Pastor Mncwabe from Calling Promotion and Development Network

Zoë-Life Community Project, HCT and OD:
This project aims to build capacity and strengthen comprehensive HIV services at a community level. The project works in partnership with existing, high impact organisations, which offer health services to community members. The key reason for implementing such partnerships is to assist with the decongestion of Government Health facilities, which are overburdened, and to capacitate non-government organisations to provide comprehensive HIV services to their own community members.

The Organisation Development (OD) project is to provide technical assistance to the NGO/NPO to ensure that they function strongly on an organisation level. Organisations are assessed; strengths and weaknesses evaluated, and a tailor-made intervention is then offered to the organisation to ensure strengthened functioning.

CPDN also runs a Support the Change Programme, which works with ex-offenders in helping them to reintegrate back into their community and family life. Pastor Mncwabe’s programme has received the full backing of the Department of Correctional Services, the South African Police Services, and other correctional departments, who are all enthusiastic about the programme. However due to funding constraints they have not been able to implement the programme on a large scale. They continue to run it as a volunteer project when and where they can.

Pastor Mncwabe’s Story

success-pastor-mncwabeWhen I met Pastor Mncwabe he is wearing a luminous yellow and green jacket of concentric circles, which completely sums up the wonderful personality of the visionary behind Calling Promotion and Development Network (CPDN). He is a charismatic gentleman with a heart for both his church and his community. His desire, when starting CPDN, was to empower the people in his church with the skills and capacity to assist their community. Pastor Mncwabe believes that each of his congregants has a specific calling and through his organisation he intends on helping them to realise this calling.

CPDN was officially registered as an NPO in 2006 but work was being done in communities prior to this registration. They are currently volunteer based and operate out of a leased building on 176 West Street in the heart of Durban’s CBD. Both the church and the NPO are run from the second floor of this poorly looked after building but if provides them with enough floor space to accommodate the clients they service through their programmes.

Pastor Mcwabe is a passionate individual who wears many caps as he attempts to fulfil this vision of his to assist his community; he is the pastor of his church, a radio presenter (hosting two slots on Inanda FM radio on a Sunday and Wednesday evening), and the director of CPDN. His life’s work is to realise this dream of making a meaningful impact in his community and empowering others to assist him in this goal.

CPDN has two main arms in which their work is carried out: Ministry and Development. The Ministry arm exists to help congregants and community members achieve their “calling” through training and direction. The Development arm exists to create networks with various bodies, such as government, churches and community groups; programmes which focus specifically on HIV/AIDS fall into this arm. The organisation is now legally recognised by the Department of Health (eThekwini) to test and counsel children and adults for HIV/AIDS. CPDN offers this service free to the community.

Prior to partnering with Zoë-Life, CPDN volunteers were inadequately prepared to deal with various issues relating to HIV/AIDS testing and counselling. Volunteers attended to approximately 100 clients a month offering counselling services focused on marriage (pre- and problem- marriage), on family dynamics, and for individuals. They were offering a service for which they themselves had not been trained in and were increasingly being exposed to issues relating to HIV/AIDS. Counsellors felt out of their depth and ineffectual and Pastor Mncwabe recognised the need to source training opportunities for his counsellors in this area. And so the partnership between Zoë-Life and CPDN was born.

success-pastor-mncwabe-1CPDN & Zoë-Life:

Through Zoë-Life funding, CPDN has benefited from a number of training opportunities with has helped them to structure and capacitate their organisation in such a way that Pastor Mncwabe is certain that they could out roll their services immediately if they had the funding to do so. In the meantime, with 10 volunteers (including 2 professional nurses) they meet the needs of their community as best they can.

Zoë-Life has assisted on two levels bringing in interventions through their HCT programme and providing support on an OD level. Through the HCT programme, the aim has been to increase the skills and knowledge of CPDN volunteer counsellors regarding HIV/AIDS. Full training focusing on HIV basics, counselling and testing has enabled counsellors to feel confident in advising their clients about their HIV status, and providing relevant and crucial information and services (such as testing). Zoë-Life also provides mentorship for counsellors strengthening their ability and offering them an opportunity to share their experiences and any challenges.

Through the OD support the organisation was assessed and a plan of action formulated as to how best to assist the organisation. CPDN has attended training regarding how best to manage finance and funding and Pastor Mncwabe feels grateful that up until now they have not received much funding as he believes that only now, with the knowledge acquired, would they truly be good stewards of funding.