After a nail-biting year for social services organisation Badisa, their annual general meeting, this week, ended on a high note with a positive increase in more than just the financials.  The organisation has experienced many challenges over the past 12-months, amongst other retrenchments and salary cuts due to loss of income.  This coupled with a dramatic increase in demand for social services has turned up the heat for the NGO, with 162 programmes around the country.  However, amongst the challenges the organisation has seen a radical increase in commitment amongst their staff and volunteers and has experienced the lowest staff-turnover rate ever.

“It is so encouraging to see how everyone is standing together and standing strong to make this work. Not for themselves, but so that we could make a difference in the lives of the plus minus 783 801 people that we assisted during this past year,” says Averell Rust, Chief Executive Officer for Badisa.

After a significant drop in 2012 Badisa boasts with a 15% increase in income this year. “We are extremely grateful to the Department of Social Development of the Western Cape who came to Badisa’s rescue with additional financial support in various areas of service delivery,” says Helet Malherbe, director: finance and administration for the organisation.  “In addition we have also seen a 7% increase in income from donations and fund raising activities.  A particular word of thanks to all our staff and volunteers who have been expectionally prudent in their spending.  All these factors lead to the positive financial report,” says Malherbe.

The evening was a celebration of not only a successful financial year, but also a tribute to the numerous volunteers that give selflessly of their time to the benefit of others.  In his welcoming Rust said:  “in an organisation like ours we need leaders to lead from the front and leaders that lead from behind – those that are not always in the lime light and at centre stage.”   Volunteers are the backbone of Badisa and during the past year more than 6,700 volunteers gave of themselves to lead from behind.  This year the organisation launched their first ever volunteers awards to run alongside the AGM and which will be an annual occasion going forward.

The International Volunteer of the Year award was awarded to Cozmore Fungulani for his outstanding work at the Durbanville Children’s Home. Francois Agenbach received the Professional Volunteer of the Year award for his work on the Financial Committee also at the Durbanville Children’s Home.  Rotary Ann’s walked away with the Volunteer Group for the Year award for the outstanding work they do Loeriehof Tehuis in Knysna and Ria Byleveld received the award for the longest service at Badisa Beaufort-West. She’s been a volunteer for more than 30 years at Badisa.  Charmaine Samuels from Wolsley and Peter Jack (working at Durbanville Children’s Home) was awarded with the Volunteer of the Year award Rural and Urban respectively and Andrea Smit won the award for Youth Volunteer of the Year for her work at the Durbanville Children’s Home. 

Each programme of Badisa has a volunteer programme that they implement to motivate, train and look after their volunteers and the winners of the Volunteer Programme of the year were Badisa Koue Bokkeveld and the Durbanville Children’s Home.

“In a world where it is so easy to say no, it is wonderful to see that there are so many people that are still saying yes they want to and they will make time,” says Snyman.

Guest speaker, Martelize Brink, presenter at Radio Sonder Grense (RSG) has been on both sides of the spectrum, needing help and also giving.  At the age of 13 she lost the muscles in her leg and has since been in a wheel chair. She told of how she often needed others to help her and encouraged Badisa and its volunteers to continue to serve and give of themselves as it makes a lasting impact on other’s lives “It was a positive year in many respects,” says Rust.  “The organisation launched many projects.  Two tremendously successful projects are the Toddler-for-Toddler project, in partnership with the Department – assisting women of the community to open day-care centres and Work4aLiving project – to equip unemployed youths with the basic skills to get and keep jobs.

As non-profit organisation Badisa provides professional social services in the Western-, Northern- and Eastern Cape. It manages numerous homes for children and those who are aged or addicted and makes a difference in the lives of more than a million people each year. It depends on grants from the state and donations by businesses and individuals.

Readers who want to become Badisa volunteers or donors can click on for more information.   ‘Like’ us on Facebook to see videos of the different volunteers awards winners and to see what we are busy with on a day to day basis.

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