Philani is inspired by Christian compassion and a vision for the needs of the most vulnerable in society, by commitment to community participation and development, and by passion to advocate for the rights of vulnerable children, youths and their families through partnerships. Its drive to see people’s lives actively change led to its inception in 2001 where the HIV/AIDS Project became its initial platform to try and address the social ills and disintegration of family life brought in by the effects of the Pandemic. However activities were not stream lined to just this Programme but the Educare centre was also initiated in 2001 and allowed the children within the community surrounding Zuurbekom to access early childhood development facilities that would ensure their easy and appropriate integration into formal schools.
As the need to offer effective holistic and sustainable integrated services continued to be of paramount importance in the functionality of Philani, Philani Development Centre was incepted and implemented initially as an initiative that advanced from the HIV/AIDS Programme with a focus on orphaned and vulnerable children and the youth. The organization ventured to bridge a gap where Department of Social Development left a child at 18 years of age. The organization initiated skills development projects for unemployed youth out of school who were no longer receiving grants as orphans. The fundraising and resource mobilization produced picture frame projects for youth further joined by furniture manufacturing training in partnership with private sector, art & craft with beadwork. Some youth-headed families were trained and placed in formal jobs and others started businesses. To date the development has expanded to provide a number of basic training projects as well as accredited computer training. What also stands out is its effective role in cooperatives facilitations, training and formation which is a project which extends not only to the youth but to all the different clientele groups within the community.