Our Story

Our Story
Thembalitsha Foundation


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).

We work with a diverse group of volunteers, partners and full-time staff, who are dedicated to their work, providing them with the input and resources that are necessary to see our vision unfold.

Currently, we run seven projects, six based in the Western Cape, and one based in the Eastern Cape.

Locally and abroad, our key collaborators include Thembalitsha’s funding arms in the US and UK; churches, individual funders, local businesses and local governments.


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

Our first successfully-launched project was Graceland Preschool and from this beginning, we developed our Themba Training and School of Hope projects, both located in under-served areas of Cape Town.

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

During 2019 and 2020, we undertook extensive monitoring all operational risk factors. As a result, the Thembalitsha SA Board of Directors decided to reduce our footprint in Grabouw. The Village of Hope and ThembaCare Grabouw were closed after more than 10 years of community service. However, Thembani Educare Centre and The Training Hub continue to serve the community of Grabouw.

In 2006 Mama Themba, formerly known as Bosom Buddies, was born in Somerset West. This initiative soon grew into a successful project, providing prenatal care and counselling to new mothers.

Our newest additions are Agape and Themba Connect. Agape Educare is an early childhood centre situated in the Zola district of Nomzamo township. Themba Connect is a community-training centre located in Adelaide, Eastern Cape. Themba Connect’s mission is to connect people with jobs and an income through training opportunities. We focus on building 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 privileged to have transformed countless 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.