social change

social change

  • AIDS Consortium: Policy and Advocacy Officer

    The AIDS Consortium
    Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
    Opportunity closing date: 
    Friday, May 3, 2013
    Opportunity type: 
    Employment
    The AIDS Consortium (AC) founded in 1992, is one of the largest NGO networks in South Africa, serving over 1000 affiliated members in the HIV/AIDS and human rights sectors. The mission and vision of AC encapsulates driving social change through building capacity and AIDS competence across its membership network, as well as within the sector.

    AC seeks to appoint a Policy and Advocacy Officer, based at its national office in Aeroton, Johannesburg.
     
    This is a two-year fixed term contract, with possibility of renewal depending on funding.
     
    Responsibilities:
    • Provide efficient and flexible policy, advocacy;
    • Report support to the AIDS Consortium and its partners;
    • Develop and advocate for AC positions that will further the objectives of its workplan;
    • Gather information which allows AC and its partners to demonstrate the change their work is bringing to people’s lives;
    • Use AC and other networks to inform HIV related research, policy and advocacy;
    • Analyse and write policy and advocacy statements, submissions and documents on policy issues relating to HIV and AIDS in South Africa;
    • Represent AC on occasion and continue the existing good relationships these organisations have developed with stakeholders and supporters.
    Requirements:
    • Minimum of three years relevant post graduate experience in research, policy analysis or advocacy in HIV/AIDS;
    • Community development experience;
    • Understand policy issues with regard to HIV/AIDS, from a human rights framework and perspective;
    • Understand advocacy and campaigning work;
    • Ability to tailor messages for different audiences;
    • Background in policy and advocacy in the field of HIV/AIDS;
    • Research, analytical and critical evaluation skills;
    • Project and events management skills;
    • Knowledge of human Rights, HIV/AIDS; NSP literacy;
    • Knowledge of  local structures, civil society, public health, governance and human rights;
    • Organisational skills and ability to manage complex work load while working to tight deadlines;
    • Interpersonal skills and the ability to work as part of a small team;
    • Communication and writing skills;
    • ICT skills (Advanced computer literacy);
    • Fluency in at least three official languages, including English;
    • Ability to prioritise;
    • Attention to detail;
    • Leadership skills;
    • Flair, intelligence,and energy to work in a challenging environment;
    • Honest, reliable, assertive, organised, integrity, patience, self initiator and pro-active;
    • Willingness to travel locally and internationally and connect and work with people from different backgrounds;
    • Valid South African driver’s licence.
    Candidates living positively with HIV are encouraged to apply.

    To apply, submit a CV, contact details of three current referees and motivational cover letter with indication of remuneration expectation to Gerard Payne at gerard@aidsconsortium.org.za by no later than 16h00, of the closing date.

    Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.

    Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

    For more about the AIDS Consortium, refer to www.ac.org.za.

    For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to www.ngopulse.org/vacancies.

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  • AIDS Consortium: Trainers

    The AIDS Consortium (AC)
    Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
    Opportunity closing date: 
    Friday, October 25, 2013
    Opportunity type: 
    Employment
    The AIDS Consortium (AC) founded in 1992, is one of the largest NGO networks in South Africa, serving over 1000 affiliated members in the HIV/AIDS and human rights sectors. The mission and vision of AC encapsulates driving social change through building capacity and AIDS competence across its membership network, as well as within the sector.

    AC is the appointed South African Linking Organisation of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance (IHAA), represents its network on the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) as the Sector Leader, and is an accredited training service provider. The mission and vision of AC encapsulates driving social change with a focus on strengthening community systems through building organisational  and competence around HIV, TB and AIDS issues across its membership network, as well as within the sector.  A firm Human Rights approach underpins all AC work.

    AC seeks to appoint two Trainers, based in Polokwane, Limpopo.

    The successful incumbents will report to the Training Manager, working closely with the broader AC team and allocated affiliated CBOs. The successful applicants will be required to fulfil the primary functions in a professional manner.

    This is a one-year fixed term contract, with the possibility of renewal, funds permitting.

    Responsibilities:

    Capacity development 
    • Organising  and conducting accredited organisational development training for CBOs;
    • Organising and conducting technical training for community mobilisers;
    • Working with relevant bodies to deliver quality training;
    • Content development within the organisation;
    • Faciliate relationship building between CBOs and other community structures;
    • Mentor and support CBOs and community mobilisers;
    • Profile participating organisations;
    • Conduct organisational capacity needs assessments.
    Administration and logistics 
    • Logistics coordination– ensuring smooth running of training and other AC events;
    • Coordinating travel arrangements for training participants, including travel reimbursements;
    • Develop and keep updated files of all organisations participating in the capacity development programme.
    Monitoring, reporting and evaluation
    • Collect data and submit to head office in Johannesburg;
    • Write reports on all work conducted.
    Requirements:
    • Relevant three year qualification in Community Development and training;
    • Minimum of three years of experience in community development and training of CBOs;
    • Experience and knowledge on Organisational Development and Advocacy;
    • Mentorship, coaching and organisational assessment experience;
    • Excellent facilitation and training skills;
    • Excellent report writing skills;
    • Project and event management skills;
    • Communication and interpersonal skills;
    • Excellent logistics and administrative skills;
    • Fluency in English and at least two South African indigenous official languages;
    • Valid driver’s licence;
    • Willingness to travel extensively;
    • Ability to interact at all levels;
    • Assessor qualification;
    • Accreditation, NQF and SAQA experience an advantage;
    • Sound experience on HIV/AIDS;
    • Passion in community development.
    Remuneration: R160 000 – R180 000 per annum, cost to company dependent on qualification and experience.  Candidates living positively with HIV are encouraged to apply.
     
    To apply, submit a CV, contact details of three referees and motivation letter to Mokgadi Mojela at mokgadi@aidsconsortium.org.za - no later than 16h00 on 25 October 2013.

    Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.

    Only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

    Candidates living positively with HIV are encouraged to apply. 

    For more about the AIDS Consortium, refer to www.ac.org.za.

    For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to www.ngopulse.org/vacancies.

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  • Sport for Social Change Network: Junior Project Officer

    Sport for Social Change Network (SSCN)
    Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
    Opportunity closing date: 
    Tuesday, August 6, 2013
    Opportunity type: 
    Employment

    The Sport for Social Change Network (SSCN) is a meeting point for dynamic organisations involved or interested in using sport as a tool to make social change happen. They connect dynamic organisations in Southern Africa that are also involved or interested in using sport as a tool to make social change happen.

    SSCN Southern Africa seeks to appoint a Junior Project Officer, based in Pretoria, South Africa.

    This is a contract for the period specified but can be renewed depending on the availability of funds and personal delivery according to the job specification.

    The incumbent will assist the SSCN Secretariat with tasks related to planning and implementation of projects, events and conferences. The Junior Project Officer (JPO) will work closely with the other SSCN staff members, in specific with and under the guidance of the SSCN Hub Coordinator.

    The JPO will work in the dynamic and fast growing field of Sport for Development. The JPO will thereby interact with various stakeholders, ranging from non-governmental organisations to international donor agencies, private sector and government institutions and will have to get first-hand insights into different fields of work. As the SSCN team is very small, they work very closely together, sharing responsibilities and supporting each other whenever needed. SSCN hopes to offer a relevant work experience where the JPO can grow professionally as well as personally. 

    Responsibilities:

    • Support telephone and email communication with SSCN members, partners and service providers and address queries relating to the SSCN in general or the implementation of projects in particular;
    • Collect and file reports from implementing partners;
    • Assist in compiling narrative reports for donor agencies and funding partners;
    • Participate in strategic planning of future activities aimed at further developing the SSCN;
    • Assist with organisation, implementation and management of conferences and events, including, reception of participants;
    • Take care of travel, accommodation and catering logistics, queries from conference participants and any other requested support during SSCN events;
    • Write articles and news for the SSCN website;
    • Assist the Hub coordinator with travel arrangements for site visits and meetings;
    • Represent the SSCN when requested by the Hub Coordinator.
    Requirements:
    • Certificate or relevant working experience in project management;
    • Written and verbal communication skills;
    • Creative and innovative thinker;
    • Ability to work independently;
    • Ability to work and deliver under time pressure;
    • Problem solver and solution driven;
    • Computer literate, Microsoft office -  Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint;
    • Responsible;
    • Reliable;
    • Honest;
    • Team player;
    • Passion for sport and / or sport for development is an advantage.
    To apply, submit a CV and motivational letter to Allan Williams at allan@sscn.co.za by 17h00.

    Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.

    Preference will be given to female candidates. Foreign female candidates with a valid work permit for South Africa may apply.

    For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to www.ngopulse.org/vacancies.

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  • AIDS Consortium: Programme Coordinator

    AIDS Consortium (AC)
    Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
    Opportunity closing date: 
    Wednesday, July 31, 2013
    Opportunity type: 
    Employment
    The AIDS Consortium (AC) founded in 1992, is one of the largest NGO networks in South Africa, serving over 1000 affiliated members in the HIV/AIDS and human rights sectors. The mission and vision of AC encapsulates driving social change through building capacity and AIDS competence across its membership network, as well as within the sector.

    AC seeks to appoint a Programme Coordinator, based in Mkhondo local municipality, Mpumalanga.
     
    This is a one-year, fixed term contract, with possibility of renewal, funds permitting.

    Responsibilities: 

    Advocacy and training:
    • Work extensively with the AC programme managers to drive AC projects in Mkhondo;
    • Coordinate and facilitate community mobilisation platforms (bua@AC, community dialogues, men-engage forums, community workshops);
    • Coordinate and support organisations to conduct group discussions and community events;
    • Develop and present a community action plan to local and district health offices;
    • Establish and facilitate working groups and their outputs;
    • Facilitate relationship building between CBOs and other community structures;
    • Collect stigma and discrimination related profile stories;
    • Drive competency around HIV literacy, human rights and related issues;
    • Manage door-to-door mobilisation campaigns
    • Profile participating organisations;
    • Conduct capacity needs assessments;
    • Mentor and support organisations;
    • Coordinate and facilitate stakeholder feedback sessions;
    • Coordinate the distribution of IEC materials, including condoms to hard to reach populations.
    Administration and logistics 
    • Logistics coordination– ensuring smooth running of training and other AC events;
    • Coordinating travel arrangements for training participants, including travel reimbursement.
    Monitoring, reporting and evaluation
    • Collect data and submit to head office in Johannesburg;
    • Write reports on all work conducted;
    • Engage implementing organisations and utilise data to inform responsive action.
     Requirements:
    • Relevant three year qualification in community development;
    • Minimum of four years work experience in community development and advocacy;
    • Valid driver’s licence;
    • Advanced computer literacy;
    • Experience in monitoring and evaluation of community projects;
    • Fluency in at least two indigenous official languages;
    • Project and events management skills;
    • Facilitation and training skills;
    • Excellent report writing skills;
    • Communication and interpersonal skills;
    • Excellent logistics and administration skills;
    • Sound Experience in HIV/AIDS.
    Candidates living positively with HIV are encouraged to apply. 

    To apply, submit a CV, contact details of three current referees, motivation letter and indication of remuneration expectation to Gerard Payne at gerard@aidsconsortium.org.za.

    Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.

    Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

    For more about the AIDS Consortium, refer to www.ac.org.za.

    For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to www.ngopulse.org/vacancies.

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  • AIDS Consortium: Bookkeeper / Administrator

    AIDS Consortium (AC)
    Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
    Opportunity closing date: 
    Wednesday, July 31, 2013
    Opportunity type: 
    Employment
    The AIDS Consortium (AC) founded in 1992, is one of the largest NGO networks in South Africa, serving over 1000 affiliated members in the HIV/AIDS and human rights sectors. The mission and vision of AC encapsulates driving social change through building capacity and AIDS competence across its membership network, as well as within the sector.

    AC seeks to appoint a Bookkeeper/Administrator, based at its national office in Aeroton, Johannesburg.
     
    This is a two-year, fixed-term contract position, with possibility of renewal, funds permitting.

    Responsibilities: 

    Finance
    • Process financial data, reconcile bank accounts and ensure standard monthly reports are prepared;
    • Reconcile creditor accounts and prepare requisitions for payment and authorisation;
    • Update and maintain fixed asset register;
    • Handle petty cash floats
    • Handle financial queries related to creditors;
    • Control stationery stock, orders and distribution to staff.
    Administration and logistics 
    • Provide various general administrative duties including report writing, minute taking and filing to organisation as a whole;
    • Allocated weekly hours to Executive Director;
    • Securing appointments;
    • Logistics coordination– ensure smooth running of training and other AC events;
    • Coordinating travel and /or accommodation arrangements for staff and participants, including travel reimbursement;
    • Preparation of purchase orders for all departmental requirements;
    • Keeping track of all communication/correspondence between AC and service providers.
    Requirements:
    • Diploma in accounting or equivalent qualification;
    • Minimum of three years work experience in the accounting field;
    • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, including experience on Pastel accounting;
    • Valid driver’s licence an advantage;
    • Experience in administration and logistics;
    • Excellent financial and organisational skills;
    • Excellent written and oral English;
    • Excellent report writing ability;
    • Good leadership and people skills;
    • Sound Experience in HIV/AIDS.
    Candidates living positively with HIV are encouraged to apply. 

    To apply, submit a CV (maximum three pages), contact details of three current referees, motivation letter and indication of remuneration expectation to Roy Naidoo at roy@aidsconsortium.org.za.

    Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.

    Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

    For more about the AIDS Consortium, refer to www.ac.org.za.

    For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to www.ngopulse.org/vacancies.

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  • Sozo Foundation Trust: Volunteer Tutors

    Sozo Foundation Trust
    Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
    Opportunity closing date: 
    Monday, September 30, 2013
    Opportunity type: 
    Employment
    The Sozo Foundation Trust is a PBO registered nonprofit organisation that partners and builds relationships with the community to create opportunities for holistic development to encourage sustainable social change, focusing on education, social upliftment and food security. One of these initiatives is The Sozo Educentre, which provides a safe space for high school learners to be equipped and empowered within their own community so as to achieve their full potential. To assist learners in their holistic development the Sozo Educentre provides: Tutoring, Grade mentorship, psycho-social intervention, computer centre, Mathematics Development and Career Inspiring Initiatives (CII).

    Sozo Educentre seeks to appoint Volunteer Tutors at our branch which is based in the Vrygrond/Capricorn community, near Muizenberg, Cape Town.

    These persons are expected to be educated, responsible, committed, passionate and willing to offer a minimum of two hours per week to assist and tutor vibrant high school learners specifically in the areas of mathematics, science, Accounting, English and Afrikaans.

    Learners will bring the material they want to cover (sections of the curriculum with which they're struggling, past tests and exam papers, homework, assignments), and sit in small groups within their grades with the tutors as well as with a grade mentor. The tutor is expected to assist and facilitate the learning environment.

    Requirements:
    • Have completed or currently studying for a tertiary qualification;
    • Experience in teaching or tutoring high school learners;
    • Communication and interpersonal skills;
    • Ability to build positive tutor-learner relationships;
    • Commitment and punctuality;
    • Ability to work in a group setting;
    • A passion for working with young people;
    • Excellent reading and writing abilities;
    • Patience and creativity;
    • Ability to help learners become self-sufficient;
    • Must arrange own transport.
    To apply, write to the Project Manager, Arlene Bock at arlene@thesozofoundation.org.za to receive an application form.

    Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.

    Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

    Enquiries: Arlene Bock, Tel: 021 825 5527.

    For more about the Sozo Foundation Trust, refer to http://thesozofoundation.org.za.

    For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to www.ngopulse.org/vacancies.

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  • Reflections on Change

    Megan Hooper is one of the main facilitators associated with the human rights scenario development process for the Western Cape, initiated by the Unit for Human Rights Mainstreaming & Capacity Building at Stellenbosch University.  She is a registered clinical psychologist who enjoys the intricacy and complexity of both clinical and organisational work. Hooper is a part-time lecturer at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).  She maintains an interest in community-based work and processes that deliver on South African transformation as a society.

    Hooper reflected as follows on the human rights scenario development process that she helps to facilitate:

    It is often difficult to pinpoint when a change started.  Or when it actually happened.  And most painfully, when it got stuck. I am so intrigued by change as a process. I am curious about the mechanisms that facilitate change and the catalysts that activate change.  I am wary of the fallout of change.  When I work with groups on change at the moment I use several photos.

    One is of the ocean, and which opens a conversation about the ebb and flow of change, the way that it builds and gathers power and momentum. And the way that it crashes into whitewash and has to build again. It allows a discussion about tides and tsunamis and many waves that happen all at once, especially on a stormy day.
          
    Another is of a billboard on the Nelson Mandela Bridge that was erected in the build up to the 2010 World Cup. And I use it to ask the question – So what is the next revolution?!

    Isn’t it wonderful that change happens in the process of a group of people having a conversation about a difficult issue? Through the scenario development process we began a set of conversations with a group of people and as we talked our perspectives changed.  It is a conversation about change that we will continue to have, one that I hope will expand and deepen with time.

    To obtain a copy of the discussion document 'Human Rights Scenarios for the Western Cape Province', send an e-mail to wcscenarios@iafrica.com.
     

  • Sozo Foundation Trust: Volunteer Tutors

    Sozo Foundation Trust (The Sozo Educentre)
    Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
    Opportunity closing date: 
    Friday, May 31, 2013
    Opportunity type: 
    Other
    The Sozo Foundation Trust is a PBO registered nonprofit organisation that partners and builds relationships with the community to create opportunities for holistic development to encourage sustainable social change, focusing on education, social upliftment and food security. One of these initiatives is The Sozo Educentre, which provides a safe space for high school learners to be equipped and empowered within their own community so as to achieve their full potential. To assist learners in their holistic development the Sozo Educentre also provides: Grade mentorship, psycho-social intervention, computer centre, Mathematics Development and Career Inspiring Initiatives (CII).

    Sozo Educentre seeks to appoint Volunteer Tutors, based in Vrygrond/Capricorn community, near Muizenberg, Cape Town.
     
    These persons are expected to be educated, responsible, committed, passionate and willing to offer a minimum of two hours per week to assist and tutor vibrant high school learners specifically in the areas of mathematics, science, English and Afrikaans.

    Responsibilities: Learners will bring the material they want to cover (sections of the curriculum with which they're struggling, past tests and exam papers, homework, assignments, etc), and sit in small groups within their grades with the tutors as well as with a grade mentor. The tutor is expected to assist and facilitate the learning environment.

    Requirements:
    • Have completed or currently studying for a tertiary qualification;
    • Experience in teaching or tutoring high school learners;
    • Communication and interpersonal skills;
    • Ability to build positive tutor-learner relationships;
    • Commitment and punctuality;
    • Ability to work in a group setting;
    • A passion for working with young people;
    • Excellent reading and writing abilities;
    • Patience and creativity;
    • Ability to help learners become self-sufficient;
    • Must arrange own transport.
    To apply, e-mail to the Project Manager, Arlene Bock at arlene@thesozofoundation.org.za to receive an application form.

    Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.

    Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

    Enquiries: Arlene Bock, Tel: 021 825 5527.

    For more about the Sozo Foundation Trust, refer to http://thesozofoundation.org.za.

    For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to www.ngopulse.org/vacancies.

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  • A Graduate’s Story – 'How Umzi Wethu Changed My Life'

    There are so many things that I want to say thank you for, and I have no idea where to start...!

    When I think of where my life started, then I see some good memories and some bad memories over the small amount of years that I have been around.

    Bad memories: my mother got murdered when I was 14 months old, and my father decided he would disappear from the scene. My grandmother with her brave heart being a widow and on pension decided she will take care of me and she did. She did an incredible job and then she passed away when I was at the age of 15 years, my life was broken all over again.

    I cannot remember having my own toothbrush as a child, neither did I had the privilege to own my facecloth or a bed, as far as I can remember is that we were 5 grandchildren together with my grandma, all sleeping on a single bed…

    That is some of the glimpses that I get from my past. There are of course a lot more that took place in my childhood years, but there is not enough time to write it all. I was even roaming on the streets at one time in my life, going around begging for bread during Christmas holidays, I was probably 8 years at the time, those were critical times in my life.

    Good memories: then I had a chance to become part of a family called Umzi Wethu, little did I know that my life would be forever changed. I got married 4 months ago, we are now expecting our first baby, there are now strong possibilities of me going back to school again next year, I had the privilege to take my 1st trip on a plane and overseas with you Andrew.

    My life has changed for the better. I am grateful for one thing: my children and their children will now have the privilege to grow up in a better environment and they don’t ever have to go through what I went through in my short life.

    I want to thank you for your vision that is so clear and based on improving the lives of many broken innocent children in South Africa. I know that the programme will go from strength to strength, and thank you once again for taking the opportunity to Somerset East. I am excited about what the programme will accomplish in Somerset East.

    There is so many dreams that I still want to achieve, and I know each and every one of them will come to pass, because of the good foundation that was laid through an opportunity I was granted. I am going to take what I was given and I am going to turn it into something profitable, that I can give back to my community and to the world at large.

    I can also say that this could never have been possible for me, if it was not for my faith in God, he was the strength within me when I had given up so many times even while on the programme, and now I can go back to Him with a grateful heart and with a joyful spirit. When I look back than I see my struggles as stepping stones and I know that it does not have to be that way anymore!

    This letter was written to Andrew Muir, director of the Wilderness Foundation by one of the first graduates of the Umzi Wethu programme. We are proud of his incredible achievements and are excited to see where he goes in the future!

  • Philanthropy to Serve as the Engine Room of Social Change

    Shelagh Gastrow, executive director of Inyathelo - The South African Institute for Advancement argues that the capacity of philanthropy to serve as the engine room of social change is critical, with philanthropists not answerable to the market or to voters, but having the capacity to take risk with new concepts, cutting edge ideas and social change. The women’s movement and the environmental movement are classic reminders of what philanthropy can achieve. Inyathelo was established to ensure that South Africa has a sustainable and vibrant civil society supported by a strong philanthropic movement.

    2010 has been a momentous year in the development of such a philanthropic movement at a global level. In June two American billionaires, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, launched The Giving Pledge, a philanthropic campaign that invites the wealthiest individuals in the Unites States to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.

    As this growing class of philanthro-capitalists use their wealth for various causes, the challenges of mutual accountability, legitimacy and effectiveness become increasingly more important.

    We have to ask ourselves, while this pledge campaign gains momentum, even reaching South Africa, will the nature of philanthropy change? Will this movement be led by corporate concerns that focus on financial efficiency rather than risk and altruism; will the individual foundations concerned by-pass local civil society to run their own operations without partnerships on the ground, without consultation and engagement? Will this remain essentially philanthropic in nature or will it become a power game to create a world that mirrors the values of the market rather than focusing on the strengthening of civil society that provides the social fabric and the social cohesion that we require for stability and democracy?

    In South Africa, as in the rest of the globe, when talking about ‘philanthropy’, there is inclined to be a focus on the wealthy and on celebrities. There is obviously debate about the affluent being obliged to give back to the society that made them wealthy.

    This is well and good, but philanthropy is not only the realm of the rich. There are thousands of people across all economic classes who have given - to causes, issues and institutions that mean something to them, contributing to the public good.
    The vital question in South Africa is how can we grow philanthropy at all levels, to support our civil society?

    We tend to take for granted the thousands of organisations that provide services and contribute to, protect and defend our democracy. On their own or in partnership, they educate, they create jobs, they build, they research, they publish, they contribute towards policy, they advocate for change, they contest, and they help to ensure that we keep moving forward.

    They are also key to ensuring that we live up to the aspirations of our Constitution – which is our social contract to forge a society based on equality, human dignity and the advancement of human freedom.

    For many years, civil society has been overly dependent on foreign funding, but international funding is steadily being reduced, as South Africa is now seen as a middle income country, with the requisite structures and funds to support itself. South Africans therefore collectively need to ensure that this powerful, vibrant, diverse and necessary sector continues to thrive.

    Without that support, our democracy cannot be fully realised.

    Currently there is criticism that the emergence of new millionaires in South Africa has not seen a concomitant growth in philanthropy. As it is considered ‘good form’ not to shout too loudly about your good work in this country, philanthropic work generally operates under the radar.

    Old money is very coy about its philanthropic role, which perhaps does not provide enough encouragement for new money to become involved. Where is the learning opportunity for the potential emerging philanthropists? The Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards seek to create this learning opportunity – the Awards applaud role models who contribute to strategic social development and to the growth of the philanthropic movement in South Africa, in the hopes that this philanthropy will be emulated by other South Africans.

    In interviewing the nominees who were shortlisted for the Awards, we were reminded of the range of perspectives on philanthropy, a few of which I would like to leave with you tonight:

    First, philanthropic acts are one of the strongest ways to support social development and social justice, and to meet public needs. At the same time, giving provides a powerful mechanism for individuals to express their personal values and commitments.

    Second, what came out in the nominee interviews were the relationships which philanthropists have with those they support. Even with the distortion that transfers of money can involve, philanthropists are exposed to new perspectives, and new ways of seeing the world - and their giving brings them into contact with people that they most likely otherwise would never have met.

    So, while philanthropy clearly supports the important work done by others, there is an element to it that transforms the people who give. One of the most revealing themes that came out in every interview, bar none, was the personal satisfaction, the potent sense of meaning and the true happiness that arises from supporting social initiatives bigger than ourselves. The clear message is that philanthropy is FUN!

    Hopefully, South Africans from all walks of life will begin to explore their philanthropic roles, start seriously thinking of what they have versus what they need - and enjoy giving away the balance for the social good.

    - Shelagh Gastrow is executive director at Inyathelo - The South African Institute for Advancement.

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