By Uzair Adams.
2016 has undoubtedly been a momentous year for ProBono.Org as we celebrated the organisation’s 10th anniversary, which coincided with the launch of a new office in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.
The formal opening of the Isivivana Centre in Khayelitsha took place on 13 October 2016. The centre is managed by the Khayelitsha Youth and Community Centre Trust and was primarily funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies with support from the Harry Crossley Foundation and the Bertha Foundation.
The centre is the first of its kind and operates as a social justice hub which will be home to ProBono.Org and eight other NGOs working with and for underprivileged communities. These NGOs include Equal Education (EE), the Social Justice Coalition (SJC), Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders), the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Workers World Media Productions, Health Equity South Africa, the Thope Foundation and the Equal Education Law Centre.
The centre will certainly bring about positive change within Khayelitsha and surrounding communities with these various organisations working towards empowering and improving lives. These NGOs may have different mandates but their common goal is to make access to social justice more easily accessible and realisable for the marginalised.
The legendary Zakes Mda, major literary award winner was one of the guest speakers at the launch. He spoke about the significant symbolism of naming the building Isivivana. The word “Isivivana” means a cairn of stones used to mark a pathway.
“This is a magnificent home for the non-governmental organisations. Isivivana is a glimmer of hope, hope that we all need. This is where all young people will meet and correct our wrongs. My generation has messed up the country. The country is in a mess. It is corrupt to the core. It is in this place that these NGOs will make our government accountable,” he said.
On the day, Cape Town TV, a community television channel interviewed Uzair Adams who manages the ProBono.Org Cape Town office. The Cape Town office is currently in its set-up phase, and is expected to be fully operational by January 2017.