Phola Holds Annual General Meeting in Zandspruit

Phola Board and Secretariat duly convened a successful second Annual General Meeting in Zandspruit on 19 November 2021.The Annual General Meetings are within the framework of Department of Social Development (DSD), which requires nonprofit organizations to have their Annual General Meetings regularly.

The delegates to the Phola General Meeting were mostly from Diepsloot, Cosmo city and Zandspruit and other surrounding areas. We appreciated the presence and participation of four officers from Honeydew Police station and attendance of Community Policing Forum members.

The Phola Board Chairperson Mr Mutsubi Ngwenya flanked by his counterpart Immaculate Shembe a fellow Board Member addressed the meeting. Few Board Members were unable to grace the occasion, they gave apologies. Meanwhile The Chairperson Mr Ngwenya is his wide-ranging speech thanked everyone who attended the Phola Annual General Meeting. He explained that Phola was a community driven organisation with culturally sensitive methodologies responsive to community needs.

Honeydew Police officers

Phola Director Ncazelo Mlilo’s report read on her behalf by Judith Mthombeni (Programmes Coordinator). She spoke on the vision, mission, and accomplishments of the organisation during covid -19 pandemic. She gave an overview of the organisation from its formation in 2016. Phola addresses psychosocial and mental health problems associated with violence, crime, substance abuse, child abuse, gender-based violence, hardships, and trauma.

At the core of Phola work is the development and dissemination of home grown culturally sensitive therapies to provide meaningful, effective, and appropriate psychological counselling services to people who have experienced hardships and trauma. The programmes target children, youth, women, men and their families and communities.

Phola social workers and psychologists use both the traditional intervention strategies and these culturally sensitive methodologies to have more positive impact. They do not just provide counselling but make thorough assessment of all clients who come for services, with their consent and participation we measure stress levels pre and post intervention. This is an indicator to see the impact of our services.

Stakeholders

In conclusion the Director implored the communities to join hands with Phola to make communities safe places to live in and reduce Gender-based Violence (GBV) and other forms of abuses that result in traumatic experiences.

Phola in its journey with clients focuses on how thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, feelings, and behavior interact, sets goals and teaches better coping skills.

In his vote of thanks Tamsanqa Mlilo (Director for Partnership Development and Communications) thanked the stakeholders, community leaders, community policing forum, and all visitors for attending the Annual General Meeting. The feedback sessions were helpful, timely and enriched Phola. It was an opportunity to thank Emthonjeni Centre for providing Phola with a venue and excellent facilities.

CHARITY IS THE CORNERSTONE OF HUMANITY

Is charity on the same pedestal as love? I believe charity is on a much higher plane than love. Love is a labyrinth of emotions and feelings hence its susceptible to pride, prejudice, expectations. Love is usually informed by relationships, friendships, and family bonds. But charity is giving a helping hand to someone not necessarily related to or known. It could be stranger from a different community or people living in another country.

Phola Community Facilitators reaching out.

When disaster strikes in any corner of the world, it is part of human nature to empathize and at times mobilize resources or even avail our skills and knowledge and lend a helping hand to those in distress. The urge is there to ameliorate or mitigate pain, loss, and suffering of fellow human beings.

Among the common disasters afflicting mankind are civil wars, floods, earthquakes, drought, and diseases like Ebola, malaria, and the current deadly pandemic coronavirus. Following the outbreak of covid-19 virus individuals from poor communities came out in the streets begging for food from passersby mostly in busy intersections, and outside shopping malls.

Phola was among the frontline organizations which provided psycho-social support and food parcels to the victims of gender-based violence during lockdown. The beneficiaries were women and children from Diepsloot, Cosmo city, Zandspruit and Alexander township.

Phola’s act of kindness might have been a drop in an ocean, but the ocean will be a drop less without it. The emaciated bodies of half-dressed children told a thousand stories of hunger and deprivation. Some related sad stories of how they had survived by scavenging in the dust bins.

Phola helping SA’s youth

The highest act of giving is charity. It is unequivocal, unparalleled, and selfless sacrifice borne from UBUNTU. This is the highest stage of love and knows no boundaries and is blind. It knows no religion, political affiliation, prejudices, color, or creed.

Phola’s psycho-social work services are offered gratis. The work is made possible through goodwill, partnerships and collaboration with organizations sharing similar synergies.

Phola’s mission and philosophy are firmly anchored on the values of UBUNTU, encapsulated in the motto, ‘I will be my brother’s keeper.’ Isn’t this the cornerstone of humanity, caring beyond measure and loving without limits?