About Judith Mtsewu
Judith Mtsewu is one of the directors for the Hamba Bamba Funda (HBF) organisation active in the early childhood sector and working specifically in the Kliptown township in Johannesburg, South Africa. The founder of this critical effort, Monja Boonzaier, invited Judith onto the Board on the account of her experience in the NGO sector.
The connection between Monja and Judith was borne in a course focusing on the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) approach and its potential offering to driving a fundamentally different type of development, that is people-led and based on the recognition of people’s own assets. The work that HFB does is about using this philosophy in driving a niche early childhood project locally.
Before joining HBF as a director, Judith also spent a few years on the Board of the Community Development Resource Association (CDRA), which sadly is now no more.
Judith Mtsewu is a professional whose work has been in portfolios of ‘change making’ whether it be in gender, human, women and children’s rights or in driving effective philanthropy for social justice. Professionally, Judith spent several years with an international organisation, Charities Aid Foundation Southern Africa, other regional NPOs as well as in the spheres of local government and academia in different provinces of SA. Judith returned to work in the NGO sector as her preferred sector to ply her trade in, in recognition and towards the advancement of the impactful and meaningful work of this sector. She recently returned to the deeply personal and significant work of the women’s rights sector, where she cut her ‘NPO teeth’ 12 years before, where she was involved in gender research, sourcing, documenting and profiling women’s voices and lobbying and advocating for change at the highest political levels. It is this work that shaped and cultivated her activist awareness, ethos and orientation and her hunger for deeper knowledge and insights in this realm.
Her academic background is in the social sciences and she holds degrees and an advanced postgraduate diploma as well as certificates in management and leadership courses. Her work experience has not only spanned many sectors, but also functional areas and has cumulatively shaped her upward professional trajectory. Her work experience has covered areas such as Policy and Programme Development and Implementation, Performance Management, Research, Consulting, Facilitation, Business Planning, Risk and Audit Management, Marketing and Communications, Organisational systems-building (non-digital) and Monitoring, Evaluation, Presenting and Reporting. In her professional life, Judith has been part of some ground-breaking work such as in the realm of gender and local government and gender mainstreaming. In her current role she tackles another critical work segment, that of integrating feminist character into organisational development work.
The work of HBF resonates with Judith not only because she herself is a mother and recognises with the goal of HBF, but also because its development philosophy tangibly gives critical life tools to both infants and young, often teenage mothers, for a life full of potential. Every baby and mother participant, know that they all matter, as individuals and as a community fostering connection and love