The Association for the Aged (Tafta)’s CEO Femada Shamam, was joined today by Tafta Council Chair Wicus Jacobs in handing over a Multipurpose outreach project in Amaoti, Inanda, to the community based NPO Ilungelo Labadala.

Tafta has been developing and mentoring the outreach project since 2000, and today handed over the management and ownership of the care village it had fostered for nearly two decades, following a two year handover process that began in 2016. The total value of all assets and cash handed over to the Ilungelo Labadalaorganisation amounted to nearly R4,7 million comprising of assets to the value of R4,298 125, 09 and a cash portion of R383 074, 93.

“It certainly is a momentous occasion for Tafta. Since our involvement began with this Inanda community all the way back in 1989, we’ve seen the tangible difference we’ve made to the lives of the elders, the youth and children who benefited from the village through the years. We wish the Ilungelo Labadala team the very best as they take over the project and give them the reassurance that Tafta will always remain on hand to assist where required,” said Tafta CEO Femada Shamam.

Tafta initially became involved in the Inanda area in 1989 when the Association was approached to provide a meal for pensioners waiting for pension pay-outs at five pay points in the area on a monthly basis. After playing an instrumental role is establishing the Inanda Pensioner’s Forum in 1992, Tafta was then approached by one of its representatives Mrs Victoria Mtshali to help form the Ilungelo Labadala Association. This was done in 1994, and after requesting that Tafta enter a partnership with their association, land was sought to “develop a village project to care for the most vulnerable in the Amaoti community, namely, the elderly, disabled and orphaned children.”

Describing the project, Shamam says it was designed as a village for the vulnerable to comprise of a community centre, accommodation for the elderly and destitute, a skills training facility, day care centre and other enterprises. After acquiring a lease agreement with the Department of Local Government and Housing, the newly erected multipurpose centre became operational in August of 2000.

“The approach to the project was to develop in phases, this being the establishment of the multipurpose centre, the residential cottages and the after care facility for the children. The village now also operates the assisted living unit, a charity second hand store, training centre, and kitchen facilities. We were extremely grateful for the support of long-term Tafta donors for helping establish these facilities.”

“According to one of the founding members of the Ilungelo Labadala organisation, Mrs Elizabeth Mbongwe, Tafta’s role in making the project work was an instrumental one: “Margie Smith became involved right from the start and it was an extremely rewarding process. We had to meet with the community, draw up plans for what the project would look like and we decided that we would create a kitchen to feed, an elder care facility and another cottage to house destitute children who were either orphaned or abused. It was an exciting time and we were so grateful to Tafta when we saw the dream beginning to materialise. We stayed on and watched it flourish and then we handed over to the young ones to be mentored by Tafta.”

Ilungelo Labadla Chair Sabelo Mfeka says the organisation was extremely grateful for the contribution made by Tafta; “We have shadowed the Tafta leaders for a while and we are excited to take the project forward to continue the work currently being done and to expand our reach further into the Amaoti community”.

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