Nompumelelo Melaphi


What does your company do?

Rethink Africa NPC (Reg. No.: 2014/005417/08) is social enterprise focused on development. Rethink Africa was founded in 2012 by a group of postgraduate students at the University of the Witwatersrand who launched it as a novel space for rigorous youth led engagement to promote alternative economic development and policy. Rethink Africa possesses a wide- range of private and public sector, research, advocacy and community development experience. For our community development programme we work with youth, women and children in underserved communities.

What is your biggest success?

1. Converting a Dumping site into an Urban farm for a Early Childhood development Centre In the community we work in, there is high unemployment and this has led to Principal not earning profit because they charge ZAR200-300 fees per month per child. This small amount has made it difficult for the school to purchase required nutritious vegetables. This led to the team to convert a dumping site into an Urban Farm for the ECD. Which has also served as a learning environment for the children. Moreover, it has led to the Principal to also earn additional money to support the ECD and her family so that they can live in dignity 2. At Letsemma - Ilima primary school we Installed a Hydro Tunnel and A kiddies Urban farm- This space has seen unemployed people volunteer their time to learn about agriculture and learners in the school learn about the importance of agriculture and where their food comes from 3. Projects supplementing to schools feeding schemes for over 400 learners from the produce produced at the school We have managed to install 4 Urban farms in Schools and this initiative has allowed women farmers, community members take pride in growing nutritious produce that helps learners concentrate at schools. 4. Traveling to the US The work that I do led me to be to chosen to be participate in the U.S. Department of State-funded Advancing Young Women Agribusiness Entrepreneurs and Innovators Professional Fellowship Program in Michigan State in the year 2023

What has been your biggest hurdle?

The work that we do is important for the community however, a times we are met with risks. One risk that we experience is theft in our projects. The ECD Urban farm was robbed of its inputs numerous times which was a major hurdle as it was a challenge to make funders understand. However, when the community started owning the project and involving the Community Policing Forum we have not had any theft in our Urban farms.