Interview with Masishaba Mlotshwa

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Her name is “Masishaba” meaning the mother of the nation. It’s a name that carries a magnitude of responsibility to be the vessel of love, care, and unites people of diversity. Masishaba lives by her name, she is home to the homeless, a mother to the orphans, a mentor to the community members of Soweto, and an incubator of vulnerable children.

Masishaba is a social worker by profession and has always dedicated her life to community development. Living in Soweto, she was always unsettled about children roaming the street after school with some ending-up being addicts of substance abuse. Thats why she and her late husband realised a need to establish an NGO that will shape children to live a purposeful life. Unfortunately, her husband passed way in 2015 before the dream become a reality. The death of her beloved husband brought so many uncertainties about her destiny but within her, there was a light that shines amid the darkness of grieve and loss.

Founding of Ammish

In the latter part of 2015, she met a lady from Germany who helped unleash her purpose and implanted courage to go after her destiny. In 2016, she left her full-time job and founded her new organization called Ammish community development. Her journey started by partnering with a primary school in Soweto where she was providing after school care and helping children with homework. During that year, she warmed the hearts of the white city jabavu community in Soweto when she gave 700 children Christmas gifts. This was the first time happening in the community and it is a joyful memory that is printed forever in the hearts of the children.

Changes and Development

Her program was later extended to seven primary schools in Soweto where she deployed coordinators and educators helping learners with their after school studies and homework. However, because of the lack of funding, she lost 40 volunteers. Consequently, she had to stop the program in other schools and focused on one school which is Letang primary school and they are still assisting the school today.

In 2017 she converted her home to a community center and a home for the vulnerable, children from different backgrounds visit her home after school to get food and assistance with their school work.

Her organization also secured a partnership with the Department of Social Development and other local businesses to provide food parcels to vulnerable children in the community of Soweto.

Ammish Activities

Ammish community development also does community events. They have mother’s day celebration where all the phenomenal women of the community come together to celebrate their day. They also have Africa day where people come with their best traditional attire and they choose the best category. The event aims to encourage people to be proud of their culture and to also learn about other cultures.

The organisation also does educational tours, because they have realised that some of the kids do not know the history of Soweto, so the organisation takes them to historical places such as Mandela home so that they learn about the history of the country.

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