Mu fumbe Mateso

 “The message I do have for all South Africans and non-South Africans living in this country, and around the world, is to dedicate themselves to philanthropy, to share what they do have – wealth, happiness – with other people who need it ... who are in need of our love, who are in need of our support.” 2007 Inyathelo Award for Community Philanthropy 

Mr Mu fumbe Mateso, from the Democratic Republic of Congo and now living in South Africa, is a living example of giving in one’s community.  Mu fumbe worked in Soweto for some time, distributing toys to children and groceries to families.  He has also trained more than 20 adults in catering skills, and initiated a workshop in Jabavu on how to start a project.  

Since moving to Tshepisong in 2004 he helped establish a care facility for 20 orphans, by buying a “zozo” (a shack) as a starter facility.  He went on to provide food, clothing, and pre-school education, building the foundations for a viable project after which the project then started getting donations.  In 2006, Mateso received a R50,000 Irish Aid grant to build an orphanage at Tshepisong, and after contributing substantial funding and materials himself (and assisting by friends), the building is 85% complete. More than 180 children have benefited from services he has provided and that have been provided through donations.

Mr Mateso has also initiated a home-based care programme for people living with HIV/Aids; he has trained 57 people in computer literacy at his own expense (35 are currently employed); and in 2005, he initiated the “Living Sustained Dialogue Project”, a public peace process initiative that aims to bring people around the table to build on “common ground”.  33 community moderators have been trained to run imbizo’s for this purpose. Furthermore, Mu fumbe has initiated a gardening project and brought professionals in to train community members in growing crops, a project which now benefits about 300 householders.