When it started



Develop sustainable business ventures to support all costs to run the orphanage, educate the children, and provide jobs for local residents.

Description of the project

Twelve years ago, Bulembu was an abandoned and overgrown asbestos mining town. God provided the path to purchase the 4400-acre property to house orphaned children and the business experience to establish an amazing social venture.

Today 400 orphans live in the former miners’ renovated cottages. Two large dining halls provide simple, nutritious food cooked in a communal kitchen. The children attend to chores to keep up vegetable gardens, hand-wash and line-dry their clothes, and maintain the tidiness of their home. The children learn in bright and clean classrooms with dedicated teachers. There is a Christian Church, a health clinic, a commercial bakery, and a small general store.

Measuring project success

Bulembu business enterprises include a processing plant to harvest and package honey, a sawmill that employs men from the area, the Bulembu Lodge and restaurant for travelers, and an artesian spring that supplies water to run a bottling operation. A former golf course has become a dairy cow operation. As each enterprise has moved steadily toward greater sustainability Bulembu has become more self-supporting and less dependent upon donations.

Communities are transformed when generosity to the needy is based upon building sustainable businesses ventures. Members learn, grow, work, and manage profitable enterprises with the right entrepreneurial assistance throughout the process. This model is rapidly becoming the new standard for best practices to make the greatest impact in the world.

Partners In Action offers its success in Bulembu as evidence of the transformative truth that people want to thrive through their own efforts, not merely survive on hand-outs.