The aim to see a better world was powerful enough to get a group of people to come together and set up an organization for the welfare of South Africa. With an objective to see change and the vision to help people get all that they need, we take each day as an opportunity to produce something better.
How we fund our services
From donations to various other such programs, our services are qualified to provide the right kind of help, and this objective never fails to keep us going and achieve the results that we set out to achieve.
What People Say
Christmas holds different meanings to different people. For some, it is the time to take a break from all types of work. While others look forward to spending time with their loved ones and family.
For kids, it is the best time during the year when everything is shiny and bright. And, of course, opening gift boxes filled with toys and everything their little hearts desired.
This is what our kids in the US and other developed countries do.
For kids across sub-Saharan Africa? It’s a different matter altogether. There are no gifts to open, and very few will even get to see and be near a Christmas tree.
But you can change that!
Below we share how you can transform people’s lives this Christmas season.
Gifts that will change lives forever
When we talk about Christmas gifts or Geschenke für 3 Jahre Alten Jungen or girls, we instantly imagine jewelry or the latest action figures. However, for families in Sub-Saharan Africa, you do not have to buy anything fancy or expensive.
On the contrary, goats, chickens, and piglets are true gifts. These livestock gifts may seem ordinary to you. However, these are practical gifts that can change a family’s life, and that is where the true value of a gift lies.
When you gift a family a pair of goats or piglets, it will cost next to nothing compared to the gifts you buy in the western world. But the family that receives your gift can raise the livestock and provide for the family’s needs for many years in the future.
In addition to livestock, a set of farming tools will also equip the family to work the fields. Besides, a bag of seeds can also be the answer to helping a family out of poverty. These are the basic tools that a Sub-Saharan family needs to improve their harvest and, in turn, the quality of their lives.
Empowering families towards a better life
Apart from livestock and other tangible gifts, any type of contribution becomes priceless to families in this part of the planet. It allows a family member to enroll in training courses. Some of the training courses that are invaluable to African families include technical training in sowing seeds, planting, and weeding. In addition, the training also focuses on breeding, raising, and rearing livestock.
These seemingly small steps allow the poorest African farmers to become self-sufficient and sustainable. Therefore, what you may consider a small gesture can be truly life-changing for a family. It will also give the poorest families the chance to work their way out of poverty.
Lifetime gifts for a better life
When you reach out to present a lifetime gift to an African family, it prepares them for a better life and a future. Improved harvest allows children to have access to nutritious food, which in turn improves their health.
In addition, even the poorest families can sell the surplus from the harvest. For many families, this has enabled the children to get a college education and even at universities.
Christmas is a time to share the love with people around us. It is always great to appreciate and be grateful for those in our lives that matter by gifting.
But when you have a chance to change the lives of an entire family. When you know that a small gesture of gifting a goat or a piglet is all it takes to prepare a family to face the future. When you know that it is in your power to bring a smile to impoverished children.
Would you not take the chance to make a difference in someone’s life?
After all, Christmas is all about magic, and you could be that magic!
Of course, every donor wants to be sure that his donations are actually used for needy people and aid projects. And rightly so. But unfortunately, there are also some black sheep on the donation market. With these tips, you are on the safe side.
1. Look for the donation seal
The American Central Institute for Social Issues awards a donation seal to reputable donation organizations. The seal is checked according to fixed criteria. These include a good performance and supervisory structure as well as financial transparency.
The seal is a good orientation for donors. But please note: If a donation organization is not on this list, it does not mean that it is operating unseriously. This is because the annual audit for the seal costs money, and smaller organizations in particular often save themselves the cost of an audit. The Donor Advisory Service provides additional information on donation organizations with and without a seal.
2. Inform yourself about the aid organization
Do not donate on instinct. Think carefully about who you trust with your money. Get information about the charity in advance – for example, on the charity’s website.
A good donation website will have a contact person and an address in the imprint. It also provides information about the use of donations. Reputable aid organizations work very transparently and provide insight into their annual report.
3. Do not let yourself be pressured
The advertising of the donation organization seems aggressive or wants to make you feel guilty? Or puts you under time pressure? Not a good basis for a donation. Overly emotional donation letters or pushy door-to-door solicitors do not speak for the seriousness of the organization.
Caution is also called for with collection tins. If you want to donate, make sure that the cans are sealed and that you have a donor card.
And one more thing …
Donate to projects that are personally important to you. Talk to friends or family about your cause. You should feel good about every donation you make. After all, you want to make a positive difference – whether it’s for an association in your immediate neighborhood or for a major international relief effort.
Donations can also be made online, and it doesn’t always have to be money. The betterplace.org platform, for example, offers not only classic monetary donations but also the opportunity to volunteer your time.
There are also various projects where you can donate toys for children. These projects gather a lot of amazing cadeaus voor jongens and girls and ship them over in one go when the time is there. This way you are certain that those kids in dire straits have at least some toys to play with!
What some donors do not consider: Every donation also incurs administrative and processing costs. For example, if you donate 100 dollars to a single cause, more of it will remain in the donation pot than if you divide the same sum into many small individual donations. You should also keep this in mind when donating.
Doing good and saving taxes
You can deduct your donations from your taxes as a special expense. Up to 20 percent of your total annual income. The condition for this is that the donation must be made to a tax-privileged organization for the promotion of charitable, religious, scientific, cultural, or other non-profit purposes.
For donations that do not exceed 200 dollars and are paid by bank transfer, the payment or booking receipt is sufficient for the tax office. For larger sums, you need a donation confirmation from the beneficiary organization on an official form.
Please note that different rules apply to donations to foundations, political parties, and voter associations.
Doing good is good! And not just to others, but to you as well. Five reasons.
Yes, they exist, those sourpusses who make fun of “do-gooders” and are primarily concerned with their own egos. But let them grumble and don’t get angry – in the end, their attitude only harms them.
After all, those who do good – whether through donations, volunteer work, or simply by paying small attention in everyday life – not only make others happy but also themselves.
1. Daily good deeds make you happier than the big goals
What really makes us happy? A great job? A baby? A house? People tend to chase after the big goals in the hope that they will then be happier. It often works, but a study by the University of California found that once a goal is reached, people quickly get used to the new situation and the feelings of happiness subside.
Much more important is a person’s daily behavior – because that is responsible for 40 percent of our happiness (the rest is determined by our genes, so there’s nothing we can do about it anyway).
An experiment with students who were asked to perform various good deeds for six weeks (from donating to the homeless to visiting grandma in a nursing home) shows: The subjects were happier overall during that time. So if you behave in an exemplary and social way, you can easily get your own personal happiness boost.
2. Doing good is good for the ego
Why do we feel happier when we do good? U.S. psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky has conducted several studies on this and concludes, “When you behave kindly and generously toward others, you end up viewing yourself as a generous person – so it’s good for your self-perception.” In addition, people have a more positive view of the world overall – they also perceive the actions of others as more charitable when they do good themselves.
3. People who do good things have more social contacts
One of the most famous misers is Ebenezer Scrooge from the Christmas story by Charles Dickens. No one likes the unkind bone who takes money out of the pockets of the poorest. And it’s the same in real life: social coldness makes you lonely. On the other hand, if you help others, you’ll meet new people more quickly, and they may even become friends. “And because these people will remember your helpfulness, the likelihood that you yourself will be helped when you need it increases. Welcome to the cozy nest of charity!
4. Doing good reduces stress
Psychologists from the University of California have studied what happens in our heads when we support others. In one experiment, they studied couples using magnetic resonance imaging. The woman lay in the scanner while her partner was subjected to electric shocks outside. Some of the women were allowed to hold their partner’s arms during this time. The others were not allowed to touch the man and thus had to watch his pain.
The result: In the women who were allowed to help, the reward center in the brain was stimulated – the same one that produces the pleasant feeling during sex or when eating chocolate. In addition, the area responsible for reducing stress was active. So helping is doubly good!
5. Doing good is good for our country
Every year, the “World Giving Index” examines how generous people are in countries around the world. And here, too, the researchers found that in countries where particularly many generous deeds are done, people are happier overall – which is good for society.
Incidentally, the most generous countries in 2020 were the USA and Myanmar. Myanmar’s top ranking is mainly due to Buddhism, where charitable donations are highly valued.
The country rankings are based on how often respondents have donated to a charity in the past month, whether they have done volunteer work and whether they have helped a stranger.
Rape Crisis is retrenching its entire staff except for the Director who will continue to run considerably scaled back services with volunteers. The notice to stakeholders below sums up the problems the social welfare sector is facing. We salute their efforts to keep services running against all odds and the professional, principled way they have dealt with their funding difficulties.
If you are as moved by this as we are, please email or tweet your MP, Ward Councillor, the mayor or anyone who you think could influence funding decisions. It is a travesty that we cannot pay for this vital service for women in Cape Town.
Notice to Stakeholders
Thursday 19 July 2012
On Monday 2 July 2012 the Rape Crisis Cape Town Board of Trustees served notice of retrenchment on its entire staff, except the Director, who will continue to keep the organisation running until the end of February 2013. She will work alongside the volunteer membership, which will include staff that are able to stay on for a time beyond their notice period. While the organisation will continue to function on a voluntary basis, it might have to radically cut back on some services. Rape Crisis staff are concerned about the reaction of stakeholders as well as the impact on those that use our services over the next few weeks, as the news gets circulated.
Rape Crisis has been engaging with various role players at the Departments of Social Development and Community Safety, as well as the Premier’s office, but at this stage it does not seem to present the possibility of ensuring the sustainability of Rape Crisis’s counselling and court support services over the long term.
We do appreciate that the needs of other organisations serving vulnerable groups and dealing with social, justice and health related problems are also pressing and that the global financial crisis has changed the economic landscape enormously. Job losses are occurring across all sectors, and businesses and companies are closing down alongside NGOs. Nonetheless, we believe that it is as much a state obligation to provide services to victims of violent crime as it is to provide an effective criminal justice system. Our hope is to find a way of ensuring some kind of sustainable funding for our counselling and court support services, which are essential. The other programmes such as advocacy and research can then continue to expand and contract with the availability of donor funding.
Rape Crisis is not an organisation that wants to lose the valuable skills, experience and institutional memory of its entire staff and we have done our best to come up with a strategy to try and retain these. We are the oldest women’s organisation in South Africa, with staff servicing a large number of volunteers who support and empower rape survivors entering the criminal justice system as well as supporting the recovery of survivors in communities. This model is one that has been well honed and even replicated by other organisations and government service providers over the years. Every effort has been made to get funding from international donors, the larger aid agencies, government departments that allocate grants, local corporate social investors and individual donations. The key problem seems to be that funders are no longer willing to pay for services that they think should be provided by the state.
In order to survive this extremely challenging period Rape Crisis is being forced to review our mandate and reconceptualise our strategy going forward. We realise that we will need to change the way we work and find new funding sources in order to be able to sustain our services to vulnerable communities. This means that the structure of the organisation will change. As we reinvent ourselves we will look to the latest trends in NGO operations and governance to inform our plans. We will also actively engage with the state to meet its obligations to provide services to victims of sexual offences.
However, in the event that we do not succeed in keeping our doors open beyond February 2013 we are looking for service providers to whom we can refer our clients in future in order to facilitate a transition for communities that have relied on our services in the past. If you feel your organisation can offer an equivalent or partial service to our clients from March 2013 please contact our Operations Manager Nazma Hendricks on (021) 684-1180 or firstname.lastname@example.org so that she can link you with the relevant service coordinator to discuss this further.
In all of this the last thing we want is for stakeholders to think that we are closing down. We are not closing down; we are continuing to run our services on a voluntary basis until further notice and making plans in the event that this strategy does not prove sustainable. Thank you so much for all your support, understanding and assistance. We have been quite overwhelmed by your goodwill and good wishes and the solidarity of many of you who are going through your own very similar difficulties.
All the best,
Enthusiasm, creativity and will to help others are how you can describe Tilly Sibya, an intern at Heifer International South Africa’s (Heifer) office in Botha’s Hill, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Tilly, a student studying Entrepreneurial Management Development at the University of Stellenbosch started her adventure with Heifer at the beginning of February 2011. She left her family and friends and moved to KwaZulu Natal (KZN) to get some practical experience as an Entrepreneurial Management Development Programme (EMDP) intern with the Department of Agriculture and Forestry (DAFF). The internship programme is through a partnership between Heifer and DAFF. Tilly will finish her year of experience at Heifer’s office this January 2012.
Heifer International South Africa supports poor rural communities in South Africa in achieving food security and self-reliance by creating small farming businesses. Heifer assists needy communities with training and livestock and enables project members to become small-scale farmers. To change the situation of millions of people suffering with hunger and poverty in South Africa, involving and investing in youth is necessary. Therefore, Heifer’s door is always open for students and volunteers who wish to share their passion to help others and wish to dedicate their time and become an intern or volunteer at Heifer, which is just what Tilly did.
Originally from Limpopo, Tilly joined the KZN team in February 2011 hoping to extend her knowledge about livestock. “When I arrived here my expectations were more focused in livestock, only to find that there are a variety of activities which makes Heifer’s work possible. This was a learning curve. I achieved more than I expected- especially in the area of social/life skills development, establishment of project steering committees, HIV & AIDS awareness, organic farming etc. I have worked with Heifer’s four projects around KZN (Sukuma Farming Project, Wozamoya, Injabulo KaNoah and Sukuma Poultry) and also assisted with and attended a number of workshops and Passing on the Gift® ceremonies.”
During the internship, Tilly worked closely with KwaZulu Natal Programme Coordinator, Sthembiso Gasa, her mentor. She assisted him in conducting trainings on Heifer Cornerstones, livestock management and disease control and conducted research on animal management. She was also responsible for the facilitation of community needs assessment exercises with targeted communities and project evaluation exercises using Heifer’s participatory self review and planning (PSRP) methodology.
When asked about working and mentoring Tilly, Sthembiso Gasa said, “Tilly is performing above expectations. She is a naturally hard worker who is more than willing to work in any aspect of Heifer’s work. I am enjoying working with her.”
With creativity, passion to help others and commitment, she has helped Heifer’s staff in assisting many families. After almost a year at Heifer, Tilly shares some of her new insight, “Agriculture is vital to our daily lives and if we take it seriously, our society will not experience the scarcity of food.”
Describing her experience with Heifer she said, “I would like give special thanks to the Executive Director, Mrs Marisia Geraci, for giving me this opportunity here at Heifer. I hope you will continue extending the same spirit to other interns who will be coming in future. I would whole heartedly recommend your organisation to interns who want to come to KwaZulu Natal. KZN is full of history and rich in beautiful landscapes. I have never felt so immediately welcomed anywhere else I have been. It was amazing to be part of Heifer. I have enjoyed working with you as well as the project members and I also believe that this is only the beginning of a fruitful relationship.”