Seriti Institute strengthens community organisation for social health and local economic development. It uses large scale participatory methods, and in its systemic interventions forges partnerships involving communities, government departments, non-governmental organisations, civil society and business.

Seriti's programmes are all designed to achieve social scale impact, with participation of hundreds of people and collaboration of all actors within an activity system. A coherent theory informs Seriti’s approaches, and is perhaps best expressed in the Organisation Workshop which forges organisational literacy amongst a large group of participants, while creating enterprises and social cohesion.

Seriti is one of the Implementing Agents for the South African government’s Community Work Programme, and was one of the main partners in the Kwanda reality TV show.

Gogo Victoria Ntsunga tells us the reasons…

Gogo Victoria is a CWP participant at Mtshezi, in KZN. Two days a week and 8 days a month she stands front and center doing garden work among people who are a quarter of her years. She is also in the CWP women’s soccer team,

where she participates fully with as much passion as she shows for her work. We asked gogo how she stays so young and active. “I am blessed in that I have the strength to do my CWP gardening and then can go home and still be able to work in my own garden,” she tells us. “CWP is good for us because if we didn’t have it we would have nothing to do. And staying home doing nothing, that’s how you age!” Gogo Madondo, her 72-year-old co-participant, says CWP helps in amazing ways, quite apart from the stipends (though gogo Victoria whispers in the background, “tell them to increase our workdays”). “We work together, and then we also play and run together in the soccer team.” Thobile, their supervisor, joins the discussion. “I wish I had only elderly people in my group. I would get fat! I am spiritually fed, I am led and advised on a daily basis, and have become quite mature through engaging with my gogos.”

We want to echo what gogo Victoria told us during our conversation: “Even if there was no money, I would still do this, because serving our people and working in the community is a calling.”