Newsletter – February 2021




Ubumbano Solidarity Action – An invitation for proposals that support solidarity action

ACT Ubumbano invites proposals from community activists, organisations, churches and organisations of faith for support for solidarity action that targets injustices faced by their communities. These actions may be responses to the impact of COVID, climate change or economic injustice on communities, or they may be campaigns to change particular situations that communities are struggling with.

ACT Ubumbano is a network of organisations working for social justice in different fields. We believe that there is strength in collaboration, and by sharing knowledge and experience – and by linking up for joint action where possible – communities can more effectively defend their dignity and bring change.

The Ubumbano Solidarity Action initiative is a platform where we can facilitate connection of people and organisations, and provide limited financial support (max. ZAR30.000) to enable those connections and actions to take place.

The proposals for support should not be longer than 2 pages, and can be submitted via email to, and should respond to the following questions:

  • What are the challenges you are facing in your community or in your area of work?
  • How is the action being proposed respond to the challenge?
  • How does the proposed action involve those who are most affected by the issue to be addressed?
  • Is the action something that you have done before? And has that action been effective?
  • Is there anything new or innovative in how you plan to undertake the action?
  • What support do you need to do the work? This could be practical skills such as media work, or support on how to organise a campaign, or partnership with another organisation.
  • If you require funds, what will the money be used for? Provide a simple budget against which you will need to report on use of the funds.
  • Do you plan to work with any other organisations, churches, or faith institutions?

The opportunity is open to any organisation or association that is part of the ACT Ubumbano network, or willing to work with ACT Ubumbano partner organisations in Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Any funding support that may be provided in this initiative is intended to help with taking action for change or in solidarity with those who are under stress. It is not intended for general or core support for organisations, although some of the funds will need to be used for organisational costs.

It is expected that proposals will need to be discussed in order to make the most of the opportunity for collaboration. Contact any of the ACT Ubumbano team, Ashley, Zanele or Thabo, for these to conversations to happen, and to find out more about the ACT Ubumbano Solidarity Action initiative.

Vukani Environmental Justice Movement

We are Vukani Environmental Justice Movement in Action based in Emalahleni (Witbank), in Mpumalanga in the Highveld region. We exist on the ground as (VEM) VUKANI Evironmental Movement.We are a non profit organisation that was established in 2016.


We are focused on environmental justice issues like Air Pollution, Climate Change and Energy, Water and Sanitation, Waste and Food Gardens; where we promote backyards gardens, Just Transition and the deadly air case that will be heard in the high court in May 2021.


  • To advocate for policies that promote growth without violating human rights.
  • To encourage community monitoring and liase with municipalities to monitor and enforce compliance with regulations.
  • To promote awarerness of environmental justice within the Highveld and the country.
  • Seek to create unity amongst environmental and social justice, faith,labour, youth,women and other relevant organisation based in the Highveld in order to have a common voice on environmental justice.
  • Be a platform of solidarity for local communities against environmental injustices relevant to the Highveld and/or its people. Educate , organise and mobilize with organizations and the public on environmental issues relevant to the Highveld and/or its people.
  • Educate, organise and mobilise with organisations and the public on environmental justice issues relevant to the Highveld and/or its people
  • Respond to grassroots concerns on environmental injustices relevant to the Highveld and/or its people.
  • Conduct research and report on environmental injustices in the Highveld and its people.


During the covid it is the hardest time ever because of the work we do that we are used to engaging with communities face to face and have dialogue in specific issues at hand but during this time we have to had to meet via social media, which has been a hard expirience and not having all the tools needed to effectively do carry our work out.


To see people in the Highveld living in an environment that is not harmful to their health and wellbeing.


To garner solidarity with those mostly affected by the pandemic. To see the poorest amongst our communities served, especially during this pandemic. For injustices perpetrated by the “business community” to not be tolerated especially during the pandemic. The sick and most vulnerable in our communities to be treated with the dignity they deserve.


Vukani Letterhead_Newsletter



62 Ukhahlamba Street │ Ext 2 Zone 14
EMalahleni │ 1039 Mpumalanga Province.
t: +27 82 855 7374/ │ +27 0797489115


Join us at our FREE global virtual summit as we say #ImSpeaking2021

To amplify the voices of women in the Global South,frayintermedia and fraycollege of Communications are partnering with NGOs across the globe to host this free global virtual summit “Claiming our stories, Raising our Voices” on Thursday, January 21.

The conference is targeted at — but not exclusive to — young women and gender non-conforming people in journalism, advocacy, communications, social media and leadership with almost 40 women leaders from more than 20 countries.

The conversation will also take place on social media under the hashtags
#OurStoriesOurVoices2021 and

The summit is made possible by our funding partners Oxfam and Act Ubumbano and our supporters Red Dot Foundation and Quote this Woman +.

More information is available on our website here.

Click here to sign up now. And do share this invitation and amplify our voices.

Paula Fray
frayintermedia CEO

Wishing all a peaceful holiday, and renewed strength

Zanele, Thabo and Ashley, together with the Board of ACT Ubumbano, wish all our partners, comrades, and friends a peaceful December time, and a holiday break that renews your spirits. For those who celebrate Christmas, may the joy of Jesus’ birth and the peace he brings be with you, your families, and your communities.

The COVID 19 pandemic and the lockdown responses in 2020 have challenged us all to adapt, and to find new ways of being in solidarity with people who are fighting for their dignity. For us it meant convening a lot more conversations online, and we were able to carry on reflecting on our practice with activists and the organisations they work with. We also had to be responsive to those organisations that needed support to reach communities not coping with the isolation of lockdown, and the violence that seemed to thrive during this time.

ACT Ubumbano is about listening to the voices of those who are at the coalface of struggle so that we can better support their fight for dignity, and to stand more resolutely in solidarity with them. We hope that 2021 will see renewed energy to carry on this work. For now, we wish joy and peace to all peoples, and strength and hope to those who remain vulnerable at this time.

ACT Ubumbano will close for the holidays on 15 December, and will reopen on 6 January 2021.

Are you aware that you may have a criminal record?

Gender & Economic Justice: Realizing a More Gendered Approach to Rebuilding the Economy

Women bear the brunt of holding society together and rebuilding society along the fault lines of a myriad of consequences. Women are marginalised by lower wages, discrimination, and unequal opportunities in the workplace despite their invaluable contribution to the economy.

Join this four-part series to assess the economic, political, and social roles of women in Africa, how these have been shaped historically and altered during times of crises.

06-Nov-20 The Economy, The Church, COVID 19: A Gendered Perspective
13-Nov-20 The Informal Economy During a Global Health Pandemic
20-Nov-20 Care Economy, Gendered Roles & The Church
27-Nov-20 Food Security & COVID19: Assessing the Impacts on Women & Girls

Time: 10:00 – 12:00
Passcode: 027791

Ubumbano Partner Profiles: Workers’ World Media Productions (WWMP)

WWMP is a non-profit organisation specialising in media development, mass education and leadership skills training for building the organising and leadership capacity of poor and marginalised communities. Established in 1999, it has in the last decade shifted the location of its projects to unorganised precarious workers and poor working-class communities. Its work focuses on developing mass media platforms with target groups to produce their own media while at the same time producing informative and educational weekly radio and TV shows involving over 30 community broadcasters as well as an electronic newspaper, Elitsha, that distributes articles daily via social media.

WWMP assisted waste-pickers in Western Cape, community healthcare workers nationally, farmworkers in various rural areas and ex-mineworkers to establish independent organisations to enable them to campaign and deal directly with authorities. These groups have also established 16 Labour Community Media Forums (LCMF’s) in poor communities around the country. They meet every fortnight to direct their campaigns towards issues such as community service delivery, food security, housing and unemployment. WWMP supports these LCMF’s and organisations with training, media development and organising across multiple themes including democracy and civic participation, gender and women’s oppression, anti-discrimination (racism, homophobia and xenophobia), the environmental crisis and responses, occupational health and safety and vulnerable or marginalized workers as well as job-creation.

See examples of WWMP COVID-19 video documentary productions for Community Healthcare Workers and Homebased Workers and Co-operatives. For more information visit the WWMP website.

Dignity during Covid – Support for women and girls

“We sometimes squeeze together limited funds to buy groceries, also milk to feed our babies. There is not always money for pads. Due to COVID-19 we found ourselves unexpectedly in crisis with drastic setbacks.” – Masi

The COVID pandemic has placed young women and girls in precarious positions, and as families have had to prioritise feeding themselves, sanitary wear gets pushed to the back of the queue., in partnership with Apostolic Women Empowerment Trust, facilitated a menstrual health dignity drive to reach out to marginalised young women and girls, and with support from ACT Ubumbano provided 100 dignity packs to community. This was also a form of reconnecting and providing psychosocial support during the COVID-19 lockdown.