The Start Of Friendship
Approximately 18 months ago the municipality of Nongoma* in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa told an organisation called the Shine Foundation, a Safeguarding Agency who had been working with the people of Nongoma, that it would be a dream come true for them if a town in the United Kingdom would be willing to twin with them.
Through various contacts, Oundle began a dialogue with Mayor Mataba of Nongoma, who represented the council and representatives of the 19 wards in Nongoma and also King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu who resides in the town.
During the ongoing process Mayor Mataba explained how the town of Nongoma would benefit from knowing that the town of Oundle in rural England was thinking about the plight of their people.
*Nongoma means ‘Mother of song’ in Zulu.
A committee has now formed to further this friendship with Nongoma and currently has five members from the community. We would welcome more.
We will soon announce our first project in Nongoma, likely to be the renovating and running of a community centre servicing the needs of the local people in one of the wards of the principality, which follows some fundraising in our town.
During preliminary discussion it was decided to conduct a rural needs assessment in Nongoma to show how best Oundle can support our friends in Nongoma, and this has also been funded by Oundle residents.