South Africans are hurting. Covid-19 has pushed the economy into a recession, unemployment is at an all-time high and everyone is tightening their belts in the hopes of riding out the worst of the storm. As a result, NGOs and NPOs across all industries are having to make the hard decisions of cutting their staff, limiting their services or face having to shut down permanently. But what does this mean for independent schools in rural and informal settlements, such as Nokuphila Pre-Primary and Primary School in Thembisa run by The Love Trust?
To get an understanding of the impact supporters and donors have on the lives of their learners we spoke to the Funding Administrator, Amogelang Moloabi. Because Nokuphila caters to the most vulnerable children in the community (learners are referred to the school via various welfare organisations who identify the most at-risk children) much of the influence that donations and funding has on their lives is intangible.
Moloabi refers to the joy children express at being at school because they’re provided with a safe haven: a place that nourishes their minds, bodies and souls. When asked how they share these intangibles with donors Moloabi explains that although they write formal letters and create videos of the school and children with donors, the best way to really grasp the magnitude of their contributions is to visit. This makes it a far more personal experience.
Sadly, because resources are limited (The Love Trust relies heavily on corporate social investment funding, which is 1% of a company’s net annual profit) Lindsay Owen, Fundraiser at The Love Trust, believes donors are a lot more careful about who they partner with. Owen, therefore, suggests partnering with other like-minded NGOs: “This won’t just improve the quality of what we’re doing, but also increase our breadth and widen our ability to impact more beneficiaries.”
When asked about The Love Trust’s short and long-term goals that they hope to achieve with the support of partners and donors, Owen states that it’s their mandate to continue to provide quality Christian education to vulnerable children: “we do that through training teachers and through providing quality education to children. That means, ensuring that our beneficiaries have gotten quality teaching, quality leadership, quality mentorship through our programmes.
In closing, Owen had the following to say: “Be intentional about your giving. Set aside the money that you want to give to charity, and give it to early childhood development – there’s nothing more important. Put it towards a cause that you can physically go and see the impact: where there’s monitoring and evaluation reporting, so you will have peace of mind that your money is going towards something that is going to have a long-term impact.”
A perfect example of how donors can commit to a long-term partnership is through their wonderful “Sponsor a Child” programme where individuals and corporates can sponsor a child at Nokuphila from as little as R100 per month up to R3 000 per month. For more information on how you can Sponsor a Child, visit the Love Trust website.