About Us

Khanyisani Trust

Poverty alleviation as Mission



in IsiZulu Khanyisani means “shine the light for others”. Our name is inspired by Matthew 5:16 that reads “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”.

We are inspired by the Gospel to be a light in the darkness, reflecting the light that we receive from Jesus, so others can see the path.


We are a non-profit/public benefit organisation registered in South Africa with two decades of experience in addressing poverty alleviation amongst the poorest of the poor in South Africa. We recognise that poverty is a huge problem in South Africa, and through dedication hands-on experience and research have found a workable sustainable model which doesn’t rely on formal job creation or hand-outs. Our methodology is based on entrepreneurship, respect for all members of the community, trust, and faith. We have proven results that continue to positively influence many thousands of lives.


Our mission is to alleviate poverty in a sustainable way through what we call word and deed discipleship. This means using self-help savings groups, asset-based community development (ABCD), practical, climate-smart, and ethical food production, and income generation, all in combination with bible studies that explain the biblical worldview approach to poverty alleviation.




The Khanyisani Trust is an overarching umbrella for the programmes and projects under our stewardship. The Khanyisani Operations Team administers projects, conducts monitoring and evaluation, fundraises, develops the projects and plans together with Project Leaders and reports back to Stakeholders and Funders. The Khanyisani Trust is run by a seasoned diverse group of trustees who have experience working in the NGO sector, financial expertise, fundraising, leadership and mentorship at a local and international level. At an operational level Dr Guy Stubbs, the Executive Director, leads a diverse team, working hands-on in the programmes and with the operational team to keep the Trust and the Programmes moving smoothly.


Poverty knows no boundaries, and we work across urban, peri-urban and rural landscapes to improve lives.

  • Conservation (stewardship of the creation) and poverty alleviation programmes must work hand in hand for sustainable success, and never more so than in our partnership with Lapalala Wilderness School where we through our African Honey Bee programme are the Social Enablement partner.
  • Early Child Development (ECD) is the backbone of any society. Once children are able to read and write at the end of the Foundation Phase, they have the tools to succeed. The problem with centres supporting vulnerable children is that often parents and caregivers do not participate in contributing to the centres where their children are being cared for. Khanyisani through Child Vision has a holistic approach – training develops not only teaching skills but facilitation of social transformation of parents and caregivers that leads to centre self-sustainability.
  • Transformational leader is an initiative where we help pastors and other community development leaders to use Social Enablement to transform their communities.


As an organisation we are involved in researching and developing sustainable poverty alleviation solutions. We seek opportunities where we can impact faith-based transformational development as well as raise funding for the opportunities.


Set within a global context South Africa is categorised as a mid-income country, yet we have a staggering 43.6% unemployment rate, with 74.7% of youths unemployed. We rank with countries with the highest unemployment rate: Burkina Faso (77.00%), Syria (50.00%), Senegal (48.00%), Haiti (40.60%), Kenya (40.00%), Djibouti (40.00%), Republic of Congo (36.00%), Marshall Islands (36.00%). By comparison China, the US, France and Germany have about 5% unemployment. Brazil comes in with a 11.9% unemployment rate. With this as a backdrop, the programmes housed in the Khanyisani Group are aimed at the people who do not have jobs and who are unlikely to get jobs. These people whose lives we positively impact are rural, per-urban and urban, the plight of poverty groups them together. Most of the communities we work in have an even higher unemployment rate. Kwambonambi in KwaZulu Natal, for example, was as high as 90%. The average income earned by the families we work with is as low as R10,000 - R20,000 per year for families averaging 5 individuals each (STATS SA, 2018). This translates into a shocking average income of less than $0.38 - $0.75 per day, a far cry from the global poverty line of $1.90 a day


The Khanyisani footprint ranges across the South African landscape. Our programmes, Child Vision and Africa Honey Bee are adaptable and scalable and are a good fit in all scenarios where poverty is at the heart of the problem.



Our model is called Social Enablement as Mission. “Social” means that we work with people. People are important to God; therefore, people are important to us. We focus specifically on marginalised, extremely poor, and vulnerable people in South Africa. We train people in a way where the focus is on uplifting families in the context of the communities, they live in. On average our participants are 85% women, 65% youth and 10% disabled.



African Honey Bee – is where we use Social Enablement as Mission to help poor rural families become self-sustaining. We structure this programme in a way where we build a honey value chain through franchising principles simultaneously to the Social Enablement as Mission training.

Our first African Honey Bee project started in the Western Cape in 2007 with R0.5m funding from the Shell Foundation. The project did not meet expected milestones, however, there are still a number of beekeepers continuing to produce honey from the project. Then in 2008 and 2009 we worked on a business plan for starting a project in the southern Freestate (which was not viable) and started a project in the Northern Cape. The project in the Northern Cape initially received R0.5m from the National Development Agency, it has received ongoing funding and support from Kumba and is still operational under the name Heuningpot Beekeeping Co-operative enabling about 25 family members to earn income from beekeeping. In 2010 we started a project in Bushbuck Ridge, Mpumalanga. We managed to raise R4m from the IDC, R1m from SEDA, R1m from the ABSA foundation, and R0.5m from the Australian Embassy to start a social enterprise that is now called Naked Honey Farms and markets honey through the brand Eat Naked Honey. Naked Honey Farms has 50 community shareholders and supports about 50 families directly and indirectly. In 2015 ABSA Foundation funded us R2m to run 4 projects in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng.

Then in 2016 we started our most successful project so far, the Sappi Beekeeping project in Kwambonambi, KwaZulu Natal. One could say that this was the first project where the Social Enablement as Mission model fully came into its own. We raised R5m from IDC/Government of Flanders, R0.2m from Bidvest, R0.6m from the Hans Hoheisen Trust, R2.5m from Sappi and R0.5m in kind from the Agribusiness Development Agency to set up 125 beekeepers. The method of Social Enablement as Mission was so successful that in 5 years we impacted 1,600 families (about 8,000 people), of which 400 are beekeeping and produce about 15 tons of honey from the 2,000 beehives that they made themselves, as well as 20 self-help savings groups.

The project is now under the governance of Sappi and being run by previous Khanyisani facilitators in a business we helped them establish called African Beekeeping Solutions. In summary, we have created over 2,000 family businesses from an investment of R18m. With these businesses each earning an average of R10,000 per year, or together with R20m per year, this has resulted in a significant return on investment.

ChildVision – is where we teach orphan and vulnerable children centre (OVC) workers Social Enablement as Mission so they can become change agents in their communities by facilitating the positive transformation of the parents and caregivers of the children from the centres where they work. This has a dual benefit (or interdependency) in that when parents and caregivers are enabled to care for themselves, they begin to take better care of the children in their care, as well as for the centres who help them care for the children. In addition, and in partnership with Love Trust, we teach the workers a Christian worldview based, accredited (NQF Level 4) ECD course, so they can further help the children in their care and earn fees to help with self-sustainability. Our pilot project was due to start in 2021 but got delayed due to Covid-19. The project has started now in 2020 with R970,600 funding from Masibambisane Netherlands and R600,000 funding from Word & Deed, North America. So far, the model seems to be working well.


Why don’t you consider becoming our equity partner to accelerate economic transformation?

Khanyisani is a Level 1 BBBEE not-for-profit trust. We are an NPO (non-profit organisation) and a PBO (Public Benefit organisation) registered in South Africa. As a Level One B-BBEE organisation we can provide SED (social-economic development) certificates to South African companies for purposes of compliance.

We have a solid record, enabling you to be confident in your donations. We continually focus on improving our executive and management governance.

The Khanyisani Board, in its commitment to governance excellence and fiduciary accountability, has ratified, policies and strategic oversight of financial, risk and development impact.

Our behaviour is governed by our Code of Conduct and policies aligned with South African legislation, including protection of children, employment equity and employment practices, health and safety.