Lesedi La Batho

Lesedi la Batho is a Christian faith-based NGO that seeks to inspire, empower, motivate, engage and equip the community at large. We run a community centre in the township of Mabopane, 40km north of capital city Pretoria in South Africa. We provide holistic community development through several departments including sport, education, skills training, job placement, social enterprise development, community wellness and arts & culture.

Please list links to your Website and Social Media Platforms here:

Website: www.lesedilabatho.co.za
Facebook: www.facebook.com/lesedilabatho
Instagram: www.instagram.com/lesedilabatho
Twitter: twitter.com/lesedilabatho

Describe in detail what your Organisation does:

Lesedi la Batho is a Christian faith-based NGO that seeks to inspire, empower, motivate, engage and equip the community at large. We run a community centre in the township of Mabopane, 40km north of capital city Pretoria in South Africa. We provide holistic community development through several departments including sport, education, skills training, job placement, social enterprise development, community wellness and arts & culture.

How long has your Organisation been operational? 

Lesedi La Batho has been an independent non-governmental organisation since 2011.

In your opinion, what has been the most challenging aspect of running your Organisation?

The greatest challenge for Lesedi La Batho is, like many other organisations, the lack of access to operational funding. “Operational” funding refers to the monetary value needed to keep such a substantial organisation running. Many donors are euphoric to fund measurable projects and the supplies they need – but very few are willing to support the salaries of the human workforce required to enable such projects. Without the hands of our incredible, talented, motivated, passionate team, we would never have achieved the astounding successes we have over the last 7 years. Our greatest challenge is to sustainably support this team with the financial support that any member of society necessitates.

Describe your Nonprofit Journey in three words:

Blood… sweat… and tears!

Do you collaborate with other Causes? If yes, would you like to mention them?

Yes, we are blessed with the partnerships with Altus Sport, Sport for Social Change Network (SSCN), SA Cares for Life, Dlala Ntombozana and Children’s Happy Days.

If you had one Organisation wish, what would it be?

Lesedi La Batho would wish for a steady stream of unrestricted funding to retain qualified and quality staff members to continue rendering service excellence to the community.

In your opinion, which skills do Nonprofits in your Country lack?

We have found that, unfortunately, NGOs in South Africa lack in the following skills – proper monitoring and evaluation skills, effective fundraising and marketing skills, IT and other technical skills, and financial accounting skills.

Looking back at your Cause Journey, what advice would you give a newbie Organisation?

In the words of our managing director, Chrisna Groenewald…. “Give it your utmost best everyday and never give up even if you have heard ‘no’ a million times. Press on and persevere. Build trust relationships without expecting anything in return. These relationships always pays off if your heart is in the right place and your objectives are to create a better life for others. Do not expect dramatic breakthroughs – all good things always take time. Do not allow ugliness in the organisation; there should be a positive energy. As Richard Branson once said: ‘It is not the person you didn’t hire who is the end of your company/organisation, it is the person you did not fire.’ ”

If you could change one thing about the Nonprofit Landscape, what would it be?

If we had the opportunity, we would change the disrespect and ignorance that funders – and the general public – have for people working in our unique sector. We are a very rare breed who are prepared to sacrifice everything for the good of others. We work tirelessly with limited resources in a harsh environment. We would change the perception that people seem to have of us, that we are a nuisance or people who cannot find a better job. We would change the view of corporations and institutions to perceive the NGO landscape as full with professional service providers, performing a critical job that nobody else wants to do.

Which Cause achievement are you most proud of? Feel free to elaborate on why and include any links:

We are so proud of each and every valuable department in our community centre as they all work hand-in-hand to helping individuals break their cycle of poverty, so we will simply have to choose not one but three of our most outstanding achievements…

One of South Africa’s greatest economical issues currently is a staggering unemployment rate. Aiding our beneficiaries in compiling a workable CV, applying for jobs, preparing for interviews and even equipping them with the life skills required to maintain a job – is an ongoing project we are fully satisfied with. Since 2011, we have placed more than 460 individuals in jobs – all the glory to our God!

We are also incredibly happy with a statistic regarding our teenage pregnancy project – since the project was initiated in our community, we have seen a 40% decrease in teenage pregnancies! For a young woman to fall pregnant in her teens can truly shadow opportunity for the rest of her life, to the detriment of her family. With our support of this vulnerable group in Mabopane, a teen mom can leave her child at our Ratanang Day Care centre so that she may continue her high-school education, she may receive emotional support and counselling from our compassionate social auxiliary workers, and then after schooling make use of our job placement department to ensure she finds employment to support her child.

Lastly and certainly not least – we are also very fulfilled by an achievement within our youth empowerment through sport project. We host soccer clubs such as the Lesedi Strikers at the 7 high schools in Mabopane we work with. The program mainly uses sport as a tool to access the youth to communicate valuable life skills, and offers the opportunity to better life opportunities through talent within sport. In 2015… 7 of our Lesedi Strikers received sport scholarships, 3 players were drafted by universities, 3 players received school bursaries, and 1 was drafted by the under-20 national team!

Last question, if your friends had to describe your Organisation in three words, which would they use?

(Unashamedly) ethical, (awe-) inspiring, (critically) indispensable.

Leave a Reply