uMthombo’s Director reflects on his Overseas Trip (May-June 2018)

Mpendulo Nyembe
My Europe trip came at the right time, since we as uMthombo have been needing to strengthen our relationship with existing supporters and to build new avenues of support with other supporters. Many thanks to Amos Trust and Friends of uMthombo for making it all possible – and of course, for their wonderful hospitality and friendship!

Cycle Tour:

The cycle ride was ideally timed too. It put uMthombo back into the conversations among Amos supporters, but also opened some new conversations amongst newer supporters who came in as a result of the publicity around the ride. I have written separately about the ride, but it certainly was a ride to remember! 

The UK: Old and new friends

Amos Trust

It was good to meet with old friends at Amos Trust, our major donor, and discuss future plans. We have grown in vision and capacity thanks to their ongoing accompaniment. I am grateful for this continuing partnership.

Methodist Church Links:

New relationships with the Methodist Church of Great Britain, Cliff College and other Methodist institutions that have grown through my visits to various British circuits, are promising to bear good fruit for uMthombo as well as the Seth Mokithimi Methodist Seminary (SMMS) in Pietermaritzburg.
Already we have had visits from Methodist Church and Cliff College leadership and interns from SMMS.
Plans are afoot to establish mutual learning and exchange programmes and other related initiatives aimed at strengthening all of our work with those on the margins of society.

Singing for our Supper:

The Heart and Soul Choir in Twicksbury have contributed towards uMthombo’s ability to provide meals, friendship and hope to children and youth on Durban’s streets for a number of years. I enjoyed reconnecting with them and updating them on our work and the many challenges we face. It is this kind of sustained support that has allowed us to continue the work and build on it.

The Netherlands Link: Widening Circles of Friends of uMthombo:

In Amsterdam we have expanded our wings through Friends of uMthombo’s links, with key visits with city Mayors which support our partnership, meetings with local Dutch supporters of uMthombo at schools,– in Post 16 or the holiday camps, and sharing more about our work, also to interact with the little boys and girls who have contributed to the life of the org over the past 7 years .

Through the ongoing support of Henny, Marike, Maria and Edith, a strong support base has been established. This kind of support from ordinary folk so far away motivates us to continue working toward ensuring that there are alternatives for children and young people living on the streets. We appreciate the recognition of the work we do, as well as the compassion for the ever-growing needs among Durban’s children and youth.

The sustainability of the work depends on this kind of long term support – not only for us to help young people become reintegrated into home and society, to reintegration but also enables us to accompany them longer term. In a way we are secondary parents, a kind of constant for young people as they try to build some stability into their lives. This is not possible without funding support that is in it for the long haul.

Making new Contacts – Potential for new partnerships:

WomenWin, Amsterdam:

Friends of uMthombo organised a visit for me with WomenWin in Amsterdam. It is an international NGO that promotes sports for women’s empowerment. Yvonne Henry and I shared about our respective work, and discussed the possibility of establishing a continuing partnership. This will help us in the process of reshaping uMthombo’s work with girls and young women, as it will be of great assistance to use specialist support from WomenWin, as we consider how best to come alongside the girls and young women that help them to empower themselves, and help us take new strategic directions in this work.

Misereor, Aachen:

I also went to Germany to meet Misereor in Aachen, where I received an extremely warm welcome, although I was new. Klaus Piepert kindly gave me an opportunity to make a presentation on our work to a number of his team members. We have been invited to contribute a proposal in 2019, although of course we realise that their selection process has to follow its own course.

Join Us in Making a Difference

Your support can change lives. Whether through donations, volunteering, or spreading the word, your involvement is crucial to our mission of reintegrating street-connected children and youth into family and community life. Together, we can provide these young individuals with the tools and support they need to build a brighter future.