From humble beginnings in 2003, Mamelani is now a vibrant and well-established organisation. Their name is inspired by the isiXhosa phrase ‘masimamelaneni’ which means ‘we must listen to each other’ as they believe it is through listening deeply to each other that real transformation is possible.
At the heart of their work is the belief that change is made possible where relationships are strong. They work with individuals on their life path, from their perspective, at their pace, according to their priorities, building on their strengths and connecting them with resources and opportunities. Their work is participatory and experiential, providing opportunities to learn by doing and to learn from others’ experiences. They acknowledge that the only constant is change itself, and so in order for their work to remain relevant, they have incorporated reflective practices into how they work, so that they can adapt and respond to the ever changing context. Their programmes walk alongside people in ways that strengthen their resilience to meet the challenges that they are faced with and builds their confidence and capacity to take action towards their goals and aspirations.