The Valley Trust
A CENTER FOR HEALTH PROMOTION
Valley of the Thousand Hills near Durban South Africa
Celebrating over 60 years of service in rural and peri-rural communities similar to the Valley, TVT has been assisting communities to take charge of their development and realize their potential by building educational capacity to secure employment, create financial stability, and develop sustainable healthy and holistic communities.
In anticipation of the Tour and the Essay of Excellence Opportunity, TVT sponsored an essay contest that encouraged community members to share their stories of change and giving back to their communities. As the contest winner, Miss Fikile Lucia Ngcobo’s essay entry will be included in the first Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute Essay of Excellence Opportunity and will lunch with Arun Gandhi, fifth grandson of Mahatma Gandhi when the Satyagraha Tour of South Africa delegation visits TVT.
Meet Miss Fikile Lucia Ngcobo
Fikile Ngcobo was born in Maqadini in the Valley of Thousand Hills 26 years ago (29 January 1989). She had 6 siblings, two of whom are deceased, and her Father passed away in 2002 in a car accident. Her mother passed away in 2014 from cancer. Fikile is currently responsible for her three younger brothers.
Fikile grew up in an impoverished area of dusty roads living in a two-roomed mud house where there was no tap water or electricity. She spent half her life collecting water from a nearby stream before piped water was brought to the community, and studied for school using candlelight. Fikile completed her High school at KwaNogunjwa (KwaMkhizwane), 70km from home. She travelled to school by bus but to reach the bus stop she had to walk 2km. Fikile completed her Matric in 2006 but has struggled to get a bursary to further her education.
Fikile at home
Between 2007 and 2008 Fikile tried to find work to support her family but it was difficult because she had no qualification and experience to support her. As a result she started to have friends who were sharing similar difficulties in life. Fikile and her friends found comfort going to parties and doing some mischievous things as young people just to keep themselves busy. During this time some of her friends got pregnant and engaged heavily in alcohol abuse. Luckily Fikile learnt from their mistakes and decided to refocus again about her life. Fikile was accepted at Elangeni Further Education and Training (FET-TVET) doing Business Management in 2013. In the same year Fikile saw an advert from pamphlet advertising about The Valley Trust looking for young vibrant people to be trained as Community Leaders. Fikile applied and was successful to start training.
After training at The Valley Trust, Fikile started a project of helping young children in schools with career guidance. She is currently doing this work at two local schools, Empilweni Primary School and Thabela High School. Most of the material is sourced from local SAPS (South African Police Service), IKAMVA & PACE CAREERS and The Valley Trust Library. Mr Gwala, the principal of Thabela High has expressed appreciation for Fikile’s work at his school and EMpilweni Primary has further requested Fikile to assist with administration work.
Fikile with pupil at Empilweni primary school
“Joining The Valley Trust has helped me to re-shape my life, I am now privileged to assist other young people to not get into the bad situations I once experienced in my life” says Fikile Ngcobo
Fikile assisting with administration work at Empilweni primary school
“About The Valley Trust (“TVT”): TVT Vision: “The communities of the Valley of a Thousand Hills living healthy and active lives as full participants in a democratic South Africa.” TVT Mission: To use health and other means to improve the overall well-being of the communities of the Valley while continuing to be an example of sustainable and holistic community development. We do this through a focus on the following strategic objectives: 1) Educating the community on living healthy and facilitating access to public health care. 2) Improving the well-being of households so they can address their own needs. 3) Bringing together the community and those who seek to provide services and development in the community, so that services and development are delivered successfully. 4) Increasing the capacity of community members to earn an income and secure employment. 5) Ensuring the TVT has clear discretion and succeeds into the future.”
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