Thanks to their shared out savings, everyone in their family was able to get winter clothing.

In spite of the loss of income, 95% of Mpendulo groups have carried on. The moral support and encouragement have been a critical aspect to reducing stress and keeping hope alive.

Mpendulo Savings was originally focused on empowering women in Jeffreys Bay townships, it now reaches Humansdorp, Thornhill, Loerie, Hankey, Patensie and even Kareedouw and Guava Juice in the Koukamma municipality, strengthening the economic resilience of vulnerable families and marginalized community members through savings groups and financial skills training.

Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s support has not only allowed the NPO to expand to additional communities but to develop its financial education programme and to focus on fine-tuning the quality of the training and mentoring services.