Yandi is an energetic woman with a dazzling attitude towards life. She currently heads up the Stay and Play art therapy programme for Masicorp as well as many other various community roles, and now she has taken on a voluntary role as director of community liaison for Masicorp.
As director of community liaison Yandi will manage a board of community members. Her responsibility is to oversee this board of members that will represent Masicorp at various NGO Forums, attend the AGM’s of other organisations within Masiphumelele and to promote Masicorp within the community. This board was formed to provide Masicorp with valuable feedback from the community regarding our programmes and their effectiveness within Masiphumelele. The overall goal of community liaison is to help Masicorp better interact with the community, so that we may adapt and change our focus when and if it is required, helping us serve the community of Masiphumelele better.
We couldn’t think of anyone better suited to take on this voluntary role. Yandi is a prominent community member, and she is well known as Mama Yandi to most of the community children in Masi because of her loving and caring nature. When Covid-19 hit South African shores, Mama Yandi was part of a programme that served over 1000 children hot meals daily in Masi – to help combat hunger in the community.
Since 2006 she has been guiding many children from Sosebenza Youth Centre by passing on her knowledge of gardening and crafting renewable items from waste material. Yandi is well known for her intuitive understanding of the community – making her stand out in the crowd and this was proven once again in 2007 when she played a leading role in the community against xenophobia.
Education is Key
Yandiswa deeply believes in education and has invested much of her time studying towards becoming an Art Counsellor. She says that these studies have helped her “improve her understanding and knowledge about people, especially children”. Her dream is to invest her time in bettering the lives of the youth in Masiphumelele.
Stay and Play Art Therapy Programme
Yandiswa joined the Stay and Play Art Therapy Program in October 2017, she saw this as an opportunity to work with all the children in her community, making what she calls a thread of caring. This means Yandi can form meaningful relationships with the children, and the women who run the informal preschools and the Stay and Play Art Therapy practitioners.
The Stay and Play Art Therapy programme reaches nearly 250 children weekly, with stimulation and early years’ education. This programme provides early childhood learning opportunities for children who do not have a place in a pre-school and are attending informal creches in Masiphumelele, as well as providing skills transfer to informal creche owners.
From observation and studies in the crèches in Masiphumelele, it has become apparent that most of the children are not exposed to toys and structured learning and that many of the informal creche owners have no experience of this themselves. It is hoped that this programme will encourage the caregivers/creche owners to see how important the early years of a child’s life are and how they can incorporate structured activities, songs, play and reading into their creches.
Mama Yandi is a bold character and once you meet her you can’t help but love her. She has a spirit that exudes creativity, and it is this creative technique that she implements into her Stay and Play Art Therapy life skills programme, which allows people to release stress and anxiety, learn new social skills and improve self-esteem.
The Masi Creative Hub
We often wonder how this incredible woman maintains her tempo as she is currently the founder and head of Masiphumelele Creative Hub, an NPO that was registered in 2017. The organisation works to provide a safe, supportive, and educational environment where community members can use the power of art to overcome daily challenges in Masiphumelele. Learn more about Masi Creative Hub.
Always Giving Back
Yandi inspires people and her selflessness for her community seems never-ending. She volunteers her free time mentoring girls aged 9 to 18 years old in Masiphumelele through various girls’ clubs, gatherings, and activities. During these sessions, she helps these girls gain confidence and express themselves creatively. Mama Yandi has become a household name in Masi – even our international volunteers have come to know her by this name, and they have the utmost respect for what this incredible woman does every day to help people in Masiphumelele reach new heights.