20 years of Stichting Intabazwe – a brief overview

Stichting Intabazwe was founded on December 16, 2002 following a visit to the township of Intabazwe near the town of Harrismith in the Free State. Jos and Hanni had then privately donated school sweaters and shoes and Jos thought it would be an idea to do this permanently in the form of a foundation.

The contact person was Muhle Joyce Mthembu – then director of Harrismith's marketing agency – who had also shown them around the township.
Together with other people from the township, including a pastor, she founded the Eyethu Community Initiative (this is Zulu and means “it’s ours”) and opened a bank account.

-       Intabazwe

Stichting Intabazwe was able to purchase school uniforms in 2003 and 2004 and paid school fees for orphans. A soup kitchen has also been purchased. In 2004 we visited the township of Intabazwe and visited schools and primitive housing.

In 2005, riots broke out in the township due to the still poor living conditions of the population 11 years after the end of Apartheid. Much destruction has been caused. Among other things because of this we could not realize any projects.

At that time, Muhle lost her job because Harrismith could no longer pay her salary. She found other work at a municipality 100 km north of Intabazwe. She was also active in politics and was on the list several times for a party in provincial elections.

Due to these circumstances we lost contact with her at the beginning of 2006, the exact reasons were not entirely clear at the time. The situation was a bit strange. A few years later we had email contact again and she explained things.

So in 2005 we had no project. In 2004 we participated for the first time in the Lambertusmarket in the German town of Höngen (Selfkant). We also wanted to sell rooibos tea and came into contact with importer Sonnigdal. The owner Wendy Manintveld supported a project with children southeast of Johannesburg with part of the proceeds from the tea. This is how we came into contact through her with:

-       Sithand’Izingane Care Project

Sithand'Izingane is a project that was started in May 2000 by Dominican Sisters. In Tsakane, not far from Johannesburg, they provide day care for small children infected with HIV and after-school care for hundreds of children and young people. These children are provided with nutritious and vitamin-rich meals and educational activities are also organized.

In addition, a group of women receives sewing lessons and education is given to combat illiteracy. Hot meals are also provided to needy children five times a week in several places in two townships.

Our contact person was Sr. Mary Tuck, whom we first met in Venlo (Netherlands). We discussed options for working together.

Between 2006 and 2016, we completed approximately 12 projects, including purchasing school uniforms several times, paying school fees, purchasing sewing machines (in collaboration with Rotary Muscatine U.S.A.), setting up a library with 350 books, co-financing an Iveco passenger bus (main sponsor MIVA) and the purchase of a Chevrolet pickup (2016). In addition, we paid for Thandeka Nkbinde's University Public Relations studies for 4 years (2010-2013). The annual money was intended for study costs, books, transport and meals. We also bought a laptop for her. Thandeka successfully completed her studies in 2014.

The Sithand'Izingane Care Project has received several awards.

For several years, our friend Maarten Bollen was our contact person for the project. He himself worked there as a volunteer. We visited the project in 2006 and 2016.

We heard nothing from the project in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018. Apparently they didn't need us anymore. Maarten – who had also set up his own foundation in the meantime – had no explanation for this. This was a bit difficult to explain to our donors, we didn't understand it ourselves. That’s why we broke contact with Sithand'Izingane in 2019.

The organization later also broke off relations with Maarten Bollen and his foundation too

At the beginning of 2006, our chairman Jos – who worked in a large theater and had an affinity with performing arts – had discovered a link on the website of the Baxter Theater in Cape Town that aroused his interest and so he contacted them. This was a link to:

-       Dance for All

Dance for All's mission is to provide children from challenging and low socio-economic communities with the opportunity for enjoyment, empowerment and the promotion of self-esteem through the medium of dance, as well as training professional dancers and developing a unique, indigenous dance co

This is a great initiative, which gives many children and young people a purpose and a future. We were able to convince ourselves of this twice, in 2009 and in 2016. Dance for All is active in many places in several townships. In 2009, together with co-founder Philip Boyd, we visited some townships where lessons were given. In 2016 we saw a beautiful end-of-year performance. With Philip, himself a former professional dancer, we still have friendly contacts.

In the beginning we sponsored 2 anonymous children, but soon we switched to a fixed annual donation. The better things went with the Intabazwe Foundation, the more often we were able to increase the annual amount.

Talented dancers can often do an internship with well-known dance companies in America or Europe. This also applies to the well-known Nederlands Danstheater.

Through newsletters and email we were and are always kept informed of the ups and downs of the organization. Dance for All is the project we have supported the longest.

After breaking contact with the Sithand'Izingane Care Project, we started looking for a new project. It is not easy to find new confidential advisers in the Netherlands. So we asked Dance for All for advice. From them we got the tip for the:

-       Prince Albert Community Trust

Prince Albert is a geographically isolated town in the Great Karoo - Western Cape province.

The mission of the Prince Albert Community Trust (PACT) is to develop and empower the communities of Prince Albert, Klaarstroom and Leeu-Gamka by creating platforms, programmes and opportunities for previously disadvantaged people through education, upliftment and cultural enterprises.

Founder of PACT is Ingrid Wolfaardt. Together with her husband she has a fruit export company in Paarl. There is also the administrative center of PACT. There are many volunteers in Prince Albert and the surrounding towns. The youth themselves are involved in everything.

PACT has launched several very successful initiatives to provide disadvantaged youth with life and a future. Ingrid leads PACT and was our contact person.

The Prince Albert Community Trust is a well-oiled organization. It would be impossible to list all the initiatives here. Please visit

Since 2019, Stichting Intabazwe has worked very well with the Prince Albert Community Trust. This is the only project that we have not visited ourselves. 

The Intabazwe Foundation has, among other things, sponsored the technical furnishing of an interactive classroom for the High School, had the school's library converted into a multimedia room, financial support for meals during the corona pandemic, IT furnishing of the meeting center, purchase of tablets and to prevent the frequent power cuts bypass a generating set purchased.