Philangethemba started as a result of a sermon by Hugh Philpott entitled, why are the poor poor? Amongst other things, he spoke about the Jubilee year which if it was impemented would have prevented people sinking into poverty.After church Anne told Hugh how much she had appreciated his sermon and they spoke about – where from here? What are we going to do in response to this message?
A few of us then started meeting monthly at Hugh’s home over breakfast and over the months we discussed various aspects related to poverty. We first studied what scripture had to say. We also looked at the government’s NEPAD document. We then identified the key causes of poverty in SA as lack of education, unemployment and HIV. From there we formed 3 portfolios to explore each of those areas and possible ways of addressing them.
By this time we had been meeting I would think for at least 2 years and we had not made a scap of difference in the life of a single person. Just at the stage when we were getting frustarted with being a talk shop around poverty, Lethiwe Gumede joined our group. She had matriculated from Tholulwazi school the previous year and through her we were introduced to the Tholulwazi principal, Mr Shawula and through him to the school governing body and other members of the community.