PHAKAMISA is pronounced pa-ga-mee-sa.
A Zulu word meaning 'to uplift.'



Our Wandering School programme is aimed to assist orphan and vulnerable children within the poorest of the communities we work in.  This year we have large numbers of children registered in this programme by their caregivers who are unable to afford the fees of pre-schools and creches.

Phakamisa visitors, Sita and Sue, distirbuted toothbrushes and toothpaste in Thandi’s school.








We recently had one of our overseas visitors join in one of our Caregivers Gym Classes which start bright and early at 7.30am.  Our visitor crept in a tad later than this and found a spare mat so she could quickly join in with the other ladies.  It was noted that she tried hard to keep up and follow the sequence of exercises which required concentration and a determination to try and make her body stretch, or flex, or co-ordinate – and whilst we could see she was having fun we note that she didn’t really expect it to be quite so hard.  As for our regulars – they as usual threw themselves into trying to work through all the exercises with enthusiasm and effort so that when the unwind and relax part of the class arrived they deserved and benefitted.

Report back for our visitor – ‘Gym Class is brilliant, I didn’t realise how inflexible I was, I will go home and take up this new regime.  And the teacher – well she was brilliant.’







This September’s Newsletter features the testimony of two amazing women, Elaine and Margaret, who were both called to serve God through Phakamisa.   Download this very special letter here. September ’13


June Newsletter.

Download the September 2012 Newsletter.

Download the June 2012 Newsletter.

Download the March 2012 Newsletter.

Download the September 2011 Newsletter here.


‘When joining Phakamisa I saw myself as a Servant of God who had been called to serve and I accepted His calling. As I introduced myself to Caregivers and Staff at the beginning of the year,  I set a theme for us all – God is Love.

Let us all spread the love of God to one another so that Phakamisa will smell the aroma of LOVE.


Many of our Phakamisa Caregivers have to carry water from home or a community tap to fill the water containers in their gardens.  This group of women have over a 1km uphill walk to fill these yellow plastic containers their only supply of water for their crops – hard work even before they have begun to garden, made even more difficult in our hot climate.







It’s good to be able to learn any new skill, and sewing is an incredibly useful and potentially economic empowering one to have.  Alexia is our devoted sewing trainer, sharing with Caregivers her skills to encourage and enable them to be able to sew.  Over time,  with practise, commitment and continued training from Alexia her students achieve a higher level of skill and receive from Phakamisa their Advanced Sewers certificate.  For everyone concerned there is huge pride and joy in giving and receiving the certificate.



Imagine going through life unable to read or write and what a huge disadvantage this would be! Phakamisa addressed this need for many of our Caregivers at the beginning of 2012 when we introduced Literacy classes.  It has been a long, sometimes slow and difficult walk for many of our wonderful caregivers so imagine the day of celebration we had a year later at our first Literacy Graduation day. 31 Caregivers graduated with their Literacy Certificates. After one short year of learning, an 86 year old can read the label on her medicine bottles for the first time ever!

As so many said at their graduation ‘The light has come on in the darkness’.

This story is included in our new and current Newsletter – download here


The link below is a one minute film which tells the story of a class of children from one of our Wandering Teacher school’s first trip to a park.  A very special outing.

The Park.mp4



This is our soy seed for 2012/13, divided up for each of our 6 area groups and ready for innoculation.

The seed is innoculated, essential especially where a vegetable garden is new to soy and then spread out to dry.


These women are caregiver leaders from Group 4, who are sharing out the seed to supply all the caregivers in their group.  That morning in devotions we all prayed over the seed asking Gosd to bless our planting and harvest it was incredibly moving.

Planting soy is relatively a new development for Phakamisa but it feels an exciting one, and we will update you with news of our caregivers progress and eventual harvest.


Our gardeners and their seed, ready now for planting.







This April 100 women were  enrolled on our Child Minder course which will take them 6 months to complete and graduate from.

Graduation Day is a special day for all our students, this group completed their course and received their certificates in March.

Many students continue their training by enrolling on our Educare course which begins in October and lasts 9 months.




National Pharmacy in Kloof wanted to knit scarves for children in need, but in volume and so they decided to encourage their customers to help and join in by providing them with wool and needles.  It’s currently winter in Pinetown, and our mornings and nights are cold – scarves for children in poor communities a luxury item.   The Sifikile Creche with a total of 140 babies and children has within their staff  two Phakamisa trained teachers – and so when Phakamisa received this gift from National Pharmacy we knew exactly where to send it.  There was great fun in choosing your favourite colour and texture as we hope these pictures show.







Graduation Day was a great celebration for this large class of 25 women who have just all successfully complete our Early Childhood Development course.  The graduates, 95 in total, have met for training one day every other week over the spring and summer school terms. They return to crèches and pre-schools where they care for 0-3 year olds with new skills and understandings of how a child learns.  For this group of Childminders theirs was a day of great dancing, singing, much enthusiasm and tears.

Phakamisa provides training through a curriculum based on Early Childhood Development research and specifically developed to South Africa’s Zulu townships and informal settlements. Students have come from one day every other week from 5 different areas within a 50 km radius of Pinetown. We are committed to training pre-school and crèche workers from previously disenfranchised areas to teach in ways that will enable children to succeed and excel in formal education.


We produce three Newsletters annually.

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