• Hard Rock Cafe Fundraises for Mandela Hospital

    Hard Rock Cafe International, chief executive officer, Hamish Dodds, says the late President Nelson Mandela was fond of children therefore they decided to help raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

    Dodds believes building a hospital for children was Mandela's dream, adding that, "We support numerous campaigns around the world, but we also encourage all our regional and local city entities to also identify causes that really make sense to them. I think this one is particularly important for us because Nelson Mandela was such a global ambassador."

    South African house music group, MiCasa performed a special intimacy acoustic show at Hard Rock Cafe in Johannesburg to raise funds for the hospital.

    To read the article titled, “Hard Rock Cafe raises funds for Mandela Children’s Hospital,” click here.

    SABC News
  • Lack of Funding Cripples ARC

    The Agricultural Research Council (ARC), which received a grant of R866-million in 2013/14, 16 percent more than the previous year, was established in 1990 to be the country’s primary agricultural scientific research institution, but has suffered from years of neglect and underfunding.

    In its annual report, the ARC paints a picture of an organisation suffering from chronic underfunding and trying to do the best with the resources available.

    Science and agricultural research is considered a fundamental part of boosting the sector’s international competitiveness and ensuring food security - not just for commercial farmers, but for small-scale rural farmers.

    To read the article titled, “Agriculture research suffers as little funding cuts resources,” click here.

    Mail and Guardian
  • NGO: Relief Fund Opened After Robbery

    The Solidarity Helping Hand confirms that a relief fund has been opened after the robbery at Pretoria’s President Kruger children’s home on 29 October 2014.

    In a press statement, Helping Hand states that it wants to support the children’s home as much as possible during this crisis.

    The organisation asserts that, “We have therefore already contributed R10 000 towards a relief fund. Our hope is that with the public’s help, we will be able to replace most of the home’s losses.”

    To read the article titled, “Pretoria children’s home robbed,” click here.

    The Citizen
  • TAC to Raise R10m to Remain Open

    The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) plans to raise R10 million in November 2014 to keep the organisation afloat, the organisation is relying on public donations, hoping big funders will then follow.

    Mark Heywood, one of TAC’s directors states that, “The TAC thinks there is a red light over the country's response to the HIV epidemic," following recent statistics released by the Human Sciences Research Council, which show that in 767 people died each day in South Africa from AIDS related illnesses in 2012, 280,000 in a year.

    Speaking after a national council meeting, the health advocacy group emphasised the ongoing struggles in the health system and outlined TAC's work and key campaigns, assuring that, "TAC will always remain a voice of the voiceless people of South Africa."

    To read the article titled, “TAC's critical R10-million month,” click here.

    All Africa
  • Remembering Gerald Kraak: On the Vision and Legacy of an Extraordinary Man

    It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Gerald Kraak – a beloved friend, comrade, mentor and supporter of the South African lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) movement.

    It is no exaggeration to say that the sector as we know it would not have been possible without Kraak’s vision, courage and determination. As the head of the South African office of Atlantic Philanthropies, Kraak was responsible for a major shift in the funding landscape, one that reinvigorated and forever altered our movement. Remarkably, Kraak also found the time to write a novel, ‘Ice in the Lungs’, which was the joint winner of the 2005 EU Literary Award and to direct a landmark documentary, ‘Property of the State: Gay Men in the Apartheid Military (2003)’.

    When Kraak became part of the funding sector in the mid-1990s, very few donors were willing to support the then-nascent LGBTI movement. At the time, most regarded sexuality and gender rights as secondary to the ‘big’ issues facing the new South Africa. This attitude was mirrored in the politics of the day: in a country plagued by racial inequality, economic disparity and violence, the ‘gay and lesbian question’ was viewed at best with suspicion and at worst with contempt and revulsion.

    Gerald Kraak thought differently. He believed that South Africa’s transformation would not be possible unless all people - including LGBTI persons - could access their human and socio-economic rights. His broad vision for social justice encompassed all South Africans - from migrants and refugees to farm workers to activists fighting for freedom of information.

    But Kraak did more than offer financial assistance to a fledgling movement: his foresight created space for a crucial transformation to take place. Through Kraak’s support, particularly after he joined Atlantic Philanthropies in the early 2000s, new organisations were able to emerge and existing groups were able to re-evaluate their approach. The impact the funding Gerald provided is apparent in the new generation of black community leaders, specifically those from townships and rural areas, who came to the fore during this period.

    In 2008, Kraak himself reflected on the shape of the LGBTI movement during the early years of our democracy:

    LGBTI organisations were concentrated in urban areas. They were typically strapped for cash, crisis-driven, run by small, committed activist staffs, and sometimes lacked professional capacity to carry out their programmes and relied on one or two donors for support… More problematically, the public face of the community was largely white, male and middle class.

    Kraak understood that this situation would not change without sustained and strategic investment. He recognised the need for organisations to be provided with a level of funding that allowed not only for programmatic activities but also for growth and development. The ensuing support permitted the movement to reappraise its values and goals, and to begin working in a more strategic and coordinated fashion. In his own words, Kraak described his approach as ‘less about an injection of cash into an impoverished sector than a synergy between targeted funding and imperatives within the movement itself’.

    The significance of this approach, of funding according to strategic outcomes, is evident in the 2006 adoption of the Civil Union Act. Kraak played a crucial role in channelling funds towards the same-sex marriage cause, ultimately allowing for the advocacy campaign that made this historic moment possible. Indeed, without the support of Atlantic Philanthropies, it is very unlikely that the Joint Working Group would have been able to undertake litigation or to successfully lobby the African National Congress leadership.

    It is also through Kraak’s expansive vision that transgender and intersex struggles became included in the broader LGBTI agenda in South Africa. With his support, for the first time, transgender activists could formalise themselves and create strong organisations. This validation contributed towards shifting the transgender movement from the margins.

    When Atlantic began its phased withdrawal from South Africa, Kraak acted to ensure sustainability of the movement. More than any other person, he was crucial in the establishment of the Other Foundation. In its first year, the fund has already demonstrated its commitment to advancing the rights of LGBTI people in Southern Africa. None of this would have been possible without Kraak’s tireless work. 

    While the impact of Kraak’s vision is indisputable, he would be the first to argue that we still have a long way to go. Over the last few years, Kraak continued to urge the LGTBI sector to build alliances with other movements and to engage strategically with political parties, trade unions and mainstream faiths. Such an approach, he argued, would highlight the connections between our struggles while also helping to increase visibility of our communities. For many organisations, this strategy has shaped our current and future activities.

    There are very few LGBTI organisations that have not benefited from Kraak’s dream of a better world. It is because of his courage to support an overlooked sector that our movement exists in the form that it does. Kraak’s refusal to take the easy approach, his insistence on allowing organisations to develop on their own terms, has left a lasting legacy on our movement and on South Africa. We still have a long road ahead in the struggle for sexuality and gender rights, but we are closer than ever to realising the freedoms of our Constitution.

    We thank you, Kraak, for all that you have done to make this world a better place.

    A luta continua!

    A memorial service will be held on 1 November 2014 in Johannesburg and on 6 and 7 November 2014 in Cape Town. Full details will be sent out in due course.

    In lieu of flowers, donations to the Wits Hospice can be made to:
    • Account Number: 201658186
    • Branch Code: 004105
    For more information contact:

    Coalition of African Lesbians
    Tel: 011 403 0004

    Durban Lesbian & Gay Community and Health Centre
    Tel: 031 312 7402

    Forum for the Empowerment of Women
    Tel: 011 403 1906

    Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action
    Tel: 011 717 4239

    Gender DynamiX
    Tel: 021 633 5287

    Out in Africa Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
    Tel: 021 461 4027

    OUT Wellbeing
    Tel: 012 430 3272

    Pietermaritzburg Gay and Lesbian Network
    Tel: 033 342 6165

    Triangle Project
    Tel: 021 686 1475

    Picture courtesy of Atlantic Philanthropies
  • Adequate Funding Needed for Poverty Survey

    Statistics South Africa's (Stats SA) poverty survey will cost taxpayers R120 million, with the biggest chunk to be spent on the salaries of 551 temporary field workers, and on printing and transport.

    Stats SA manager for household surveys, Moses Mnyaka, says the agency has asked the Treasury for R200 million for the Living Conditions Survey 2014-2015 but, because of austerity measures, a lesser amount had been approved.

    "Because we did not get the amount we requested, we had to down-scale on our methods for this survey," which began on 13 October 2014 to collects data on poverty and what households spend their money on.

    To read the article titled, “Poverty survey feels pinch,” click here.

    Times Live
  • Call for NGOs to be Audited

    Nsanje District Commissioner, Harry Phiri, says that the Kalondolondo Social audit programme should start assessing projects implemented by the country's non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

    Phiri says that most of the NGOs in Malawi receive more funds from donors, adding that the funds are not properly handled and therefore need to be assessed.

    His opinion comes at a time when the district is to have its 25 Local Development Fund (LDF) teacher houses project audited by the Kalondolondo programme.

    To read the article titled, “CSOS' projects should be audited - Nsanje DC,” click here.

    All Africa
  • Trust’s Fundraising Performance Postponed

    The Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital Trust says that the Parlotones fundraising performance for the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital has been postponed due to the lead singer's surgery.
    In a press statement, spokesperson, Vuyo Lutseke, "The Parlotones fund-raising performance at Pappas restaurant on Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton has been cancelled due to lead singer Kahn Morbee needing emergency surgery on his vocal cords."
    Lutseke says that a new date for the children's hospital fundraiser will be announced once rehabilitation has commenced.
    To read the article titled, “Mandela Parlotones performance postponed,” click here.

    Sowetan Live
  • S Sudan, Worst Food Crisis in the World - UN

    The United Nations (UN) Security Council is calling for urgent funding to step up deliveries of desperately-needed aid as South Sudan's food crisis is now the worst in the world. 

    The agency says that approximately 3.9 million people - a staggering one in three people throughout the country - are going hungry as fighting continues in that country.

    The UN Security Council describes a “catastrophic food insecurity situation in South Sudan that is now the worst in the world” saying the country is on the threshold of a full-blown famine if fighting continues. 

    To read the article titled, “S Sudan ‘food crisis worst in the world’,” click here.

    IOL News
  • NGO Gives Prosthetic Limbs to the Poor

    Mobility 4 Life, a non-governmental organisation, is changing lives by giving prosthetic limbs to amputees from rural and poor areas.

    The organisation estimates that there are 25 000 who cannot access prostheses because of issues such as long waiting lists at private or public hospitals where the services are usually provided.

    It says with money collected from corporate social investment initiatives, the organisation hopes to assist more people who do not have the means to access even the most basic of primary healthcare.

    To read the article titled, “Prosthetics give the poor a leg up,” click here.

    Mail and Guardian
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