Happy Feet Youth Project
is a NPO founded in 2007 by Siviwe Mbinda in an effort to provide a safe after school environment for the children of his community. Through Siviwe’s work as a tourist guide in Langa, he saw an opportunity to further develop the mentor relationship he had with a small group of children. He paired responsible tourism and gumboots dance together as a catalyst to enable psychosocial and concrete benefits for the children. Siviwe Mbinda, Nathi Gigaba, and Ashley Newell have partnered together to establish a program which empowers the children through gumboots and traditional dance to be confident and disciplined in achieving their goals both on and off the stage. The participants are required to balance their school work, participation in the Happy Feet activities, as well as how they carry themselves within the community. The program includes approximately 70 boys and girls ages 3-20. Through dedication and hard work Happy Feet has performed at conferences, traditional ceremonies, hotels, universities, dance competitions, museums, and in parliament. The funding Happy Feet receives goes towards uniforms, traditional instruments, a feeding scheme, school fee and material support, and Happy Feet outings and functions.