Nemato Change A Life
Progress with the building of the Nemato Change a Life Centre has been slow, but even slow movement will bring them to their final destination according to founder member, Jan Blom. Image: Provided

Progress with the building of the Nemato Change a Life Centre is making slow progress. It’s a stop and goes situation according to founding member Jan Blom. He explained that the foundations and the bases for the waterless toilets were in place at this stage. Next, the floor will be laid after which the door frames will be put in place. Once this was done the sandbag wall can be started.

Let’s Go Solar


The organisation intends to make use of solar power and their Let’s Go Solar campaign has already gathered more than half the anticipated cost of installing solar equipment. “But anyone is free to contribute and any amount will be welcomed,” Blom said. Donors who supply solar panels will be acknowledged on a plaque in the new centre! (See account details at end of article). Donations are deductible from South African tax.

Rubber duck racing

Nemato members were invited to experience rubber duck racing and the possibility exists for a Nemato boat to compete in the 2018 Amanzi Festival over the Easter period in Port Alfred. More news will follow soon.

FunDza reading programme

A lot of books was donated by Cape Town-based FunDza who offers a programme that aims to turn township high school youth into readers. The trick is simple; offer stories that relate to the lives of the readers. It actually works! The books are used in the after­school class, but members also take the books home to read.

Nemato Change a Life shirts

New NCal shirts were made to celebrate the support provided to the organisation by The Mike Thomson Change a Life Trust, their main funder.

Toilet paper donation

Twinsavers also donated a tower of toilet paper to the NCal which they intend to share with other local youth clubs and pre­schools.

Waves for Change

Waves for Change leaders from East London recently visited the NCal organisation. “We hope to integrate the life skills elements of the Waves for Change surfing programme into our sports programmes,” Blom said.

Gold members visited 43 Air School

Gold members were taken on a special trip to the largest pilot training school in Africa, the 43 Air School in Port Alfred.

Germany exchange programme

Lifa Nxobo visited Jeffrey’s Bay for a week with youth from Germany as part of an exchange programme.

Selling websites

Two members, Liyema Nxobo and Sino Mendze, are making money with skills they learnt at Nemato Change a Life. Recently they sold their first websites. If you want a website kindly contact the organisation.

Nemato Sports Clubs 

The NCaL’s sports clubs offer four small Olympic sports:  rowing, gymnastics (tumbling and trampoline), handball and fencing.  “Sport is an important part of our youth empowerment programme and our athletes compete at provincial, national and even international level,” Blom said.

Nemato rowing supported by St. Andrew’s

St. Andrew’s College, the strongest rowing school in the country, is assisting the Nemato rowing club to become more competitive. Recently rowers trained at the school in Grahamstown, under the guidance of their coach Sheldon Nelson, who is employed by St. Andrew’s.

They did fitness training at their 60 minute trial on the ergos (rowing machines). The best results were a club-best for Odwa Ntamo in Under 16 and a club second best in Under 19 for Simthembile Bari.

Lihle at Beach Handball World Champions

Lihle Nxobo was selected for the South African team to participate in the Under 17 Beach Handball World Championships in Mauritius. “It was the first time that a Nemato handball player competed overseas.  The event has inspired not only Lihle but our entire team to take success in handball and life to the next level,” Blom said.

Four gymnasts in World Champs team

After winning all events in which they participated during two provincial trials, ten Nemato gymnasts were selected for the national championships and four for the world championships. The teams recently prepared for the national championships at a training camp in Port Elizabeth sponsored by the Eastern Cape Academy of Sport.

The gymnasts were also tested for drugs by the Eastern Cape Academy of Sport with all testing negative. “All tested negative for the whole range from dagga to Tik. In our community that is a great achievement!” Blom said.

Anoxolo at fencing competition in Cape Town

Only one fencer qualified for a national competition in Cape Town. He travelled alone and was looked after by fencers in Cape Town. It was a great adventure that made him many new friends.

Programmes for community

Three youth organisations from the township, Ingubo, Phumelelo and Ezibeleni, were invited by the NCaL organisation for a trip to Port Elizabeth where they attended a fundraising course offered by SAFULA and a presentation by FunDza about their reading programme for high school youth.

Matinyana Fund

The Holland-based Matinyana Bursary Fund is proudly supporting seven disadvantaged but deserving students from Port Alfred. “Although students from our township are faced with many challenges, it is always great when, with some support, they manage to succeed and get out of the poverty trap,” Blom said.

Nemato Change a Life runs the South African office of the Matinyana Fund.

Success in Life Story – Sino Mendze

Sino Mendze joined the gymnastics club of the NCaL organisation in 2014. She says that it was not just sport that attracted her, but also the other programmes such as the after-school class, as she realised that sitting and doing nothing after school wouldn’t get her anywhere.

Sino is involved in many activities including the cooking class. One of the many skills Sino attained at the organisation is computer literacy. “Most the youth in our community have limited or no access to computers and the internet, but our members have. Sino took this opportunity with both hands and is now even building and selling websites,” Blom said.

Her favourite part of the programme is the after-school class, as it helps many of the members to catch up and improve their marks at school. Sino is in Grade 11 and is doing well. Her ambition is to become a psychologist, gynaecologist or doctor.

Sino’s most memorable moment in the organisation was when the organisation had overseas visitors. During the visit, she showed them around and offered them traditional food.

Her advice to the youth is to join the organisation and to reap the benefits of opportunities that comes it.

Contact Details

The Nemato Change a Life organisation is both a Non-Profit (075­396­NPO) and a Section 18A Public Benefit Organisation (930033563). Any donations to the organisation can be done to:

Nemato Change a Life,

FNB Port Alfred, 1 Main Street, Port Alfred

Account No – 6225 665 9461, cheque account,

Branch (sort) code 210 917,

Swift code FIRNZAJJ

More information about the NCaL is available at or at

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