Susan comes out tops

Susan Hill, director of the iKhaya le Themba Project, recently won the regional Businesswoman of the Year 2018 Award for social entrepreneurship.

She beat 83 other contestants.

The awards ceremony, hosted by the Businesswomen’s Association (BWA) in Cape Town, took place at Lagoon Beach Hotel in Milnerton on Saturday 28 July.

She runs the iKhaya le Themba Project which is an after-school care facility offering education, holistic care and family support to orphaned and vulnerable children in Imizamo Yethu.

She says community development has always been her passion.

“It is what makes my heart sing. To have the privilege to creatively plant seeds of love and joy in children’s hearts that will reap hope and success for their future is the greatest reward I can imagine.”

Hill describes the BWA as the largest and most prominent association of business and professional women in South Africa, and the voice of women in business.

She says the award is motivation for her to keep doing the good work of changing lives and empowering the disadvantaged in Hout Bay and Imizamo Yethu.

“I was thrilled to have been nominated for the regional Businesswoman of the Year Awards in the Western Cape and I am stunned and honoured to have been chosen as the winner in the Social Entrepreneur category. I have dreamt of the people in Imizamo Yethu empowering their community and economy in such a way that other communities want to be like them. In the remainder of this year I hope to develop a strategic plan that will sustain iKhaya le Themba’s future and one which will also help replicate the programme across the provinces of South Africa in keeping with iKhaya’s vision: ‘We long for the day when every South African child has hope and a future’.”

She says they have been in operation for 14 years and the project was originally intended to be an orphanage but was later transformed into a multipurpose facility prioritising the provision of educational assistance after school.

“iKhaya is a sanctuary for the children to come after school for homework help; a safe place to play, where they are nurtured, nourished and loved. We have a staff of eleven, of which eight come from the community of Imizamo Yethu. The core of iKhaya’s mission still today is the children; however, with sustainability in mind, our programme goes beyond the child into the home to support and uplift the family as well. We have a passionate resident community development worker who visits the homes of our children to discover ways in which iKhaya can be a further blessing to the children’s families.”