Siphesihle Ndwandwe

Elam Empowerment

What does your company do?

Our organisation is dedicated to empowering the homeless, incarcerated women and their babies, and unemployed youth in Gauteng through a variety of targeted initiatives and interventions, all aimed at facilitating their reintegration into society. 1. For the homeless we hold clothes and blanket drives and have recently initiated a reintegration programme currently running with a few homeless individuals in Linden 2. For incarcerated women and their babies we conduct pads and diapers drives and we are currently advocating for systemic change through our change.org campaign, urging the Department of Correctional Services to prioritise women’s menstrual health in all prisons in the budget allocations 3. For unemployed youth we are hosting a summit and a 3-month incubation programme aimed at empowering them Core Values • Purpose: In all that we do, we operate with a clear understanding of our meaning and direction in life. We strive for growth and progress, always working with the big picture in mind. • Ubuntu: We embody the spirit of Ubuntu, believing that our existence is interconnected with others. We act with concern for others and work collaboratively to uplift our community. • Perseverance: We persist in our efforts and are committed to supporting people. We prioritise individuals and honour our commitments, refusing to give up easily ["people are our priority and honour is our code"] • Autonomy: We embrace our God-given freedom, exercising self-determination and discipline. We focus on achieving our goals and purpose, making choices that reflect our autonomy. • Genuineness: We act with integrity and truthfulness, staying true to who we are. We are committed to excellence in all we do, always striving to perform to the best of our abilities. • Mastery: We work diligently and proficiently in all our endeavours, dedicating ourselves fully to our work to achieve high standards of proficiency. By operating with these core values, we aim to create a community where every individual can achieve self-sufficiency and independence, contributing to the reintegration and empowerment of those we serve.

What is your biggest success?

Our greatest achievement to date was being selected as one of the nation’s top 100 youth-led NPOs by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) in our second year of existence. This prestigious recognition was awarded through the National Youth Service Challenge, highlighting our dedication and impact in empowering disenfranchised communities. This accolade not only validates our hard work but also motivates us to continue driving positive change and fostering self-sufficiency among the homeless, incarcerated women, and unemployed youth in Gauteng.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Our biggest hurdle occurred when a public entity stole and poorly executed an idea we had submitted through a sponsorship proposal. We had planned an event for a group of disenfranchised individuals in the city as part of our “You Matter” campaign and provided a detailed proposal to the entity, hoping for sponsorship. Instead, they used our blueprint without consent, delivering a subpar event. This experience taught us valuable lessons about navigating funding proposals and protecting our ideas. It was a discouraging setback, highlighting the systemic challenges we face in serving those who need help the most.