“I am because we are”
One of my first NGO photography projects was for Projekt Ubuntu in Fish Hoek nearby Cape Town. I spoke with Candi the founder of the organization and she explained to me what they where doing. The volunteers that would join the project will create Ubuntu consciousness and share their skills with the younger generation of Masiphumelele, the township in Fish Hoek.
Candi and her team of volunteers are organizing a system with the local Mama’s for the children daycare in the township, but also through volunteerism, they are able to practically bring people together, from different communities and countries – to learn from one another and to develop human values and potential together.
I was lucky to spend two days with Candi and her volunteers and I learned a lot about the Ubuntu philosophy which I like to share with you. It brought me a lot in life. So, what means Ubuntu? The philosophy of Ubuntu derives from a Nguni word, ubuntu meaning “the quality of being human.” Ubuntu manifests itself through various human acts, like social or economical or in relations to your family. “Ubuntu ngumtu ngabanye abantu” , which means I am a person through other people. Without other people I cannot exist. One thing that had the most impact on me during my stay with the Mama’s was their dedication to make sure that every child had something to eat. Some children did not have a lunchbox but the Mama’s shared the food of all the lunchboxes with all the children in the daycare.
The Ubuntu philosophy is so easy but so extremely powerful to realize that humanity and love will always be stronger than evil. And I am very thankful that I learned that throughout this beautiful project.