Giving Back

Want to spread the love this festive season? Here are some organisations across the country, which need your support…

Beds of Hope Campaign
The Beds of Hope Campaign seeks to raise R15 million by the end of 2010 for purchasing and equipping ICU and High Care Units for the Universitas and Pelonomi Academic Hospitals.  At present, these hospitals function with outdated equipment sorely in need of being replaced or updated. “Many newborn babies face death due to the unavailability of adequate facilities in hospitals,” says head of the department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of the Free State, Professor André Venter. Children and babies from the Free State, Northern Cape, Lesotho and North West Province are all treated by the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at these hospitals. Contact: T: 051-405-3181, E:, W:

Engender is focused on changing patterns of violence and inequality in South African society and transforming victimhood to agency. Through workshops and in-depth research, the organisation covers areas such as genders and sexualities, gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, human rights, justice, as well as conflict resolution and peace, Engender works with the most marginalised of communities and is need resources from funds to time. “Although our focus is on the Western Cape, we have strategic collaborations across the country, the continent and internationally,” says director, Bernadette Muthien. “In helping people empower themselves, we contribute to the general social wellbeing.” Contact: T: 021-447-6290, E:, W:

Neighbourhood Old Age Homes (NOAH) is a programme of the Catholic Welfare and Development agency, which provides an integrated package of communal homes and services to pensioners who rely on the government grant to meet their needs. Run independently, these are ordinary homes in communities that are safe and affordable. NOAH also hosts weekly social clubs which have become a meeting place for companionship, support and sharing of ideas. “As a result of our work, elderly people feel secure and happier,” says programme manager, Dee Wills. “They stay connected to their communities, while retaining their dignity and independence and also remain healthy and active for as long as possible.” Contact: T: 021-447-6334, E:, W:

Established in 1997, Khulisa is dedicated to preventing crime in South Africa. Amongst the many programmes they run are the ‘Ubuntu Clubs’ based in Gauteng, North West, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Western Cape. “The clubs offer youth-at-risk a safe, warm and friendly space for interaction, personal development and a sense of belonging,” says managing director, Lesley Ann van Selm. “Between 1,000 to 5,000 youths are reached through each club, where they learn the age-old values of responsibility to the community, brotherhood and compassion.” Meetings are held after school hours, on weekends and during school holidays. Khulisa is in need of T-shirts, stationery, transport money, gardening equipment and opportunities to provide hiking or camping excursions. Contact: T: 011-788-8237, E:, W: 

The Domestic Animal Rescue Group (DARG) assists abused, injured, and abandoned cats and dogs find new loving and caring homes. “DARG is not only for neglected and abused animals, but also an adoption centre with many loving animals patiently waiting for new homes, as well as an educational facility for the community,” says director, Joy Giovanni. “We are pro-life and provide animals with the gentle alternative of a safe haven.” DARG invites people to visit the centre and perhaps even give a pet a home, or leave a donation in the form of cash or pet food. Contact: T:021-790-0383, E:, W:

Edmund Rice Camps
Edmund Rice Camps give children from marginalised backgrounds the opportunity to have a holiday with an emphasis on having fun, ensuring safety and building self-esteem. Using a mentoring ‘leader-buddy’ system for the duration of the holiday camp, the programme offers children the opportunity to explore, find hope and reach beyond their circumstances and limitations. “The volunteers create an atmosphere of safety and love to which the children, so used to fear and disadvantage in their lives, respond and blossom like flowers to rain,” says volunteer camp mentor, August Kamara. The project is in need of sponsors for the holiday programmes and children, volunteers and donations in kind, such as towels, blankets, sport and art equipment. Contact: T: 021-880-0795, E:

Karabo – I Am The Solution
Established in 2004, Karabo – I Am The Solution helps disadvantaged 5 to 8 year olds in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape schools learn about and make informed decisions about HIV/AIDS. “We are unique in that we focus on the very little ones who can still be influenced, instead of teenagers who are already sexually active,” says managing director, Handa Blake. “The children then go into their communities and educate teenagers and adults about HIV and Aids.” The programme requires individuals to sponsor a child at R190 per year. Contact: T: 011-726-1397, E:

Adopt a School Foundation
The foundation focuses on the provision of basic facilities for the creation and improvement of the school environment – for good quality learning and teaching to take place. To date, the foundation has adopted 50 schools in the seven provinces of South Africa and has built classrooms, administration blocks, ablution blocks, libraries, science labs, multi-media centres and provided grade R facilities. “The project has benefited disadvantaged schools and their communities through creating temporary job opportunities, as well as assisting over 50,000 children since its inception,” says executive director, Stephen Lebere. “Presently, 135 schools are waiting for adoption.” The programme is in need of funds, time or expertise and the adoption of schools for a minimum of five years. Contact: T: 011-305-8900, E:, W:

The Greater Rape Intervention Project provides humanitarian assistance, rehabilitation and empowerment to all survivors of rape, sexual assault and domestic violence. Rendering a holistic service focusing on each and every aspect of the survivor going through the criminal justice system, GRIP provides police, hospital and court interventions as well as HIV support intervention. The organisation has extensive pre-court training, ensuring more convictions of perpetrators. “Our survivors give us hope,” says CEO, Annesta Hofer. “Hope that as a community, when we stand together, we can overcome our fear – and in our togetherness, we can give one another courage to take action against any form of violence, especially against our women and children.” GRIP is in need of soft toys, which give comfort to the survivor during the reporting process, especially for children survivors. Care packs, which contain the basic toiletries, are also needed, to help the survivor feel emotionally and physically clean once the medico-legal examination has been completed. Contact: T: 013-752-4404, E:,

Algoa Bay Council for the Aged
Algoa Bay Council for the Aged provides supportive services to older persons in the Nelson Mandela Metro, aiming to keep them active in the community for as long as possible. The organisation has three service centres and offers midday meals, where the elderly are able to enjoy social interaction with others. Counseling and advice services are also offered, as well as a  home-care referral service, a sponsored home care project, a medication delivery service for house-bound aged and a low-cost rental housing facility. Not only does Algoa Bay Council for the Aged provide the elderly with a skills development programme, they also educate the public on issues around elder abuse. “I was so happy to help these wonderful people, who are so deserving of love, with my fabric painting skills,” says volunteer helper, Nobubele Mbiyo. “I gained so much from spending time with them and it gave me great satisfaction to bring some joy to their lives.” The council is looking for donors who will volunteer of their services, sponsor an elderly person, or even give donations-in-kind to help with home care, meal ingredients, furniture, household products and groceries. Contact: T: 041-368-8434 E: W:

Author: Charlene Yared-West. Published in the Clicks ClubCard Magazine, December 2008.