- The AIDS ConsortiumPlease note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.Opportunity closing date:Friday, May 3, 2013Opportunity type:Employment
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.
- 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.
- 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.
To apply, submit a CV, contact details of three current referees and motivational cover letter with indication of remuneration expectation to Gerard Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org 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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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 email@example.com.
- Sozo Foundation Trust (The Sozo Educentre)Opportunity closing date:Friday, May 31, 2013Opportunity type:Other
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.
- 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.
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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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!
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.
We have all, at some time or another, felt that jaded feeling... no-one is hearing us, people aren't listening, I simply can't keep their attention...
Acknowledging that ongoing education and training towards personal, organisational and social transformation is key towards realising change at every level of society, Vuleka's acclaimed DEE (Designing Educational Events) courses seek to adress this need.
Both the basic and advanced course equip delegates with the knowledge and skills to effectively design, implement and evaluate a variety of educational programmes for youth, adults, communities, business units or NGO staff.
During the intensicely structured, five-day courses, novice or experienced trainers gain a comprehensive understanding of experiential learning as a constructive educational framework together with the skills to demonstrate creative ways to design, implement and evaluate an array of learning programmes. Insight is gained into group dynamics and skills to address complex issues which emerge in group situations.
The courses offer deliberate exercises on personal discovery and trainer introspection aimed at building, nurturing and maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships and bringing about a heightened consciousness of the role of the trainer in the broader environment.
These courses have contributed significantly to the development of many of the leaders in our NGO world today: I think of the likes of Paul Graham (IDASA), Nomabelu Mvambo-Dandala (Diakonia Council of Churches), Revd Sue Brittion (Anglican Church of SA), Revd Dr Norman Hudson (Methodist Church of SA), and so many others. They remain a must-do for any aspirant trainer, facilitator, youth or community worker, as well as being hugely important to anyone involved in designing educational events, whether a one-hour workshop, a worship session or a week long wilderness trail!
The aim of the Planact conference was to think back about the 21 year evolution of this NGO that, at various moments in its history, boasted a staff complement of the brightest stars in the development sector (including some of the most progressive thinkers in the country), --- and the alumni were out in force to track their imprints on Planact’s reflective path forward.
NGOs were conspicuous by their absence at this event, which was a real pity as the conference titled NGOs as Innovators and Agents of Change: a history interpreted by development practitioners was meant to extrapolate lesson for the sector at large. In fact many of the programme’s items reflected upon the role and contributions of NGOs in development in a universal manner.
When questioned about this contradiction, a Planact board member argued that the idea behind the event was to mobilise the alumni, many of whom are consultants engaged in important development work that can contribute significant intellectual and other capacity to the organisation on its journey forward.
And so it came to be that development consultant and ex-Planact staffer, Laura Royston pieced together the history of the organisation dividing it into four equal eras, starting in 1985 and ending in 2006, chronologically embracing the eras of resistance, transition, democracy and most recently consolidation.
Juxtaposed against this segmented timeline, delegates were taken through the milestones that the organisation achieved, charting its progress from that of a voluntary membership-based organisation to a growing and formalized entity that eventually found itself in survival mode working for the state and providing a community liaison service. However, 2005 onwards was intended to signal a new milestone in the organisation’s progress, viz. The Planact Way. Unfortunately, after two whole days of conferencing, this new milestone/method has yet to reveal its true meaning.
Royston’s inputs lingered over the heydays of Planact’s evolution, which covered - in much detail - the transition and early democracy periods as significant milestones in the organization’s history. During this time, the organisation was closely involved in community struggles providing civic support to Gauteng’s urban communities that were resisting the apartheid state in a politically charged environment. Even keynote speaker Lechesa Tsenoli, Member of Parliament, pointed out that SANCO (the South African Civic Organisation) emerged largely as a result of Planact’s involvement and support in the early 90’s.
However, while it was interesting and heart-warming to hear about the roots and rise of Planact, Royston’s focus on the early days of the organisation amounted to little more than a nostalgic trip down memory lane - well received by the alumni and executed in a rather self-congratulatory atmosphere.
Moreover, her analysis of the last decade of the organisation’s transition was superficial and did not get to the crux of the challenges that Planact and many other NGOs faced and continue to face. Challenges such as the erosion of intellectual capacity, interference by a state intent on moulding NGOs into service providers, dwindling institutional memory, poor leadership, an undersupplied skills pool and donor driven agendas were absent from her analysis, revealing an out of touch-ness with some of the fundamental flaws of the present day NGO.
Nevertheless, some of these issues were addressed in the opening remarks of keynote speaker Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Civicus who highlighted three salient points:
- NGOs are historically associated with significant intellectual capacity;
- There are many new people who have entered the NGO sector that are making decisions in an experiential vacuum;
- The role of NGOs in public life is skewed towards delivery, much at the expense of critical engagement with the state.
He argued that the outputs of the vast majority of NGOs (80 percent) takes place at the delivery level and governments of the world are quite comfortable with this role for the sector, as NGOs represent cheap labour.
Royston concluded her presentation of The Planact Way with a diagram demonstrating that Planact had come full circle in its 21 year history. In response to which, Clive Felix, Director of the Urban Services Group asked if Planact was embarking on another era of resistance. The response to this question vaguely spoke to some notion of re-invoking the historical membership base of Planact.
Perhaps Planact’s attempt at reaching out to its alumni has something to do with filling the experiential vacuum highlighted by Naidoo. But it’s really difficult to imagine middle-aged, middle class lefties - running lucrative consultancies from leafy garden offices in posh suburbia - getting their hands dirty with the social movements that represent present day civic struggles and resistance. There is very little money, if any at all, in this kind of work.
The conference culminated in a closing a session where the question put to delegates was how they could make a contribution to the organisation on its journey forward. But Becky Himlin, Planact’s Executive Director, says time ran out so there wasn’t enough of it to have an in depth discussion about how to engage the Planact alumni in a meaningful partnership.
However, according to Himlin, Prof. Alan Mabin of the Wits School of Architecture and Planning was very forceful about his commitment to work together with Planact and develop a partnership on issues of mutual concern. Prof Mabin and his school must also be acknowledged for providing one of its lecture theatres which served as the conference venue.
In addition, NGOs once affiliated to the now defunct Urban Sector Network were very supportive of the whole project and gave some good feedback in the closing session, says Himlin.
As for the rest of the Planact alumni, there appears little clarity on a clear partnership strategy. It’s a pity given the investment of time and money put into this project. While Planact still has an enormous reputation, the organisation itself is a shell of its old self and this initiative in many ways represents a last ditch attempt to re-invoke its former glory.
At least one tangible outcome of the project will be a publication documenting the proceedings of the conference and the history of the organisation. This represents an important objective in capturing the institutional memory of the organisation and the NGO sector at large. One hopes that current Planact staffers find their way on to the pages of this chronicle --- they were noticeably absent from the conference programme.