Hella Ledwaba

Vuka Skhokho: The Jermaine Lungile Schmidt Foundation

What does your company do?

We are a PBO in the Community and Youth Development space. We have recycling project called the Ecosense which started with 30 recyclers, 10 women, 10 elderly and 10 substance users. We now have over 300 Alexandra residents who will be recycling with us and we are launching our Riziki project this June, which entails our female recyclers getting licenses and doing their recycling using TukTuk vans. We are determined to bring dignity to work which not only empowers communities but which is crucial to the environment as well. We run an ECD and soup kitchen from our premises and we all work in the communities of Orange Farm, Katlehong, Soweto and Alex at schools doing work in the substance use awareness, prevention and early intervention space. In July we will be launching our Sgela Outreach and Digital Intervention Project which aims to bridge the technology gap between our learners and those in more privileged schools. We have partnered with Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and various expert NGO's in this initiative and excited for what this means for our kids.

What is your biggest success?

Seeing our recycling project grow the way it has in just 6 months. Getting vehicles for our recyclers and not only helping them get licenses but to be able to help these recyclers drive and truly be able to proud of who they are and what they do.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Failed promises. We are a very small organization and we have gotten our fingers burned for trusting too easily. I have never succumbed to pressure and have always fought to do things the correct was and honestly so. It has paid off and I can be proud of how far we have come with our integrity in tact.