Clara talks with HIppo Roller recipients.
In 1992, the Kgautswane Community Development Center was established under the leadership of Mama Clara Masinga. Kgautswane is a very rural community – located amongst many small villages scattered throughout the mountains in the province of Limpopo. The center has 150 men and women volunteers who serve the orphans and vulnerable children, youth, elderly and disabled. Nineteen creches provide daycare. A telecenter provides services such as photocopying, typing, printing, internet, and computer training. A private school (through grade 3) helps young learners get a good start. A medical clinic provides health care with a home-based program for the elderly and disabled.
SidebySide’s involvement in Kgautswane includes a 4-yr effort to get an abandoned water distribution system serving about 7,000 households, renovated and functional, and provision of hippo water rollers to 75 families.
In addition to overseeing all the Center operations, Clara runs Bama Lodge, where she provides lodging (“Bed & Breakfast”) in six authentic, thatch-roofed rondavels for tourists from Africa and around the world.
Local farmers and businesses donate fruits, vegetables and groceries so Clara is able to provide meals to children, the elderly, and disabled. Through regular clothing drives the Center provides uniforms, book bags and shoes to the orphans and vulnerable children, and blankets, shoes and clothes to the elderly and disabled.
Through her tenacious will to help the people of her community, Clara has received significant financial and in-kind support from many private and government organizations. She has spoken at forums and conferences locally and globally on such topics as rural life and rural development, the fight against poverty and racism, and the importance of technology and computer training for teachers and learners in rural villages. Clara has received numerous awards including Community Builder of the Year, Community of the Decade, two awards from the World Bank for her fight against poverty, South African Heroes, and from the former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, The Order of Baobab, a civilian national honor awarded to those for service in business and the economy; science, medicine, and for technological innovation; and community service.
Clara Masinga is a true “Champion”.