Leave the world a better place than you found it

Leave the world a better place than you found it

The United Nations chose 5 September as International Day of Charity in commemoration of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 “for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace.” The day is meant to sensitise and mobilise “people, NGOs, and stakeholders all around the world to help others through volunteer and philanthropic activities.”

We take this opportunity to reflect on what International Day of Charity means to us and the importance of NGOs and NPOs and their partnerships with people and companies.

Celebrating charitable works

A large part of it has to do with making progress towards the 2030 agenda on Sustainable Development: “a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.” So the day in itself is about bringing awareness to and recognising the barriers that poverty places on overall international development. It’s about encouraging awareness so people better understand the needs of the most vulnerable, and how people can step up and make a difference where they are. 

Long-term commitment to giving back

For us as the Love Trust we will always lean towards encouraging people to give long-term. However, that doesn’t discount the importance of short-term giving as well. As a society, we keep thinking that the need will decrease over time but, unfortunately, it’s sometimes actually the opposite. The Covid-19 pandemic for example exacerbated the need within the communities where we work – people needed and still do need help more than ever before. 

We definitely encourage more longer-term commitment because real change, impactful change, takes time. Especially in our field where we look to provide quality, holistic education to the most vulnerable in our society. It takes 12 years or more, if we think about foundation phase learning, to see a child through their educational journey. So ultimately, we’d like to be able to contribute towards changing a child’s life throughout their school journey.

As the late Desmond Tutu used to say,” Do a little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world”. 

Choosing the right NGO – giving with purpose

When choosing an NPO to support it’s important to  look at the alignment of values within an organisation that you want to contribute to or support: does it align with your passion, or what you value or believe is important? Sometimes the kinds of programmes or initiatives that an organisation runs or supports are what will be the initial draw but then you must really look at the values and how an organisation does the things that they say they’re going to do.

What makes The Love Trust a trusted NPO?

We believe we share with our stakeholders openly about what we are doing, and how we are progressing against what we said we would do. We have clear long-term, sustainable goals along with our shorter-term focus areas. Our reports include stats and data as well information about our management, initiatives, and our funds. 

But it’s not all about graphs and figures and cold hard statistics. For us it’s about a happy child, a child who is resilient and has hope for a better life. Psychosocial support for our beneficiaries is critical for academic outcomes.

Giving to a charity or organisation of your choice 

There are a number of initiatives to support various charities. At The Love Trust people in their personal capacities and corporates can sponsor a child: you can give once, you can give monthly, or you can give annually. You can also donate resources that are continuously in need within the school: we’ve got lists per grade, classroom, and even subject. There’s a list of means to give as long as an arm and it’s not always cash: your time, expertise and other resource are just as valuable.

Programmes and initiatives at The Love Trust

Through our ECD teacher training programme  we are contributing to a better quality of education at the foundational stage of a child’s development.

We have a nutrition programme because a hungry child cannot learn and for many children, this will be the only meal they receive that day.

Now that the lockdowns are behind us we have refined our sport and culture programmes.

Our initiatives offer great solutions for organisations aiming to achieve or improve their B-BBEE scorecard.