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There are a vast amount of charities all over South Africa. And, thank goodness considering our country suffers with extreme poverty. But for many, getting involved in charity work, seems like a lot of effort. The thing with charity work though, is that involvement could be your time and service or a monetary donation. It is really up to you how and when you involve yourself. Essentially, charity means an act of kindness, the gift of service to another. Considering South Africa is peppered with impoverished communities suffering a lack basic amenities, food and education, charitable activities can go a long way.
How to start becoming involved in a charitable cause, however,is a different ball game. It starts with you. You need to decide what you’re willing to do or what you’re willing to give. Once you have committed to a cause you should go ahead with what you have promised the organisation. After all, these organisations rely solely on the willingness of people like you to keep them going. If you’re pledging money then you can sign up with the organisation of choice and agree to a monthly debit order. This means you’re doing your bit but without really doing anything. If you agree to become actively involved by giving your time and expertise, then you need to show up and do your bit. There is a lot to do, there are many different ways to offer your assistance to those who need it the most and there are some stellar organisations out there who help tremendously throughout South Africa and even sometimes throughout the world.
Here are five incredible (three local and two international) charities worthy of getting involved with right now.
FEED (Feed, Empower, Educate, Develop)
Feed are based in Johannesburg and their main focus is to feed those who are starving. Second to that it works to empower children. The charity has successfully created self-sustaining gardens and held many events to raise money. Their Film screenings have raised an incredible amount of money in the past and are mostly in aid of buying essentials for those in need. This organisation is always on the lookout for donations (cash or otherwise), as well as more volunteers.
The Open Air School
This school is based in Glenwood and it caters for physically challenged learners. These learners have special needs and this school has, for the past 94 years, produced great talent. This charity is always looking for new sponsors as they try to secure two new ones each year. This assists them with helping get the students to the competitions and activities or even events that are far away. By obtaining sponsorship, the school can ensure that the students are able to seize every single opportunity that comes their way.
Philippi Children’s Centre
This centre is in Philippi’s agricultural district. It is a centre for children and provides day care and learning opportunities for around 240 children of the farm workers in the neighbourhood. This centre’s staff are doing what they can for the children but they don’t always have what they need. They offer their services to just about any family who is in need and to any child aged between three months and six year’s old. The parents in this impoverished neighbourhood need to work and often they work long hours, so the Philippi Children’s Centre is their only hope when it comes to childcare. The centre is subsidised by the government departments of education and social development but it’s not enough. Many children pitch up in dirty nappies and with no snacks for lunchtime, so the centre must rely on sponsors, volunteers and donations. You can sponsor a child for R270 per month which covers their school fees. And, they are always in need of nappies, wet wipes, clothing, first aid kits and supplies and so on.
Habitat for Humanity
This is a global nonprofit housing organisation. They are situated in 70 countries the world over. Their overriding goal is to provide housing to everyone. Ensuring that every single person has a decent place to live with basic amenities. Habitat for Humanity has many different partners all over the world. In each country the Habitat homeowners will help build their homes together with the volunteering crew and they commit to paying off an affordable mortgage that was discussed with them before the building began. In South Africa, this organisation has worked with more than 18 000 volunteers. The focus is to take a holistic approach to the process of providing homes. This means that they are extremely involved in the communities in which they are managing developments.
Médecins Sans Frontières
Médecins Sans Frontières is translated to Doctors without Borders. But they’re so much more than just a bunch of doctors. This international organisation recruits all types of medical staff as well as non-medical staff to ensure that the teams they send out have every capability on hand. The collected professional abilities of each team, together with the commitment and concern for humanity, means that the teams are powerful and unstoppable. The recruitment process is stringent and their policy is to hire those who have the skills needed to meet their most urgent requirements, first. Médecins Sans Frontières is considered a world renowned organisation but it is here on our local soil too doing incredible work to combat violence against women and children.