Summer flings and bikini diets easily turn December into ‘Me! Me! Me!’ month. But to express the true festive spirit, be sure to also make it a month of selfless giving. Go on, show a little kindness.
If you want to help rape survivors…
“SA’s rape statistics are particularly overwhelming because we’re supposed to have a tolerant society” says SA author and journalist, Mark Gevisser.
The Simelela Centre in Cape Town’s Khayelitsha provides post-rape medical care, counselling and support. It is desperately underfunded, and welcomes even small donations for medical supplies and staff salaries. Contact Nozwelo on 021 361 0543.
The Greater Nelspruit Rape Intervention Programme (GRIP) cares for and assists victims of sexual abuse. Donate money for antiretrovirals or train as a counsellor. Contact GRIP on 013 752 5993.
The Handbag Project is the brainchild of 21-year-old Jessica Foord, who survived being gang-raped at 17. Reporting rape is traumatic in itself: during a post-rape examination, victims must hand over their clothes for evidence, making donations of clothes and toiletries is much needed. Contact email@example.com
If you want to help kids with HIV/Aids…
Shocking but true: every hour, 30 children die as a result of HIV/Aids.
Cape Town NGO EducoAfrica runs an eco-therapy youth camp for HIV positive children. Help them out financially by having a bake sale and donating the proceeds. Contact Lali on 021 761 8939.
Pietermaritzburg’s Indabezinhle Struggle against Aids Centre provides food, shelter and schooling to around 200 Aids orphans. Ensure the kids are properly fed by donating healthy food or cooking them a nutritious meal. Contact Thabiso on 072 180 1379.
Children of the Dawn set up youth clubs, while also providing food and care for HIV/Aids orphans. Sponsor a child financially or read to and play with them. Contact Magali on 072 428 0939.
If you want to help the elderly…
World War survivors, freedom fighters, wise gogos… the elderly deserve dignity.
The nationwide Guardian Angels assists the elderly with transport, healthy food and company. Volunteers are assigned an elderly person to spend time with and transport to appointments. Go to guardianangels.co.za.
The Association for the Aged promotes the wellbeing of Durban’s elderly. Help by using the skills you have. Good cook? Make them dinner. Admin pro? Offer to help with paperwork. Contact 031 332 3721.
If you want to help animals…
Some say the way society treats its animals is a reflection on society itself…
Beauty Without Cruelty campaigns tirelessly for animal rights. For a list of ‘Leaping Bunny’ beauty brands that don’t test on animals, visit the BWC website. Go to bwcsa.co.za.
Nationwide, the Animal Anti-Cruelty League provides shelter and care for abandoned animals. help by making a donation or volunteer at one of their shelters. Go to aacl.co.za.
The Humane Education Trust works on creating awareness in learners about a culture of non-violence and the direct link between animal abuse and human violence. There are many ways to help this organisation, visit http://humane-education.org.za/what-you-can-do/ for more information.
If you want to help children…
Afterall they are the pillar of our future…
Children of Light helps vulnerable children, and deals with poverty alleviation through skill development programmes. Work with children of all ages, as well as abused women. For more information into the Gauteng-based organisation contact Ronald: 073 015 5321.
Down Syndrome South Africa has 13 nationwide support groups/branches which help children and adults with down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities. To help, you can make donations or volunteer. Go to www.downsyndrome.org.za for more information.
If you want to help entrepreneurs…
Teach someone to fish and they will eat for the rest of their life..
Zenzele Training and Development focuses on vocational and business skills training, small business development, and mentorship in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. To help alleviate unemployment contact Young Qwase 021 361 1840 or visit www.zenzele-training.co.za.
The Triple Trust Organisation (TTO) works as a market development facilitator, managing and designing projects that will advance the participation of poorer communities in markets. TTO works with a number of projects throughout South Africa, for more information visit their website www.tto.org.za or call 021 689 6000.
If you want to help women…
As we are all well aware, women are so fundamentally important in our society and so sadly overlooked.
The Active Women’s Association offers consoling, education on a number of topics including HIV/AIDS, and works with the empowerment of women through various projects. Based in Durban, one can find out more at www.activewomen.co.za.
Women’s Legal Centre is a funded law centre based in Cape Town, that provides legal advice, as well as advocacy and constitutional litigation on gender issues. The organisation encourages donations to assist them with their work, for more information contact 021 424 5660.
More Care International runs four programmes assisting skill development, refugees, orphans and vulnerable children, HIV/AIDS patients and abuse victims. Operating in Pretoria, they ask for donations in cash and kind, as well as help in fundraising. Contact 079 554 3009.
For more community based projects throughout southern Africa contact Shelby at All Out Africa on 079 168 4148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a volunteer story click here.