The Foundation journey, if I may call it a journey started after reading a book titled ‘What They Don’t Teach you at Harvad Business School’ by Mark McComack in 2000. As a lawyer who had spent most of her time handling Human Rights cases and facing an injustice that was systemic, I dreamt of having a vehicle that would reflect or be consistent with my values. I wanted to leave something that would guide those who remain to remember me in what would be my legacy by sharing my Estate.. Looking back, this was a naïve view of life because I do not have a pile of cash in the bank. I simply have a name I call my currency.
The realistic view is that The Linda Zama Trust was established to be an extension of service to those I come into contact with. It was established to form partnerships with the like-minded people and organisations who want to share what they have be it their time, ideas and of course material success with those in need and marginalised. The Trust lay dormant and did not fly until in 2009- when I returned from a sojourn in Tanzania and found my father battling stage 4 cancer.
My late father had spent 20 years of his retirement from the Department of Education working in communities mainly in the South Coast of Durban, establishing what was then called creches now Early Childhood Development Centres.( ECDs) He realised that children needed to be brought up in a manner that would make them self respecting and confident human beings. He saw a gap in the first 5 years of a child’s development. His first flagship crèche is called KHULISA PRE-PRIMARY SCHOOL. Today, Khulisa has 168 children. It is registered to take care of Day 0-5 children.
People continued to come home to consult my father during his battle with cancer. I had returned from Tanzania and I had decided to look after him while I was planning life back home. During challenging days when he could not listen to people’s requests for assistance, my father would tell them to talk to me. He said he was handing them over to me. The rest is history. I call the ECD projects ‘my inheritance.’
After he passed away in 2010 I continued to assist the people my father had worked with using the Foundation I registered a NOT FOR PROFIT Dexter and Matu Zama Academy which the Foundation still supports even today. I made sure that seven cooperatives were registered and that Khulisa was supported.
- The cooperatives were trained to produce organic vegetables
- The cooperatives were trained to process surplus vegetables
- A local market was sought for cooperatives to sell their produce.
- Khulisa was supported and has been renovated. A play area for the children was transformed into a friendly landscaping.
- Instead of assisting only Khulisa, the support has been extended to 32 Early Childhood Development Centres in Umdoni Municipality.
- In 2018 a successful sports day to celebrate Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama Sisulu’s 100 years was organised. A total of 700 children participated. The success of the games led to organising ECDs into clusters so that they continue to hold sport- festivals every year. Hopefully, preparations will start after the coronavirus lockdown.
- A partnership with YOUTH supporting 2 schools in Clermont Township has been running for 18 months. A partnership with Sport and Recreation has been formed to promote a healthy life style.
THE 2020 CALENDER
- 20 February 2020 a workshop for ECD practitioners was held
- Training for ECD childminders on hygiene and food preparation is currently on hold because of the lock down
- Training for child minders in FIRST AID is currently on hold. First Aid kits were distributed
- Training for childminders in games for different age groups is on hold
- Training at Clernaville and Christianenberg Primary Schools is on hold.
- Training for 4 YOUTH AT ETA College continues on line.
- Training in partnership with NALI BALI in reading and story telling is on hold
- 16 June 20202 Youth Dialogue planning continues
- 26 June 2020 at Selborne Golf Course Charity Golf Day to launch the Foundation has been rescheduled to a date to be announced.
- Mandela Month activities to support and mobilise communities to support for ECDs are in the pipeline
- August 2020 workshops on parenting are underway
- September Reading for Pleasure will culminate to a Reading Festival
2020 is a year of high activity.