Stichting Ibhongo Wins a Big Prize for Masi Educare

Masicorp is pleased to be working with Dutch non-profit organization Stichting Ibhongo. Stichting Ibhongo (Ibhongo means pride in Xhosa) is an initiative started by Con van Zundert and Germa Zeijen two years ago. Con and Gemma from Stichting Ibhongo have been regular visitors to Masiphumelele and have a have a long-standing interest in the welfare of the local community. Last year we took them to view the work that is ongoing at Masi Educare and they were sufficiently inspired to offer to help raise funds for the renovation work.

They entered a funding competition in the Netherlands in an effort to raise funds for one wing of the new building, and were delighted to have been declared winners at the end of June. A much needed cheque for 10,000 Euro was awarded to the team, which will greatly help the building work. We cannot thank the Stichting Ibhongo team enough for their hard work.

Ruud Kuhn It was all started by Ruud Kuhn, one of the singers of the ensemble s’OTTOvoces, who have twice performed in benefit concerts for Stitching Ibhongo. Ruud is member of VOOR, a new and innovative employment agency for independent professionals in the Netherlands. The VOOR-philosophy is that “doing business” should be combined with “doing something good”, and each year its members donate a part of their total income to a good cause. Ruud was convinced the MasiEducare project was a good example of such a good cause.

Twenty-seven projects from across the Netherlands were entered into the contest. VOOR members used their Linked In networking accounts to vote on the projects. The Masi Educare project made it through to the top ten projects that went before a jury, consisting of important people in Dutch society (e.g., a lady from the Dutch lower house, a former Olympic ice speed skating champion, and a former minister of health). Three projects were nominated and Stichting Ibhongo’s Masi Educare project was amongst them.

The nominated projects had to give a presentation to the judges. Ruud arranged for s’OTTOVOCES to sing Siyahamba and Shosholoza at the beginning and end of the presentation. Eventually the project was chosen as VOORbeeld 2014. The jury was impressed by the fact that Stichting Ibhongo was participating in a modest way in something big that started from the community itself. Also the fact that the work of Stichting Ibhongo was working together with Masicorp, as a local NGO, was important.

Stichting Ibhongo now has a board of five people and is an official NGO (ANBI) in the Netherlands. Much has been achieved in the last two years and we are delighted to have their cooperation with Masi Educare. Thank you for all that you have done and we look forward to seeing you on your next visit to Masiphumelele later this year.


The Ibhongo board – from left to right:

Marieke Oostenenk, board member, public relations, former pre-schoolteacher, adult education, artist (mandala paintings and sculptures)

Con van Zundert, chairman, teacher of mathematics in high school

Pien Oerlemans, treasurer, teacher in special education

Germa Zeijen, secretary, psychologist in health care and artist (paintings and sculptures)

Hillieta de Ridder, board member, psychologist in health care.

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