Who We Are


Jika Uluntu is a non-profit organization operating in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, in the Buffalo City Municipality. It was established in 2017 by the Founding Director, Emma Rutherford in response to the needs of vulnerable children in an informal settlement that was rapidly growing. She had been working in the non-profit sector for years and decided to do something and Jika Uluntu which means “turning around the community” was born.

Since then our organization has grown to include communities that consist of informal settlements, rural farming communities and rural villages. We operate on the border of the municipality that is sometimes “forgotten” when it comes to being provided with government services. In addition, its locality sometimes brings jurisdiction disputes amongst district offices leading to services not being rendered.


We collaborate with communities through knowledge exchange and mentorship that facilitates their access to skills and tools that they need to tackle social ills such as HIV/AIDS, Violence Against Children, Violence Against Women, and Youth Unemployment. We link these communities with the gatekeepers of this access namely the government, civil society and private sector. This empowers them to transform their lives and communities from within and affect social change that is sustainable.

Our Vision

Our vision is a world where every child has
the opportunity to thrive, reach their full
potential, and lead happy, healthy, and
successful lives.

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide children with the
nurturing care, resources, and opportunities
they need to flourish. We strive to create
environments that promote their well-being,
including good health, nutrition, safety,
responsive caregiving, and access to quality
education. By fostering partnerships and
advocating for systemic change, we aim to
build a society that values and prioritizes the
well-being of every child.




Our Approach 

We utilize a systems change approach that recognizes that social issues are complex problems that result from a group of interrelated parts that consistently produce the same results. We confront the root causes of issues rather than symptoms by transforming structures, customs, mindsets, power dynamics and policies, by strengthening collective power through the active collaboration of diverse people and organisations. This collaboration is rooted in shared goals to achieve lasting improvement to solve social problems at a local, national and global level. 

Systems influence millions of people

To change such systems, the interventions needs to affect the way the parts interact with each other and be able to withstand the pushback they will inevitably encounter

System is made up of complex problems with interacting parts

Confronting root causes of issues rather than symptoms requires the transformation of structures, customs, mindsets, power dynamics, policies and rules by strengthening collective power through the active collaboration of diverse people and organizations.

Focusing on one element won't shift other parts, doesn't lead to broad change & can have negative consequences 

This collaboration can involve a diverse set of players and is rooted in shared goals to achieve lasting improvements to solve social problems at a local, national and global level.

Iceberg Model deeper changes tend to result in greater impact

Systems change takes a holistic "systemic" view and requires adjustments or transformations in the policies, practices, power dynamics, social norms or mindsets that underlie the societal issue at stake.