Our Work

uMthombo’s team is a fusion of social work professionals, community workers & childcare-trained former street-connected children & youth (with a focus on teenagers).

Unique Understanding

UMthombo has a unique understanding of the dynamics of the street-connected child experience through its multiple years of involvement. uMthombo’s model leads children & youth out of street life towards alternatives. In many cases, this means reintegration back into their communities with appropriate family preparation and support (45 were reintegrated in 2017, out of 262 children reached & 183 drawn into programmes).

In cases of such family disintegration that there is no-where to return to, UMthombo refers children & youth to appropriate alternative care, & those older than 16 are supported to develop independent living integrated into their communities. Due to complex multiple trauma, getting children and youth off the streets needs to be a careful process. There are no quick- fixes, but children’s lives can and are transformed.

5 Strategies Programme


to children & youth on Durban’s streets (boys & increasingly girls) through high-impact activities, and if needed, referal to appropriate professional care


Social interventions for boys & girls for healing, resilience & re-integration

Targeted Development Interventions

  • Development interventions tailored to the specific needs of girls & young women
  • Post-16 boys residential program (8-12 weeks) to help young men build independent, integrated lives & seek employment


Interventions with at-risk children & youth in townships surrounding Durban, & building community safety networks for at-risk children and youth


uMthombo also aims to re-educate local communities as well as government service providers to acknowledge the shared responsibility of all adults towards all children as part of the age-old African communal value of ‘ubuntu’ – ‘I am because you are’, also in light of current SA children’s policies – thus making reintegration a real possibility

Voices of Hope and Transformation

Sipho, Former Street Youth

uMthombo gave me a second chance at life. Through their targeted development interventions, I found the courage to leave the streets and build a new future. Today, I’m studying to become a social worker so I can help others like me.

Maria, Community Worker

Seeing the change in these kids is why I do what I do. uMthombo’s holistic approach not only supports them off the streets but ensures they thrive back in their communities.

Lindiwe, Reintegrated Youth

I was lost, and uMthombo found me. Their psycho-social support helped me heal from my traumas and reintegrate into my family. I am now living a life I never thought possible.