Co-founder, Singalakha Development Organisation
A conversation between friends was the catalyst that saw Singathwa Poswa create an organisation to help uplift her community.
The Singalakha Development Organisation (SDO) was born out of discussion with her mates about the social problems crippling people in the Uitenhage area and the desperate need to address them. “After further caucusing over a number of weeks, it was pretty clear something could be done, and this led to the conception of SDO,” she says. “Its general mandate is to initiate projects and provide services for social upliftment within Uitenhage communities.”
Two pilot projects to deliver on its core goals of improving the socioeconomic status of people in the area through literacy, education and life skills have now been created — the Uitenhage Debating League and the Literary Club. As well as being a co-founder, Poswa is also the treasurer of the organisations.
Her desire to “pay it forward” has seen her get involved in various other initiatives. “I get to uplift, empower and inspire my community through each of the projects I’m part of. I’m also able to connect with the community on a more personal, intimate level, which allows me to work from a place of awareness of the situation,” she says.
One of those roles is as a mentor with an organisation called Vision-4-Women, which honoured her with its Beyond the Balance Sheet Award in recognition of her contribution to transforming the communities she serves. “The programme supports girls from previously disadvantaged backgrounds by grooming them for their next step in life,” she says. “I decided this would be my way of empowering the girl-child.”
Poswa also recently participated in the Young African Leaders Initiative, a project supported by the former US President Barack Obama to empower the next generation of leaders, where she acquired a certificate in civic leadership.
She is also the president of the Uitenhage South Rotaract Club, a body that she initiated with the help of a Rotarian. “It gets the youth of Uitenhage active and giving back to their community through service projects. I saw it as a great platform to develop myself, expand my networks, and improve on my skill set while serving my community,” she says.
Poswa holds a BSc in Chemistry and Microbiology from Grahamstown and is the Head of Outreach Educational Programmes for the Nelson Mandela Bay Science & Technology Centre.
— Lesley Stones