A PAARLITE, Dr Gcwalisile Kabanyane, is one of ten exceptional people who have been honoured for their philanthropic efforts and contributions to social change in South Africa at the prestigious fifth annual Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards held at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town.
Dr Kabanyane is the founder of the charitable organisation in Paarl, Qolothani Makhosiklazi Social and Cultural Services. Established two years ago in the impoverished Mbekweni township, Gcwalisile's organisation has made a meaningful difference to the lives of many poor and vulnerable people. Her projects include the building of a community kitchen where those in need can get a nutritious meal and advice on health issues affecting their lives. She also provides meals for children attending the local Sunday school and supports many of the child-headed families in the community by paying for their groceries and school uniforms.
She works closely with some of the schools in the area ii to produce vegetable gardens. Each year, she organises a 'girls and mothers' conference which aims to promote leadership and financial management skills as well as the living of a healthy lifestyle. She also supports skills development workshops I which teach local women beadwork and then markets their creations locally and internationally.
Not only does Gcwalisile raise all her own funds for her charity through events like the 'Crossing the Barriers Fun Walk, but she uses her own transport to deliver wheelchairs and food to the families she supports in Mbekweni. The profit that she makes from publications in her printing business are used to support her projects.
The Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards were established by the South African Institute for Advancement in 2007 to acknowledge, celebrate and profile those who have committed their personal resources towards broader social development in South Africa. PhiIanthropists are nominated by their peers and members of the communities in which they work or by the non-profit organisations that they support. The awardees are chosen according to specific criteria linked to their contribution to society, by a panel of 10 highly respected judges, including Dr Milford Soko, Associate Professor at the UCT Graduate School of Business and Chair of the Inyathelo Board and Dr Iqbal Surve, Chairman of the Sekunjalo Group and an Inyathelo Trustee. AWARD WINNER. Dr Gewalisile Kabanyane