Welcome to Ukulapha
The Ukulapha Outreach Project was formed with the objective of facilitating the growth, development and empowerment of South African people.
Our goal is to help people in their community, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually manage emotions, build self-esteem and facilitate social upliftment, revitalizing the vital spirit of Ubuntu.
Ukulapha Outreach Project
Ukulapha is a grassroots community project in Slangspruit & Imbali in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa; offering support to orphan headed households & families with vulnerable children. At this stage Carolyn & team members are volunteers. Key areas include providing support to orphan-headed households, co-ordinating scholarships, assisting Slangspruit Primary School, a grade 3 reading group, counselling & skills workshops & an adult literacy program. We aim to bring people from all different backgrounds together to bring about healing & growth.
Slangspruit is the oldest poorly developed township on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg with very high levels of poverty, unemployment and HIV infection. These factors, together with the large numbers of orphans and vulnerable children, particularly child-headed households, led the project founders to initiate the Ukulapha Outreach Project.
Carolyn Burns is a South African who has lived in Canada for the past 25 years. She returned to her homeland with the idea of starting a counselling program for educating lay counsellors to work within their communities.
She got sidetracked into starting a grassroots community outreach project to provide food, education resources, home improvements & psychosocial support to families with no parents; children raising children, largely as a result of parents dying of AIDS related illness.
Her background is in nursing and counselling psychology. A deep pull to return to her homeland and give back motivated her; being acutely aware of having received privilege solely due to her skin colour, and the urge to fulfil a deeper purpose in her life.
Carolyn is the initiator & manager of Ukulapha.
Sharon Gilbert was born and raised on a farm outside of Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal and has always had a strong desire to help those less fortunate than herself. She regards education and the nurturing of people’s self esteem as being key to addressing many of South Africa’s socio-economic challenges. Sharon coordinated and ran the “Masifundisane” Adult Literacy and Life Skills group from April to October 2010 for mothers and caregivers of children at Slangspruit Primary School. This year she has begun a reading programme for the Grade 3’s at Slangspruit Primary which is aimed at giving the children greater exposure to English which is not their mother tongue, and which government policy states that they must be instructed in from Grade 4 to Grade 12. Sharon is also passionate about the wellbeing of animals and the environment and is interested in the personal healing and growth that can take place through lessons in caring for pets and one’s surroundings.
Nelisiwe's assistance and collaboration was essential to the genesis of Ukulapha Community Outreach. She worked with us for 2 years and is now involved with her studies in Community Development. We appreciate her sisterhood and expertise and wish her luck as her life evolves.
The Burns and Mbeje families have known each other for decades.