The Zanokhanyo Network exists to transform the workforce by empowering under and unemployed people to realise their God-given potential, as they encounter the Hope, Dignity and Possibility that the Gospel brings.
In Cape Town, a city still divided along racial lines, many people are boxed into poorer marginalised communities with insufficient capital, information and connections for upward mobility. In addition to this, many are not only unemployed, but unemployable – lacking the basic hard and soft skills required for employment – and therefore detached from opportunity.
The Zanokhanyo Network serves as a bridge to opportunity by:
- Providing skills that equip individuals to overcome obstacles to meaningful employment;
- Encouraging personal and spiritual growth that establishes a sense of self-worth and purpose;
- Instilling hope and a sense of imminent possibility;
- Connecting to networks of employment opportunities.
“Zanokhanyo is the isiXhosa word for ‘bringing light’. Our goal is to shine the light of hope and imminent opportunity into the dark despondency of unemployment; to show our graduates that they can reach for a better future than they previously imagined for themselves.”– Linda Chonco, Programme Leader
The Zanokhanyo Network is an initiative of Common Good, a registered non-profit with a vision of a city where individuals and communities impacted by poverty and injustice are flourishing physically, spiritually, economically and socially.
Our story started in two separate but like-minded projects – Zanokhanyo and NETwork – which joined forces in 2016 to form The Zanokhanyo Network. Together, we are able to strengthen our teams, extend our reach into deeper areas of the city, and ultimately impact more lives for the better.
“At The Zanokhanyo Network we equip people to take new strides in their faith and in their work. We give them the tools they need – self-worth, hope, skills – to stand up and walk confidently into a brighter, more economically active future.”– Andre Ntambwe, Team Leader
Stand up and walk
During the xenophobic attacks that hit Cape Town in May 2008, Common Ground Church supplied shelter and support for hundreds of foreign nationals seeking refuge from the violence. Andre Ntambwe, a member of Common Ground Church and himself a foreign national, realised that the needs of those they were helping went above and beyond temporary relief.
Having faced the difficulties of finding employment and settling into South African life himself, Andre decided to use his experiences to help others in similar situations. He received a clear vision to help people stand up and walk (Acts 3) by providing a place where they could gain access to training and employment opportunities.
In 2009, NETwork was birthed out of Common Good with the aim of empowering people to become economically active and seek employment in Cape Town.
Empowering lives; Changing communities
When the Joe Slovo community of Langa was devastated by a shack fire leaving thousands destitute in 2000, three ladies mobilised the Pinelands Methodist Church to give generously to those in need. Recognising the importance of ongoing income-generation, they started Phambili Ngethemba, a project that taught sewing skills to women.
After years of engagement with the community and research into employment challenges, Phambili Ngethemba identified an opportunity to pair unemployed individuals with surrounding business that were looking for reliable staff.
In 2007, the first Zanokhanyo Job Readiness training course was run out of Langa Methodist Church with a unique curriculum designed to meet the needs of community members and businesses.
Our values inspire and guide us in all that we do.
At The Zanokhanyo Network, we:
- Value each other
- Celebrate our diversity
- Seek excellence
- Live with authenticity and integrity
- Love generously