Etelang Pele “leads the way” with the US Embassy

Etelang Pele (Sotho name meaning “leading the way”) is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that operates in Sebokeng and its surrounds. Established in 2008, the organisation provides services to Orphans, Vulnerable Children and Youth (OVCY), such as nutritional and psychosocial support.

Over the years, the organisation has relied solely on funding from the Department of Social Development (DSD) and, more recently, funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, including Second Table Ministries. Etelang Pele was selected by HIVSA to participate in its PEPFAR-funded Orphaned, Vulnerable Children and Youth (OVCY) Support Programme, a programme funded by USAID in 2013. The aim of the project is to build the institutional capacity of community-based organisations (CBOs) and enhance service delivery to OVCY.

Etelang Pele’s management team was selected to attend management training for Home and Community Based Care (HCBC) organisations. One of the aims of this training is to strengthen the existing capacity within CBOs to plan, manage, and oversee programmes to ultimately ensure increased ef ficiency and ef ficacy in service delivery, with the ultimate aim of ensuring that services rendered have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the beneficiaries.

According to the managers, the training greatly improved their knowledge in areas such as strategic planning, fundraising, and proposal writing, including writing and submitting business plans. Following the training, Etelang Pele staff, including those who had not attended the training, received intensive mentoring and support from HIVSA.

During this time, the US Embassy issued a call for applications for Small Community Grants and, armed with their stronger fundraising, proposal, and business plan writing skills facilitated through HCBC training, the organisation’s project manager, Mpho Molakeng, responded by applying for funding for bakery equipment and materials. A few months later, on the 1st of August 2014, Etelang Pele received the good news that they would be recipients of funding for establishing a bakery as an income generation project.

After achieving this feat, Mpho notes that, never in her career has she felt so proud of herself. She explained that, “the sky is the limit, with the new skills that we have gained through HIVSA’s intervention, we hope to scale up our efforts to explore more funding avenues and opportunities that can create sustainability corridors for our CBO and protectthe continuity of services that we are giving to children that come to our centre”.

Etelang Pele’s efforts to improve their bene ficiaries’ livelihoods and sustainability did not end with the bakery project. In addition, through the project manager’ visionary leadership and guidance, the organisation has received non-financial resources of library cabinets and stationery from SASOL.

In the time that HIVSA has worked with Mpho, she has shown great enthusiasm and expressed gratitude for the ongoing support that HIVSA has provided to her and her staff.She has truly demonstrated that she has the best interests of her organisation at heart and that she is passionate about her work, as well as developing her staff. She ended off our interview with the following quote:

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” John Holmes