THEMBA: Pronounced TIM•BA, is the Zulu word HOPE.
The THEMBA FOUNDATION pursues its mission in partnership with existing South African ministries. Together we work to provide dignity to the dying and hope to the children of South Africa. Our efforts range from simply feeding a hungry child, holding a crying baby, comforting those in their last days of life, to the desire to provide for the thousands upon thousand of children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Our goal is to assist our South African partnerships in significantly impacting their communities. Instead of spreading our efforts throughout South Africa we are focusing on the communities in and around Port Shepstone, South Africa and East London, South Africa. These two communities are among the most impacted by HIV/AIDS and have the highest rate of HIV/AIDS infection in all of South Africa and the world.
The THEMBA Foundation recognizes that the most effective avenue to accomplish its mission in South Africa is to work in partnership with local community faith-based organizations. The Foundation is a strong advocate of the view that communities should be participants in addressing their needs rather than objects of charity. Communities must be allowed to identify their own concerns and the responses that are feasible with the available resources. Our South African partners are currently playing a very strategic role in addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic because of their close proximity to those affected.
Government and donor funding in South Africa is skewed in favor of national mass media programs and scientific and academic research, with only a limited level of funding being directed at community driven responses to HIV/AIDS. There is a pressing need to support local community interventions, because this is where the greatest degree of vulnerability exists and where the consequences of the epidemic are being most acutely felt.