Mayibuye was founded in 2009 by Sipho Khomo, Daniel Perkins, Jennifer Smith and Kumari Middleton.
During a Youth Forum run by The Oaktree Foundation, an idea which was developed by Sipho called Mayibuye, which supported young people in his township of South Africa through their love for the performing arts. Together Sipho, Dan, Jen and Kumari developed the idea, to also include life skills for a greater impact.
In June 2009, we ran a volunteering trip to South Africa with 6 young Australians to launch Mayibuye in South Africa. What an incredible experience that was! Seeing the idea come to life, and the impact our programs were having in the lives of youth living in Hammarsdale. Sipho and Dan, staying in South Africa to continue running the program which is now delivered in 4 townships.
Upon returning Australia, the team realised the program would also work really well there too. We first started working in the regional community of Morwell, and expanded to Melbourne, Wonthaggi, Alexander, Preston, Dandenong, Collingwood, Flemington, Narre Warren and Hoppers Crossing.
During our journey we met people and organisations who saw the need for our programs in their country, and were committed to making it happen. This saw Mayibuye move into Cambodia, India, Egypt and Brazil. In each location we have a team, including a country manager and local volunteers who deliver the initiatives.
In 2013, we saw the need to establish a pathway course for our students. We created a one year Certificate III in Community in partnership with Melbourne Polytechnic. This course is designed to support students who are passionate about dance, but unable to purse a professional career as a performer instead they are training to be a community arts teachers. The course ran for 2 years until the subsidised funding option wasn’t available to students anymore. We hope to launch the course again in the future, but want it to be open to all regardless of a students financial circumstances.
At the beginning of 2015 Mayibuye merged with Cultural Infusion, a larger organisation with a similar vision. After two years it was mutually decided the once again separate, to ensure the long-term future of Mayibuye’s programs in Australia and overseas.
We are currently in the process of launching a social enterprise called CARE TWO DANCE in Melbourne. A commercial dance school which will fund our youth initiatives around the world through a one for one model.
We have had so many amazing young people work for Mayibuye and help us grow to this point. From our country managers to those providing operational support to workshop facilitators… we are very grateful! We are also thankful to our funders and partners around the world, for believing in us and the power of the arts.
We are looking forward to a bright future and sharing our expanding impact with you!