Sakha Esethu

Community empowerment through dialogue and conversation


It starts with us, we are building our own.


What is Sakha Esethu?

Sakha Esethu is a movement developed by concerned mothers, teachers and various other care givers who participate in dialogue and conversation about child health and development. The name of the movement can be translated from Xhosa as “It starts with us, we are building our own.”


How did Sakha Esethu develop?

The idea emerged as part of a conversation with local volunteers who work with children in Nelson Mandela Bay. They realised that they could, with the support of a trained mentor, share valuable messages on relevant health topics amongst one another.


What are they discussing?

They discuss prevention of HIV in adults and babies, challenges concerning breastfeeding, child health, growth and development, hygiene in poor households and how people can support one another. They believe that conversation leads to learning.


Our children are our future

Mothers, fathers, grandparents, teachers, community members, nurses and health workers… anyone interacting with children can play a role in the health development of a child.


Our Mission

“To build our community through support, trust and role modelling while sharing knowledge and experiences about HIV, child health and parenting.”

I have learnt about HIV, we live with people who are HIV positive but they do not want to go and take their treatment at the clinic. Now I am going to advise them to go and take it, and they should take the treatment everyday so that they get better. Even if they are pregnant, the baby will be safe from the virus.
The name Sakha Esethu means that together we can build each other. Everyone is welcome and no one is excluded.
These support groups are very helpful, especially the part about myths that people believe. Myths have been circulating in my community about breastfeeding for a very long time, and mothers become very scared because they don’t want to do anything that will negatively affect their babies. We need to share the right information.
Sakha Esethu helped me to understand more about the role of a mentor in our community. We need to support each other to deal with issues related to raising children.
Knowledge is power. I always heard the nurses telling people not to give children food from 0 – 6 months but they never told me why and now I know why and now everything makes sense.
I can support people by showing them that your pain is my pain, they can share with me and not keep anything inside.
Sakha Esethu is about changing the community. I also enjoyed it, the fact that I was among other people. In the support group I learn things, I also advise others on things I do know, I got clarity on things I do not understand.

 Sakha Esethu is supported by