Technical Officer, Mr Luyolo Mapekula, nominated as Local Hero by the Daily DispatchDate Released: Thu, 1 March 2018 15:39 +0200
Masiphumelele Family Support Centre in Grahamstown was founded by the God’s Glory Assembly in 2010 when they began supplying disadvantaged families in Joza township with school uniforms, food and other clothing.
Luyolo Mapekula from Grahamstown assists disadvantaged pupils with math, science and other projects. Picture: FACEBOOK
Church leader Pastor Buyisile Kutu said the centre survived on community offerings and tithes.
“It has been eight years and we have yet to receive [government] funding, instead we use money from the church. [A lack of funding] will not stand in our way to do good however.”
In 2016 Luvuyo Mapekula, 34, felt drawn to help the needy in the area and began working with the centre through the introduction of educational assist programmes.
The Rhodes University lab technical officer introduced a tutoring programme where children in Grades 7 to 12 in the area receive help with mathematics and physical science subjects.
Mapekula went as far as writing his own Isixhosa mathematics study guide Isisekelo sezibalo ngolwimi lwenkobe which he says will be distributed to underprivileged schools (quintile 1-3) in the area for free.
“The maths Xhosa study guide will make things easier for them to understand. We want to increase the class pass rate especially of maths and science; we are trying by all means to get rid of all obstacles,” he said.
When pupils decide which career path they would like to follow, Mapekula organises them to job shadow over weekends and holidays to gain knowledge of the job they would like to do. The centre also organises transport to where the pupils need to be.
Mapekula is also involved in the Egazini Art Centre, where community artists learn to hone their craft by making items from clay. Mapekula believes the centre could do much better if they had a marketing strategy – which is why he helps the artists develop proposals for funding, marketing and sales, as well as facilitating the registration of cooperatives. Another centre project that has been a success is the Real Men of Direction initiative.
Here young men are invited to sessions where experts address issues affecting them – a major one of which is highlighted by Mapekula as “growing up without a father”.
Mapekula says he wants to see the youth prospering and to be well informed from a young age. “All I want is a better South Africa tomorrow. They need to be aware of issues around them because they are the future,” he said.
Masiphumelele Family Support Centre, like many other non-profit organisations, runs with very little funding yet manages to handle all the projects as well as having a twice-weekly feeding scheme in the township. “We are hopeful that we will receive funding and that we will be able to build a proper centre and duplicate this in other rural areas in the greater Eastern Cape,” Mapekula said. — firstname.lastname@example.org