Making the most of local expertise

[pullquote]Out of every four children born in Ndlambe municipality, one will experience hunger, cold, poor health, an unsafe environment and lack of access to most social, health and educational services and opportunities.[/pullquote]


“Approximately 55.5 percent (30.3 million people) of the population (in South Africa) is living in poverty at the national upper poverty line (~ZAR 992) while a total of 13.8 million people (25 percent) are experiencing food poverty” (World Bank). This translates to at least 5200 extremely (food) poor households in Ndlambe municipality. Out of every four children born in Ndlambe municipality, one will experience hunger, cold, poor health, an unsafe environment and lack of access to most social, health and educational services and opportunities. 

Development aid has come a long way to figure out the best ways for people to help people. Today we have proven models to address most development challenges including poverty. Take for instance the Graduation Approach which has successfully helped over 2 million families out of poverty in Bangladesh. 

SHINE has learned from programmes like the Graduation Approach and aims to bring a holistic, integrated and systematic family-based poverty eradication program right here to Ndlambe. The efficiency and effectiveness of its programme are optimised by:

  • Working with existing local, national and international organisations, offering custom solutions tailored to the needs of the families it serves. 
  • Making use of app and cloud technology for program implementation, monitoring, evaluation and transparency.

Some of the main aspects addressed by SHINE include food security, life coaching, urgent household needs, the well-being of children, substance abuse, access to health and education services, saving groups, financial literacy, skills development training, job preparedness and placement and enterprise development. SHINE empowers the members of a family, aiming to put them on a sustainable upward trajectory out of poverty.

For a full rundown please visit Here you will notice how programme progress is dynamically integrated into the website. For instance, when a field worker adds an entry into the SHINE app during a home visit, the website automatically updates.

Currently, we are implementing the SHINE pilot program. This includes 16 Target families (90 members) and a control group of 8 families. We will have the first projections of the outcome by mid to end of 2023. If the pilot programme shows progressive positive outcomes, this programme can be scaled up indefinitely.

But there is much more going on in the development sector in Ndlambe. We were happily surprised to find so many existing local development organisations and interested individuals. By working with these organisations, community initiatives, volunteers, government departments and businesses, SHINE can offer participating families holistic solutions in an efficient way making use of local expertise. It further brings diversity, sustainability and local ownership to the programme.

This also stimulates developmental collaboration. This striving for collaboration has led to the development of the Sunshine NGO Forum, a platform where existing development organisations and interested individuals can get together about the development of our community. The forum website,, hosts a database with all known development organisations in Ndlambe and loads of resources and tools for NGOs. If you are interested in developing our community, please join this forum. Merely visit and click on JOIN and complete the short form. Or contact me directly at

How we believe the world should be, is how it will become. Imagine a world where ALL humans have access to opportunities whereby to strive towards their full potential. Why are we still so far from this?

  • Shine describes itself as a holistic and integrated family-based poverty eradication programme that can be scaled up indefinitely. 
  • Hyman van Zyl has been active in the development aid sector for more than 15 years. He has a masters degree in development studies and many qualifications in the IT sector. His passion is using IT to optimise NGOs.