South Africa has a beautiful heritage of civil society movements and organisations established for the purposes of social change that have shaped our democracy. Movements that sprang up from mobilisation around the South African people’s capacity for equality, self-determination, community and the overstated but doggedly South African concept of Ubuntu. Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement is one of the organisations that have been helping guide South African democracy through supporting development initiatives.
Inyathelo is a non-profit Trust established in 2002 with the aim of supporting South African organisations and institutions to cultivate a balanced, involved and self-determined citizenry. Inyathelo operates as hub for grant-seeking and grant-making civil society organisations. Their scope goes beyond the attainment of funds. They also provide useful information, courses and awards for development practitioners. Details like compliance, awareness-raising and capacity building are all covered. Inyathelo has a focus on capacity development in both the higher education and non-profit sectors in SA and the continent.
In a sector that has experienced significant funding cuts, Inyathelo is encouraging and grooming more individual social giving to supplement private funds. This is done through promoting dialogue, sharing information and providing support services to existing initiatives and those that need a hand up to help ensure their sustainability.
Inyathelo has developed a practice of Advancement. “Advancement” works as a system of getting organisations and institutions to engage with the “outside world”, that is to say, real-life, everyday environments to build meaningful relationships with stakeholders and beneficiaries and build a credible base to attract funders. Through this practice, Inyathelo has contributed to responsive, sustainable development in the sector. Advancement is an ongoing process of building, cultivating and sustaining crucial resources for organisations and institutions.
Through Advancement and a host of other archived non-profit informational resources, Inyathelo is also preserving the heritage many SA development pioneers cultivated for us throughout the years.