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Update from the Charitable Division Manager – Michelle Brown

Despite the Charitable Sector continuing to face the challenges presented by a stagnant economy along with rising inflation, NGO’s are becoming more resilient and there is a growing trend to generate their own income through creating a social enterprise. Such social enterprises would be aligned to the core values of the NGO’s implementing them, and would generate income to sustain the NGO as well as provide for the investment of funds to sustain the organisation into the future.  NGO’s can benefit from this trend as they would offer meaningful employee and consumer engagement opportunities.  It is encouraging indeed that Corporates in South Africa continue to demonstrate their commitment to Corporate Social Investment (CSI).  This offers a critical lifeline to many struggling NGO’s and also highlights the need to ensure that reporting structures are effective and transparent.  It is also vital to recognise the need for NGO’s to employ staff to run the organisation and projects effectively, and this is very often a point of contention among donors.  Whilst there have been reported cases over the years of NGO’s paying exorbitant salaries to staff, transparent financial reporting provides insight to donors when addressing the need for salaried employees.

Our continued objective to assist and support our charitable clients where possible creates the space for these organisations to focus on their core mission and objectives. We are often overwhelmed by the sheer dedication and passion of our clients who strive to provide the best possible service to their beneficiaries.  It can only bode well for the future of our country that there are so many people committed to empowering and protecting all living beings along with our magnificent natural environment.

News from Our Charitable Trusts

Emotional Intelligence Charitable Trust

The Emotional Intelligence Charitable Trust raised funds to continue to deliver Emotional Intelligence courses to Sherwood Primary School and Phikiswayo Primary School in Kwa Mashu. Their facilitator, Luvo Giba conducts the sessions in English and IsiZulu, which ensures the children understand the material perfect.

This year, sessions on identifying emotions, self-esteem, empathy, false beliefs, anger, friendship and communication have been covered at both schools. The children really enjoyed the lessons on self-esteem and empathy, although these are quite difficult concepts to understand and two lessons were needed.  The lesson on empathy was interesting in the stories they shared and in the manner in which they put the lesson into practice in their own lives and intimate spaces.  They understood that empathy is the ability to put themselves in someone else’s position.  They related the lesson to their own siblings at home, and to those who were less fortunate than themselves and even to their friends.  The lesson on anger looked at ways on how to control their anger and turn it into a positive emotion.  We used a biscuit to demonstrate the ability of self-control when having to control our anger.  The children also enjoyed discovering and tapping into what made them feel confident and looking at ways on how to enhance the things they are not as confident in.

Spirit of Adventure Leadership Trust

In May 2018, the Spirit of Adventure Leadership Trust raised funds in order to offer a Leadership Course to 112 Grade 7 school learners and 3 teachers. The feedback from the learners as well as the teachers was incredibly positive and encouraging, with one of the teachers asking that all grades at their school have an opportunity to participate in this program.  The children all learnt something new as well as experiencing the power of team work and respect for one another.  Some of the activities included: water and beach games, zip wire, snake pit, mini assault course, raft building and racing and abseiling down the Shongweni Dam wall.  It was an experience they will surely never forget thanks to the passionate and dedicated team at Spirit of Adventure Leadership Trust.

The children are learning about water safety and are getting ready for the plunge!

Plunge taken!