Can a person be a miracle? Is it as simple as the choices we make? The paths we walk?
Is it about being proud of who we are and where we’ve come from? About knowing what we want and never, ever giving up on it. Asking yourself each day, what can I do to make this place better, the future brighter?
The truth is, there is a miracle in every one of us. Wherever someone aspires to it. Shares it. Believes it. And together, united in our diversity, we can accomplish anything.
Twenty years after achieving democracy, South Africa continues to face the twin challenges of economic development and overcoming the legacy of apartheid. Ordinary people are stepping forward to do extraordinary things: to care for the isolated elderly and those that are suffering from HIV/Aids, to support orphaned, abused and poor children, to feed the hungry and to provide skills training and work for the unemployed.
The Be Part of the Miracle Trust funds 27 of these passion-driven organisations in recognition of the service they provide to their communities and the visible difference they make in the lives of those less fortunate.
These organisations, initiated by individuals and groups, work with the following target populations in South Africa’s poorest areas:
Is it about being proud of who we are and where we’ve come from? About knowing what we want and never, ever giving up on it. Asking yourself each day, what can I do to make this place better..
There are 17.6 million children in South Africa – a third of the country’s population. As many as 11.5 million of them live in households that barely survive on less than R765 a month (US$72), and nearly six million of them suffer from malnutrition due to poverty. HIV/Aids has devastated thousands of families, resulting in many households being headed by children or elderly, poor grandparents. Children suffering from abuse or disabilities are further disadvantaged.
Early childhood development (ECD) centres play an important role in improving the quality of children’s lives by providing a safe space for them to learn and play, as well as nutritious meals. Only 6.5 million South African children attend registered nursery schools or ECD centres. Even though government provides these centres with small subsidies, they also charge fees that poorer parents can often not afford. The cycle of poverty is thus exacerbated as parents and caregivers need to stay home to look after the children, preventing them from entering the work force.
The Trust funds organisations that help protect and educate the country’s children, these organisations support early childhood development, train teachers and provide learning materials to nursery schools. Over 11000 children have benefited from the work of these organisations since the Trust started funding them. The Trust also supports organisations such which ensure a safe haven for children marginalised by their families or communities.
Elderly people who are too ill or frail to venture out are often lonely and excluded from society. Without help, they struggle to access regular medical services. Poverty is also a concern. Most South Africans were unable to save for old age or afford pension schemes due to the inequalities of apartheid. As a result, nearly three million elderly South Africans depend on social grants today. The government’s old age pension totals R1 200 (about US$112) – a paltry sum that must often also stretch to meet the needs of dependent adult children and grandchildren.
Through organisations that we support, the Trust supports home-based care programmes, social associations, and frail-care homes that help to ensure that elderly people have their physical, mental and social needs met, and are treated with respect and care. Organisations funded by the Trust have cared for over 1100 elderly people.
About four million South Africans are physically or mentally disabled. One million of these are children. People with disabilities are often excluded from society or abused by family members. Few services or opportunities exist for disabled people.
The Trust supports organisations working with disabled children and adults. These organisations provide a safe space, on-site therapy and social engagement, education and perhaps most importantly acceptance and love. These organisations care for over 430 disabled adults and children to date.
About 13 million South Africans go hungry each day, with a further 13 million at risk of hunger. Children and women are often the most at risk. In some areas, there is little work and many survive on social grants that are inadequate to feed and house an extended family.
Through the organisations we support, the Trust helps feed the poorest of the poor by providing food baskets, school breakfasts and lunches for children, and running soup kitchens, Over 300 households receive food relief through these organisations.
Just over 5 million South Africans live with HIV/Aids, 500 000 have tuberculosis and many suffer from both. Often shunned by family members or unable to care for themselves, these patients rely on the home-based care, food, medication, counselling and support offered by non-profit organisations. These organisations are also instrumental in raising awareness about HIV/Aids in the broader community.
The Trust, by supporting organisations that focus on the ill we help provide a safety net of support, medicine, counselling, food and acceptance to those suffering from HIV, Aids and tuberculosis, while educating family members and communities through outreach programmes.