What can ordinary citizens and small groups of people do that can create real change and have large scale impact? Although there are various ways to improve South Africa, evidence from around the world shows that one thing – more than anything else – can lead to greater equality, better education and health outcomes; a stronger economy and a better society with less crime and public violence. That is: investing in the early development and wellbeing of children.
The DG Murray Trust, a private foundation investing in initiatives aimed at ensuring every South African is given the opportunity to fulfill his or her life potential, recently released a powerful seven-minute video showing the potential of young children to bring real change to South Africa. Titled, ‘What will bring the next real change in South Africa?’, the video appeals to both logic and emotion and makes suggestions of how ordinary citizens and small groups of people can start creating change for the children of South Africa and the future of our country.
The video forms part of DG Murray Trust’s Create Change campaign which includes an online toolkit with ideas, guidelines and tools that ordinary citizens and small groups of people can use to support the early development of South Africa’s children. The kit is available free of charge from the trust’s website, www.dgmt.co.za, and is being widely distributed to individuals, community institutions and organisations across South Africa.
“The DG Murray Trust has been working and investing in the social development space for several decades and the bulk of our investment goes towards the early development of children, simply because it is the most powerful investment in human capital that a country can make,” says Dr. David Harrison, chief executive officer of the DG Murray Trust.
Outlined in the video, and confirmed by resilience studies from around the world, is that children need just three things to thrive despite their poverty: a loving parent or caregiver; an additional caring adult standing by the child and connections to opportunity - even modest opportunities - at crucial times in a child’s life. Child psychologist Ann Masten calls these three things the ‘ordinary magic’ that can place even the poorest children on the pathway to success.
“Imagine what could happen if each of us found a way to help nurture just one child at risk? To be there for them and their parents, in small and practical ways? Like standing by a mother during pregnancy. Bringing a few books and toys into the home of a young baby. Telling stories and reading to a group of children every week,” asks Harrison.
Every year, a million children are born in South Africa and half of them will miss out on achieving their full potential. All that is needed is for 500 000 people in this country to show interest in our children and confidence in our common future.
You can start by watching the seven minute video ‘What will bring the next real change in South Africa?’ and by exploring the associated toolkit.
Who will bring the next real change in South Africa? Each and all of us.
Visit www.dgmt.co.za/change-south-africa to start creating change for the children of South Africa and the future of our country. The DG Murray Trust’s is a private foundation aiming to, together with our implementing partners, create an ethical and enabling environment where human needs and aspirations are met and each South African is given the opportunity to fulfill his or her potential.