Our Story

Our Story
Thembalitsha Foundation

Our Story

When translated from Xhosa, our name “Thembalitsha” means “new hope”. At Thembalitsha, our aim is exactly that – to restore and bring a new sense of hope to the destitute, forgotten and vulnerable people of the Western and Eastern Cape.


We are a Non-Profit Company (NPC) and our mission is to develop people to the point of self-reliance through the provision of services in Education, Healthcare and Training.

We work with a diverse group of volunteers, partners and full-time staff, who are highly invested in their work; providing significant input and resources that

are necessary to see our vision unfold. Currently, we run seven projects, six of which are based in the Western Cape, and one is based in the Eastern Cape. Both locally and abroad, our key collaborators include Thembalitsha’s funding arms in the US and UK, churches, individual funders, local businesses and local governments to name a few.


Established by Frank and Kate Christie as a registered NPO in 1997, Thembalitsha is the shared vision of compassion.

Our first successfully launched project was Graceland Preschool. This served the children of Stellenbosch farmworkers in need. From this, we were able to develop our Themba Training and School of Hope projects. These two projects were located in underserved areas in Cape Town, the former of which provides micro-business and sewing skills to members of the community who’ve shown interest and the latter project provides a second chance at education for at-risk and vulnerable youth in these communities.

The initiatives that followed allowed us to expand our focus and reach to include the community of Grabouw. We began by opening ThembaCare Grabouw, which provides home-based care for hundreds of vulnerable patients, and is the only facility in Grabouw that offers 24-hour medical care. This was followed by Village of Hope, a temporary safe place for children who have been infected or affected by HIV or TB.

During 2019 and 2020, after an extensive process of monitoring all operational risk factors, the Thembalitsha SA Board of Directors, declared their intention to reduce our footprint in Grabouw and closed down both Village of Hope and ThembaCare Grabouw, after more than 10 years of community service.

Thembani Educare Centre and The Training Hub continue to serve the community of Grabouw.

In recent years, Mama Themba was born – formerly known as Bosom Buddies. This initiative started small and soon grew into a successful project that provides prenatal care and counselling for new mothers.

Our newest additions are Agape and Themba Connect. Agape Educare is an early childhood centre situated in Zola, Nomzamo catering for the local community. Themba Connect is a community-training centre located in Adelaide, Eastern Cape.The mission of this project is to connect people with potential, through training opportunities, enabling self-reliance and personal transformation. 

Today, we have over fifty employees who serve thousands of disadvantaged people every year and are supported by individuals, entities, and volunteers from across the globe. Our journey thus far has been both challenging and remarkable. We are so privileged to transform lives through our Education, Health and Training Initiatives

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When translated from Xhosa, our name “Thembalitsha” means “new hope”.

Our Aim

At Thembalitsha, we aim to restore and bring a new sense of hope to the destitute, forgotten and vulnerable people of the Western and Eastern Cape.