I: News about the Gamalakhe- foundations work

Change of the foundation’s name and branding from «Gamalakhe»… to «IMPANDE»

The steering committee of the Gamalakhe development Center’s foundation decided at their June meeitng to change both the name and branding of the foundation.


4009aaaa-b581-41cb-9db1-19287b0e4ab8As from now the foundation’s registered name is : Gamalakhe Foundation, Norway

The foundation’s branding will be: IMPANDE

There are four reasons for these changes:

  • The foundation was named after the first enterprise that was undertaken – i.e the Gamalakhe Development Centre. This centre has now been transferred to – and is run 100% - by local efforts. The Centre name therefore no longer covers the work the foundation does in KwaZulu Natal in South Africa.
  • The foundation needs a simple branding that gives clear signals as to what the foundation does and stands for.
  • The foundation works internationally in English-speaking areas. For practical reasons we therefore use the English word «Foundation» in the registered name instead of the Norwegian «Stiftelse» (which means foundation)
  • Gamalakhe is incorporated in the registered name to show continuity in the work and to avoid misunderstandings.

Why the branding name IMPANDE?

The uniqueness of the Gamalakhe Foundation can be expressed in :

That the foundation runs a development programme directed towards children and young people from poor and vulnerable backgrounds in the UGU district of the Natal-State of South Africa – and that the work is based on a wish to reach and mobilise the grass roots to identify and liberate local work for development both on a human and financial level.

What then is more natural than to choose the name IMPANDE as branding as IMPANDE means «Grass root» in izi-Zulu, which is the local language. If you look closer at the logo you will see that the first letter in IMPANDE are some blades of grass.

Moreover our local partners in South Africa use the same branding – i.e IMPANDE. Their name of registration is Yotshani IMPANDE foundation.


Brian Liggett

9eae446e-6157-49ca-b208-9cf024d597c8Brian Liggett is a central key worker for IMPANDE Norway in South Africa. He comes from Ireland, is 33 years old, married to Mari Linnett-Winberg from Rynkeby in Stockholm, Sweden, and father of Ezra who will soon be 1 year old. They have established themselves in the Xolo-tribe in the South Afircan countryside. Read more about this hard working young man.

Brian and the undersigned met for a chat in the house where we usually stay when working in South Africa. Brian has been there many times as he has become a close and important co-worker for IMPANDE, Norway – earlier GDCS Norway and GDC Gamalakhe.

During the interview I asked him to tell his «love story» - as well to Maria as South Africa. Brian and Maria have been married for 10 years. –« We met in Margate in South Africa», he tells – a small village 1/2 hrs car drive from Gamalakhe which is inland – towards the coast. We started as voluntary workers 12 years ago. Then a friendship developed, where they worked together, lived in as well Stockholm as Ireland and after a while became a couple. They were both educated in their home countries – Maria as a social worker from Stockholm and Brian studied «Rural development» in Belfast and at London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)


NAG is a central concept in development aid in this area. NAG has been of great help to us in Norway concerning making the right decisions based on local knowledge we don’t have the qualifications for. NAG gets this knowledge not least through the 350 various grassroot initiatives that are registered members with them. I ask Brian to tell more about NAG and how it has developed.

Maria and I worked as voluntaries in NAG in 2005 and 2006 together with other voluntaries,he tells, but in a NAG without permanent employees. We travelled forwards and back between Ireland, Sweden and part-time work for NAG. The main focus in the work was to assist small organisations in the countryide, right down to grassroot level, and most often with the poorest.

Brian felt it was necessary to formalize the work with an office with permanent employees. In 2009 he took the initiative for this.

NAG now has 10 employees and 40 local practice students. These are young people without a job or economy to get an education. Now they get public funding to train as social workers. They do grassroot work within NAG and study per correspondence courses. In NAGs office the students meet every other Saturday to study together, discuss appropriate themes and get extra tuition by trained social workers. Maria is a central person in this work. - They are going to be «barefoot workers» Brian says with emphasis. – Not someone on high heels the way public authorities like to see it. Brian is faithful to, and makes cmmon cause with, the people he lives and works with. He likes living in the countryside with primarily black Africans as neighbours, and he and Maria have no plans of moving back to one of their native countries. Their families at home are also engaged in social work, both occupationally and voluntarily. They therefore have full support for their choice of living in the Soouth African countryside. «Well, we have to admit», Brian says hesitating. «the schools here are a far way from the quality in for instance Swedish schools. So we may think differently when we get children high up in the school system. But we don’t miss the snow and cold – apart from snowboarding!»

Back to the practise students: Brian underlines that they get public support and that they will get work in some form or other when they have finished training. Orgaisations that employ them .will get support from the Pretoria Department of Social Development.

NAG does not give money to anybody, Brian explains. We help organisations by telling them about their rights and how to find their way through the bureaucracy. Then he eagerly carries on telling about a new organisation called IMPANDE, where economic aid is central.

Yotshani IMPANDE foundation will complement NAG. Brian Liggett has contributed to the establishment of this new organisation. Impande is a Zulu word meaning roots / grassroot. Yotshani IMPANDE foundation will work to find donors for local projects – LIONS and IMPANDE Norway are already part of the Board and admininstration, and Rotary is invited to be involved. IMPANDE. Ireland is also getting established.

Brian tells that Yotshani IMPANDE Foundation also have representation from public authorities and he is anxious to see how this new oganisation in the offing will work out.

Text by Marianne Olsen Alpers

II: Development aid in practice

To mobilise the grassroot means "essential develoment with limited means"

This is Khayalethu kindergarden (creche) as it looked two months ago:

810e1343-050f-444a-9295-5b8b6cd1b1b62494fbb3-e323-4220-bb37-e37b7a57f82035 children are registered and stay here daily. As you see from the pictures this is not a kindergarden a child worthy. In April Ormsund Lions donated 25000 NOK to build a new kindergarden. The donation covers building materials and  equipment  for the kindergarden. We transferred 8000 NOK for the first stage of the building. All the building work is done by local workers at minimal costs, and this first transfer resulted in the building on the picture below. The size of th building is 49m2.  The second installment of 8000 NOK was transferred in mid-July. The kindergarden is now being  finished, toilets built, equipment purchased/installed and a new fence will be erected. – And all this will come to NOK 25000!


Through our local IMPANDE organisation in the UGU-district we have registered many such kindergardens in a miserable condition. You can make a difference. Your company, organisation or you nd your friends can collect money and build such a kindergarden. As you have seen above – the cost of building and equipping a kindergarden is only 25000 NOK.

This is development aid with many gains.

  • The women at grassroot level who run the kindergarden will feel ownership and motivation to maintain what they have built.
  • Their children will get a better every day and a better future.
  • Those who administrate and carry through the building will develop new skills and self esteem.
  • Local people out of work get to use their skills and energy.
  • Local people will often encircle and protect from malicious damage what they themselves have built and developed.
  • And you contribute to something that gives you a meaningful experience
  • Thank you that you let us be your extended arm in your social engagement!













Have you heard about the oppressions from the oppressed?

This is a well-known phenomenon within social psychology. Now it is happening in South Africa:

Read on….
A street vendor from Mozambik, a waiter from Zimbabwe or a cook from Malawi. I have met many of them. They are poor migrants who travel south to South Africa to seek their fortune.

In the Middle area of Africa there is an uncontrolled population explosion that doesn’t only affect Europe

New migrants force their way both northwards and southwards. I’m afraid this is only the beginning of an even more forceful stream of young, poor and engaged people who give up their own country and seek a future elsewhere.

In South Africa there are 16 million people who live below the poverty line. They are suppressed and often out of work. It is not surprising that they attack those who are even lower on the social ladder, and that is the immigrants from the North. In 2008 62 people were killed and 100 000 driven away. This year it happened again – on April 21. Soldiers were set in to quench a violent riot. This time 7 were killed. This summer violence blazed up in the Durban area. The Zulu king, Goodwill Zwelethini, compared the immigrants to lice and asked them to pack their bags and leave South Africa. I know something about Zulu chieftains and not least the Zulu king’s authority among the poor. His statement worked as petrol to the fire. In total one reckons that around 350 foreigners have been killed since 2008. So far only a few of the incidents have been brought before the court. “Migrant lives are low-value lives” says the leader of Diaspora Forum in Johannesburg.

There is a lot of anger among poor young people in South Africa. Around 50% of youth under 25 years old are out of work.

Desmond Tutu says: « Our rainbow nation that so filled the world with hope is being reduced to a grubby shadow of itself. The fabric of the nation is splitting.

Rolf Olsen
Leder GDCS