Making Waterloo a better place
Disciplined, passionate and hardworking are some of the words to describe founder of Hlengisizwe foundation, Hlengiwe Mkhize.
Hlengiwe who was born and bread in the township of Waterloo, KwaZulu-Natal, has always had the passion for helping and empowering people.
“I was raised by a strong black woman that instilled discipline and independence in me from a young age. We were also taught to love and care for each other,” said Hlengiwe.
Her passion for farming and uplifting her community has led her to starting her own organisation, which is 100% black female owned and a non-profit organization which was founded in 2019.
Hlengisizwe foundation helps and works with mostly farmers from around the area. They help upskill them and assist in branching them out from being subsistence farmers to commercial farmers. The organization also provides the youth in their area with accredited 12 months learnerships from Agri-SETA which specializes in animal or plant production.
Prisca Shandu who has benefitted from the foundation had nothing but amazing things to say.
“Jobs are scarce these days but with the help of the foundation I was able to get practical experience. I have also been able to link commercial farmers with relevant markets using the skills I have acquired from the Hlengisizwe seminors. “ she said
They also own one Hector of land in Waterloo, where they plan to provide practical training for their learners. This will help them be able to generate their own income so they can fund their own community outreach programmes.
Lindiwe Nxumalo who has also benefitted from the Hlengisizwe Foundation had this to say.
“The foundation has taught me so much especially with regards to farming and looking after the things we have planted. I was able to also learn about the types of soils that are good to farm on, we as a community are thankful for the foundations help and contributions. We have learnt a lot,” she said.
The community of Waterloo has benefitted from the Hlengisizwe Foundation, as they make it a priority to give back in their community. They have been able to organise projects that included two food drives, one of them was to identify families that had a lot of members in the household, and were given loafs of bread that were sponsored by Albany.
In their second food drive initiative they planned to feed approximately 300 children from around the community. They were able to do through the donations received from Coca-Cola and Albany.
The organization currently has no direct sponsors. They rely on assistance from family, friends and donations. They do however have a sponsor called Afrihost for their website hosting.
Hlengiwe, hopes that her qualification in Public Relations will help grow the organization in terms of marketing, branding and media relations moving forward.
Picture: Hlengisizwe Foundation