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The UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) in South Africa is recruiting new members to join our National Steering Committee. Submission Deadline: 12 January 2022 

The SGP is funded by the GEF as a corporate programme and implemented by the UNDP on behalf of the GEF partnership and is executed by UNOPS. SGP provides grant funding to community projects implementing environment and climate change-related projects. For the current 7th operational phase of the GEF, SGP grant-making will focus on community projects located in the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve in Limpopo as well as Wildlife Economy projects across the country.

The NSC is a central element of SGP and provides substantive contribution and oversight of the Country Programme. It provides the overall strategic guidance and direction to the country programme and is responsible for selecting and approving projects as well as ensuring and monitoring their technical and substantive quality. The NSC typically comprises of voluntary representatives from NGOs/community-based organizations (CBOs), government, academia, donor organizations and private sector, with a majority of members coming from the non-governmental sector. Candidates specialising in youth empowerment, enterprise development as well as gender issues are especially encouraged to apply.

Please submit your CV and 1-page letter of interest stating your speciality to Gefsgp.sa@undp.org by the 12th of January 2022. Contact 079 879 7314 

KABOOM !!!!!
In many of my training and facilitation interventions over the past 20 years and more, I often quote 2 journalist anchors from the old days on SAFM who broadcasted a show called “PM Live”.
Well known spokespersons, journalists, and TV/Radio presenters - Ike Phaahla and Jeremy Maggs who presented this show, mostly started the show with the following phrase, which has resonated with me for many years and is the very nature of the NEWS cycle, I suppose:
“Since you woke up this morning, the World has changed”
However, in today’s world – especially in 2020/2021 – isn’t that the REALITY????

  • Climate Change
  • Unprecedented Pandemics
  • Technological Innovations and Social Media access
  • International political transformations and uncertainty

And here back in South Africa……………………….
KABOOM !!!!!
*               
A Local Government Political Landscape which has been turned on its head in a matter of a few days!!!!
The “face of Service Delivery to Communities AND Business survival.
So…..what do we – as business; do about this?
While some business owners and employees are active in their communities, volunteering for and sponsoring local events, assisting schools and fundraising, for example, others tend to let customers find them.
However, being an active citizen in your community can help your business in many ways.
Community citizenship is also beneficial to the community as a whole, so it benefits you as a company, business owner and the very people who may eventually become your customers.
If your business strategy, operations, and key resourcing of your needs; are not from and active in the community, here are some reasons to consider it.

  • Businesses that engage in the community may have a better brand image than those that are not.
  • Many customers consider a company’s social reputation when determining whether to patronize the business.
  • By giving back to the community, your business is not only helping customers in a direct way, but it is also building a social reputation.
  • People tend to respect businesses that are willing to pitch in and help the community, and they may be more likely to become customers or refer these companies to others.
  • Being Involved Can Boost Company Morale
  • Community Citizenship Provides Networking Opportunities
  • Your Business Becomes More “Local”
  • It Can Attract the Best Employees

If your company is socially responsible and includes employees in the community service process, it may be able to recruit more talented employees. Making it easy (but not mandatory) for employees to be involved in community service helps them find their own internal motivation for volunteering, and can help make their work experience more positive. This characteristic is a draw for many talented employees.
The benefits of community citizenship are many for individuals and businesses alike. Along with the chance to help members of your community, you also improve your reputation, boost employee morale, and potentially attract new customers.

Visit us at www.yourboardroom.co.za for further details on how we can help you navigate this issue
Talking costs NOTHING – let us begin to build together!!!
Author – Donald Hjul. Director at Your Boardroom 

OP-ED: 

Young South Africans of colour face a daily onslaught on their mental health. Anxiety disorders, linked to poverty and violence, are pervasive in low-income communities. Covid-19 has exacerbated the mental health pressures of young people and we have to intervene now if we are to avert a national disaster.

The 2018 death of 38-year-old rapper Jabulani Tsambo — aka Hip Hop Pantsula — has been identified by some as a watershed moment for black South Africa. It presented the community with an opportunity to talk candidly about mental illness and the harm that it has silently wreaked on its youth.

Tsambo had acknowledged that he had struggled with depression since his teens, and had tried to take his life three times before. The performer had been praised for talking so publicly about his mental health, particularly in the face of the stigma associated with mental illness among black communities.

In a pointed opinion piece, a young student drew comparisons between Tsambo’s death and the pressures facing black university students to succeed, especially as many are the first in their families to get a chance to attend university. That burden of expectation is but one heavy strain on the mental health of young men and women. For that, we have to thank the socioeconomic legacy of apartheid and ongoing inequality.

The onslaught on the mental health of South Africa’s youth

Research shows — and we have seen this in our own work with black youth in communities around Cape Town — that young South Africans of colour face a daily onslaught on their mental health. Anxiety disorders, linked to poverty and violence, are pervasive in low-income communities. With a sense that they are denied opportunities, young people feel alienated from the economically active parts of South Africa, resulting in anger.

On top of this, the spectre of crime looms large in South African psyches. Regular or multiple exposure to crime and violence — common for a young child in a gang-ridden community — takes its toll on one’s mental health.

Increasingly we are beginning to understand the scale of mental illness in South Africa. Research has shown that as many as 30% and 17% respectively of adults meet the criteria for a lifetime and past-year mental disorder. In South Africa, unfortunately, there are still gaps in our understanding of how pervasive mental disease is among youth. But we are learning.

For instance, some studies suggest that as many as 70% of at-risk youth are not getting the help they need. It is also worrying that about one in every 10 teen deaths in South Africa is the result of suicide. In the 15-24 age group, suicide is said to be the second leading and “fastest-growing” cause of death.

And now Covid

Anger and a sense of powerlessness — both linked with depression — have surged amid the Covid-19 pandemic. There are justified concerns that the effects of lockdowns on education and unemployment among youth will increase depression and anxiety, further thwarting their chances of escaping poverty. Studies show that vulnerable groups such as women, black Africans, youth, and those with less education have disproportionately borne the brunt of lockdowns. Millions of children without access to smartphones, laptops and the internet struggled to keep up with their education.

It’s been reported that symptoms of anxiety and depression have risen dramatically among the youth. The National Income Dynamics Study-Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (Nids-Cram) found a significant increase in symptoms for depression over 2020 and into 2021. In one online survey, 72% of nearly 5,700 respondents were found to have depressive symptoms. More than half of the young people participating in a Unicef South Africa U-Report survey reported feeling anxious about the impact of Covid-19 on the levels of violence and poverty in the country.

What is to be done?

As much as treatment facilities are in short supply for adults, even fewer are available for youths. The price tag that we as a society will pay for, should we fail to intervene at this crucial stage of their lives, will multiply further down the line. In financial terms, it will increase the burden on an already overstretched public health system. But there are other societal costs: our fragile democracy, so dependent on the buy-in of youth, will be under greater threat.

In the Philippi Youth Changemakers Programme of the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) and the many youth and school-level interventions of the Youth and After-School Programme Office (YASPO) of the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, we have witnessed what educators have probably known for aeons: you can’t teach anyone who is ridden with anxiety or struggling with mental illness. Many interventions are called for, but three core fundamentals will be needed across initiatives.

First, we need greater collaboration and partnerships, allowing for integrated approaches and the sharing of resources and knowledge. The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the UCT GSB, is looking to launch a Psychosocial Support Advocacy Campaign, starting in November 2021, which is designed to do exactly that — draw on the expertise and capacity of different players in this arena, in order to have the broadest and most cohesive impact possible.

Second, we must create a “well-being ecosystem” around those in need in communities. This involves mapping out and integrating the capacities and services that already exist — as in schools, clinics or even the local police station — and determining the barriers to accessing essential services.

One example of a well-being ecosystem is the Western Cape YearBeyond Programme, which offers all youth on the programme access to wellness support. To meet the needs of attendees, an intentional ecosystem of support has been developed, leveraging the services of government, NGOs and private sector CSI to provide wellbeing services. Initially, take-up was slow due to attitudes towards accessing, help but with training and advocacy take-up has improved. This model of support provides lessons around integrating a system of well-being support into existing programmes and the need to combine services with information, training and advocacy. 

And finally, we should tap into the digital opportunities that Covid has accelerated. Over the past year, we have seen an increase in services like healthcare providers, psychologists, and counsellors going online. At the same time, we must make better use of existing social media platforms to create greater awareness around mental health, leveraging the tools that young people regularly access.

We find ourselves in a moment where mental disease is losing some of its stigmas. Hearing young black women — like tennis star Naomi Osaka and Olympic gymnast Simone Biles — speak so openly about their struggles with mental health is a new watershed moment for black communities and for mental health in general. It opens valuable space to talk about a topic that for too long has been concealed and buried in shame.

For the sake of our young people and our country, we must leverage such voices and moments.

Written by Luvuyo Maseko, project manager for the Youth Innovation Portfolio within the Bertha Centre at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, and Wayde Groep, Capacity Building and Knowledge Manager in the Youth and After School Programme Office of the Western Cape Government.

ENDS

Ikamva House is the perfect space for your day events

(workshops, training, meetings, small events) or a permanent spot (for retail shop, or small business) We have a shop front space

available for rental below our offices in Salt River, Cape Town.

Extras at no cost:

Ikamva House is equipped as standard with 8 moveable tables

and 66 chairs.

Day hire guests will have access to the IkamvaHouse Wi-fi

 

If you'd like more information or you'd like to make a booking.

Please contact Odwa at:

odwa@ikamvayouth.org

 

0218207444 or 0744252945

English Survey:  https://bit.ly/2SLeYPm 

French Survey: https://bit.ly/3p8C2DY

Just over a year ago, @AfricanNGOs and EPIC-Africa conducted the first Pan-African survey on the impact of COVID-19 on African civil society organisations (CSOs). The survey results highlighted the devastating impact of the pandemic on the sector, opportunities that emerged from the crisis, and critical challenges to be addressed in support of the recovery and sustainability of CSOs.

A year later, African CSOs continue to be negatively impacted by COVID-19 even as demand for their services increases and their voice on social and economic justice issues remains critical.

To continue tracking this situation, @AfricanNGOs and EPIC-Africa are implementing a second Pan-African survey from 1-30 June 2021. It aims to assess the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on African CSOs by focusing on the following key issues:

  • Capture the impact of the pandemic on African CSOs, how CSOs are responding, and emerging trends and lessons that may help predict and prepare for the future.
  • Acquire information at the sectoral and regional levels to conduct pertinent cross-sector analyses and present a more granular picture of how African CSOs are coping.
  • Include funders’ perspectives, explore how their funding practices have changed and may continue to evolve, and how the changes are likely to impact the CSO sector.
  • Compare the findings from the first survey with the current situation, generate data and knowledge to inform and widen the discussion on building resilience in the CSO sector, drive advocacy with funders and governments, and spur actions and tools to “build back better”.

Beyond tracking the ongoing impact of the pandemic, the survey findings and analysis will also contribute to a deeper understanding of various critical dimensions and characteristics of the African CSO sector.

If you are involved in an African CSO, please reflect on your past year experiences, complete the survey, and encourage other CSOs in your networks to participate.

Click here to complete the survey.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, 30 June 2021.

It will take you 15-20 minutes to answer all the questions. Participating CSOs should only complete the survey once.

All respondents will receive a report on the survey findings.

Thank you in advance for your participation. We value and appreciate your input!

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