Mhani Gingi and A2B partnership to transform ECDs


Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network and the A2B Transformation Movement have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together in the training and tooling of Early Childhood Development (ECD) principals in the Cape Town area to transform their ECD centres into Eco-systems for Change.

The ‘Power Partnership’ of Mhani Gingi and A2B brings together two passionate social entrepreneurs who have each made unique contributions in the field of human empowerment.  Founding Director of Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network, Lillian Masebenza, and Vivienne Schultz, founder of the A2B Transformation Movement and methodology, have both achieved recognition as Ashoka Fellows for their social entrepreneurial efforts.

The A2B principles, methodology and measuring tool that will be implemented in the partnership have also been acknowledged as an international best practice by the Ashoka Foundation.  The A2B model is a developmental system designed to combat disempowerment.

Vivienne Shultz of the A2B Transformation Movement and Lillian Masebenza of Mhani Gingi sign the Memorandum of Understanding.

Supporting vulnerable groups

The Mhani Gingi and A2B partnership will entail a pilot programme to be delivered to ECD principals in Western Cape communities.  The initative is spearheaded by Mhani Gingi Trustee, Joan Wright, a passionate educationist and leader of Mhani Gingi’s Social Responsibility Programme which supports vulnerable groups in society.

The A2B Transformation Movement and methodology developed by Schultz has empowered more than 3 000 individuals and 80 organisations in South Africa, through a home-grown solution which addresses issues of disempowerment through a model for developing occupational intelligence.  This is also referred to as ‘the science of RESPONSIVENESS’.

Schultz’s model has been honed over the past 21 years with children, adults, educators and corporates in South Africa.  The results achieved, according to Wright, have been both “ground-breaking” as well as sustainable.

Eco-systems for Change

With an academic background in human science, Schultz found her unique contribution to the world in the development of her operating system for non-governmental organisations and intervention methods and tools that require disempowered people to “take power back and play out their full dominium role on the earth.”

 Different applications for the A2B Operating System include the Ecosystems for Change model for social enterprise development.  It has been implemented at the unique Macassar Pottery studio; at Kabusha Recycling Project, which recycles oil, vegetable matter and other products to create the fuel substitute, biodiesel; and at Wolwekrans farm in the Western Cape.

The miracles of transformation of a person

“The miracles of transformation of a person from DEPENDENCY and ENTITLEMENT to SELF EFFICACY confirm that every form of learning facilitation should ideally adopt neuroplasticity and occupational intelligence developmental approaches,” said Wright.  The Mhani Gingi and A2B partnership pilot programme aims to transform the seven crèche owners to become social entrepreneurs and ‘eagle’ breeders.

 Optimal child development – a foundation for achievement

Wright sees the challenge this way:  “The period of early childhood sees the greatest brain growth and development (up to 90%) and provides the foundation for the achievement of individual potential, health and productive citizenry.  It is also the period of greatest risk if conditions are not right for the child’s optimal development.”

As South Africa faces staggering unemployment statistics and a future where small businesses or entrepreneurship will have to cater for the majority of employment in the country, Wright cites panellists at the Trialogue CSI Conference 2016, who commented:  “Basic education doesn’t provide the work skills that we as corporates need.  This goes beyond the CV, it’s about life skills, and this means PRACTICAL INTELLIGENCE AND WILL TO ACT.”

“It is the new intelligence, and the only intelligence that can get humans to sustainability, called Occupational Intelligence,” Wright explains.  The ability to become a self-driven, motivated entrepreneur, with volition and high ‘response-ability’, can be attributed to the early neural pathway development and growth and a firmly entrenched sense of self-worth in a child, she attests.

The need for the planned intervention is dire.  “We have taken A2B practitioners to ECD centres run by level 5-qualified ECD practitioners – and have not observed more than 10% of the intervention that will breed EAGLE-adults as opposed to chicken-like adults,” Wright said.

Acknowledging the inherent value of people 

Providing hand-outs perpetuated the dependency cycle, reinforcing a mindset of ‘I can’t, so you need to give’ and leading to the current socio-economic situation.  “There is one message, and one message only that a disenfranchised person needs to hear, and that is, that ‘I have value,’” she said.

This encapsulates the A2B philosophy and value exchange system that runs over a minimum of three years.  The aim is to move the principals from A-dependent levels towards independent B-level functioning, whilst acknowledging their inherent value as humans from the outset and engaging them in value exchange.

 “This ecosystem, specifically designed to ‘incubate’ eagle-breeding practitioners, along with the carefully tailor-made toolkit, is an opportunity to participate in the journey from DEPENDENCE TO DIGNITY TO INDEPENDENCE,” Wright said.

 Power Partners

“With the current interventions and input, we are not seeing the expected ROI (return on investment), in other words, optimised Humans.  The impact is way below the input and effort given and we are not reaping the fruits of all that has been sown. Despite schooling and academic qualifications, there is an inability to respond ably to tasks, and a lack of consciousness of ‘self’ in relationship to the task.

“At our ECDs we need to work smarter, not harder, and achieve the Pareto Principle – that 80% return on the 20% investment (input into the children’s neurological make-up),” she adds.  This is the turn-around that Mhani Gingi and A2B Transformation hope their ‘Power Partnership’ will achieve.


Soap-making enterprise empowers abused women

Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network and the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children in Cape Town have partnered to launch a unique project funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to empower abused women with entrepreneurial skills. This Dutch Soap Making and Training Hub Project was launched in September 2016 and is aimed at building financial independence through the establishment of a soap manufacturing social enterprise.

Mhani Gingi celebrates Mandela Day

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Mhani Gingi and Beating Heart SA deliver winter warmth and support for Mandela Day 2016

Nocawe Mdoda, Principal of Ikhayalethu Educare, took delivery of donations from many individual Capetonians to improve her educare facility and received donations from Beating Heart SA to support the initiative Mdoda has planned for youth of Khayelitsha in honour of Mandela Day 2016. Mdoda’s Mandela Day event to take place on 16 July 2016 aims to inspire a group of 20 young people with hope for the future and to encourage them to avoid substance abuse.  Mdoda’s supporters from her community in Khayelitsha, shown with her in the image above, wished to remain anonymous.

Meanwhile, in June about three hundred children benefited when Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network and Christy Haefele, ­­Founder and Director of Beating Heart SA­­, delivered warm scarves, caps, leggings and gloves to five educare facilities in the greater Philippi area of Cape Town, to spread winter warmth and love.  Each of the items was hand-made with love in every stitch.

A total of 273 children at Enkuthazweni Educare, Stars of Tomorrow Educare, Siyamthanda Educare, Lindisiwe Educare and Lidinga Educare received the warm winter clothing.  In addition, left-over scarves and baby jerseys were distributed to the parents of smaller children.

Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network, in collaboration with AfriCAN Charity, has been training Early Childhood Development (ECD) principals and practitioners, including Mdoda, from 15 community educare facilities in Khayelitsha, Langa and Philippi East townships of Cape Town since May 2015.

Beating Heart SA, among initiatives, acts as a drop-off­ centre collecting clothing, books and toys whi­ch are then distributed to vari­ous safe houses, schools and othe­r non-profit organisations.  Haefele is currently a Schwarzkopf Professional Mrs SA 2016 Finalist

Nocawe Mdoda – Mandela Day

Three organisations, African Change, Lighton Education and Mhani Gingi Social 
Entrepreneurial Network, in partnership, 20150718_124158 
provided a series of 6 workshops to Early Childhood Development practitioners located in the Philippi area. These workshops included the value of using waste in the ECD centres and how skills, concepts and activities could be developed to deliver quality education through the use of recyclable items.

One passionate young teacher, Nocawe Mdoda, embraced this concept, and although she does not yet have her own ECD, chose to spend Mandela Day providing young children in her immediate community with an ECD made up purely of waste. This encouraged the young children to view waste through different “glasses” , encouraged parents to use waste at home to enhance the learning experience of their young children and to encourage a clean environment.

With no structure within which to set up an ECD, she used the outside area of her parents’ home in Khayelitsha. Good weather was a definite prerequisite for this and this is what Nocawe got! This inspirational young lady had a team of learners, ranging from grades 8 – 10, who assisted her in her preparations. They, too, were wearing “waste”. These learners gave their school holidays to paying it forward to the younger community members.

“A wonderful afternoon was achieved by all, where young and old gathered to celebrate the life of Madiba, who said ‘education is the greatest weapon anyone can
use to change the world.’ Nocawe, for being that change, we commend you. Thank you for inspiring us all! Stand tall!!” said Joan Wright, Trustee of Mhani Gingi and a committed educator who helped train the ECD practitioners.


Lillian is invited to speak in Women’s Parliament

On the 9th of August 1956, 20 000 brave women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest  against the pass laws that was introduced under the Apartheid system. This march was one of the biggest demontrations in the history of South Africa and the National Women’s Day is celebrated yearly in memory of these strong women.

On this occasion Lillian is invited to the national Parliament as a guestspeaker on August 21-23. The theme for the event is “Working together to enhance Women’s empowerment through skills development and sustainable jobs”. They were 20 000 women marching in 1956 –  imagine our opportunities and what we can achieve togehter in today’s society!