Genesis is a registered nonprofit Trust and public benefit organisation based in the Ugu District, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It was founded in 2002 in response to the devastating effects of poverty, low levels of education and health risks experienced in the area. Approximately 52 percent of people are unemployed or living without a regular income. HIV / AIDS and TB are major contributors to poor health and there is an HIV / AIDS infection rate of 40 percent which increases the burden on the communities. Needs in healthcare, education, skills development, leadership and Early Childhood Development (ECD) were identified and Genesis has achieved success in addressing these needs through relevant projects.
Genesis’ mission is to demonstrate faith, love and hope to people in the communities surrounding the Norwegian Settlers church; and to serve those communities holistically, meeting physical, psychosocial, emotional and spiritual needs associated with HIV / AIDS, poverty and other social issues.
Their projects benefit the following communities - Marburg, Merlewood, Mkholombe, Boboyi, Murchison, Masinenge, Mahlabatini, Izotsha, Gamalakhe and Port Shepstone.
Many of the poor households are found in rural areas where access to resources and facilities is difficult. This leads to a perpetual cycle of poverty within the communities that Genesis serves. The skills shortage in the area has been identified as one of the key challenges for economic growth. The large concentration of youth in the rural areas has put enormous pressure on health and education resources. Recreation facilities are almost non-existent in these communities, and unemployment is rife. As a result, there has been a complete breakdown in the normal family structure. For example, 71 percent of children are being raised in households headed up by single women, there are many children living in child- or youth-headed households, and children are being raised by caregivers that are ill etc. Many children drop out of school early as the family structure cannot sustain school-going youth. The majority of the population of the communities Genesis serves do not complete their matric, with very few able to attend tertiary institutions.
At present Genesis has five formal facilities where they seek to meet the specific needs of the communities they serve.
The Care Centre - provides a fully holistic step-down palliative care facility for patients referred from the local government hospitals. There are two 20 bed wards. This service decongests hospital wards, allowing beds to be used for patients needing acute care. A high percentage of patients admitted to the Care Centre live below the poverty line, therefore, all patients stay free of charge. Patients’ recovery is greatly enhanced through the established Rehabilitation Programme which includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy and beadwork programmes. The percentage of patients who get well enough to go home to their families and communities has increased from 20 percent to 48 percent and continues to grow.
Murchison Youth Community Centre - focuses on addressing the needs of the youth in that community. The Centre offers a safe, structured environment where youth can meet after school and during holidays to participate in various activities. Those attending receive a nutritious meal while they enjoy the library, work out in the gym, take lessons at the music academy, fellowship in teenage groups and learn about the love of Jesus. The centre also offers a skills development class and a community garden where Basic Adult Life Skills Courses and training on vegetable gardening are offered to adult community members.
Marburg Youth Community Centre - is still in the building stage. Phase one is complete and houses a gym, an after school maths class, school leavers’ development and Friday night youth outreach. Phase two is in progress and should be completed soon. Once complete, new projects will include a resource centre, computer training centres, skills development, adult education classes and others.
Khula Community Centre - started as a crèche to care for pre-school children left alone while carers went to work. The Centre has grown to include a health clinic, offering weekly medical and dental facilities to community members, a vegetable gardening project and craft and ABET classes. Children at the crèche receive two nutritious meals every week day, and in the afternoon children from the local primary school are also given a meal. In 2012 Khula was registered as a nonprofit organisation in its own right, although it is assisted by Genesis for administration and financial purposes.
Youthworx Youth Centre - is situated in Shelly Beach, and offers the youth of this middle class suburb a place they can call their own. It provides a positive environment to develop a generation of purpose-driven young people, who are encouraged to use their voices as a meaningful influence amongst their peers. The promotion of good values and positive lifestyles is encouraged through social and educational events.
In addition to the activities taking place at the venues above, Genesis also has a number of other projects:
Vikings Christian Rugby Academy is a sports development course that equips young men for a career in sports, while teaching them essential life skills and leadership qualities. Oribi Bible Camp is a retreat catering for small and large groups of all ages, set at the top of the stunning Oribi Gorge. The camp offers members of under-resourced rural communities an opportunity to enjoy a fun, healthy outing away from their usual environment.
Community Vegetable Gardens aims to assist community members to produce vegetables for their families’ needs, encouraging healthy eating habits. They are also able to sell the surplus to other community members, therefore providing them with an income generating opportunity.
Genesis is governed by a voluntary, local board of trustees, many of whom have served on the board since inception.
Genesis keeps strict financial records, and these records have been audited annually by their auditors, Gird Elliott & Co since 2003. They also submit regular financial reports to all donors and produce an Annual Report of the activities of all programmes.
Evidence of the good systems in place is the successful four-year grant received for the Care Centre from the United States Government’s PEPFAR (USAID) initiative. Although this funding cycle has ended, Genesis still maintains a good relationship with this initiative. Over the last five years Genesis has received funding from local and international organisations, individuals, churches and Governments and is well supported by a large number of both local and international volunteers.
To view Genesis in the Prodder NGO Directory, click here.