Martin Morrison on what 2020 has given us: stronger relationships and generous spirits

Martin Morrison on what 2020 has given us: stronger relationships and generous spirits

What can we say about 2020? The truth is this year has forever changed us and not all for the bad. We as South Africans have proven that even in our darkest days we find a way to help one another and as a result have come through this baptism of fire a stronger and more resilient people.

The Love Trust, the same as many other NGOs, is familiar with the financial struggles facing South Africa, a country relegated to junk status after its poor economic performance for the past three years. Then Covid hit and The Love Trust, was thrown in the deep end with no guidebooks or strategies for a situation like this; we had to find our way. As an organisation, we had to play it by ear, day by day and naturally mistakes and errors were made, but that’s to be expected with so much uncertainty. But, we’ve survived the storm and more than survived. We are much stronger for it. Our team is stronger. Almost everybody – men and women, stepped up. You know the people you can count on and that is what’s come out of this and it’s been wonderful.

Tenacity, generous support and our core values carried us through

This dedication, determination, and plain old stubbornness, despite the frustrations and challenges involved, were met with the generous outpouring of support from our main donors and partners. All of the main donors were contacted to find out whether they would be able to continue giving, or whether it would be less. And every donor said, ‘We are in this with you guys, we may not be able to give the same amount, but we are committed.’ What that told me was that you have donors who trust you, that are in relationship with you. So that has been hugely encouraging!

This steadfastness and passion behind the actions and mind-sets of the team at The Love Trust can be traced back to the core or centre of The Love Trust and Nokuphila School: Christ. The person of Christ – not just Christian values or Christian worldview or Christian ethics, or a Christian framework. And that’s why we go through blood sweat and tears, ultimately, because we want to share Christ, the love of Christ, with those children, with their parents, with their families, with the community.

Well wishes and dreams for 2021

I hope we do everything better. We want to improve in terms of our quality of governance, our systems, our education, our development of people (so it’s not only the children). And then, obviously, we want to grow in quantity, so we want to add another 40 children next year, extra grades 000 and 00 classes. We’ve got 6 teacher training centres, we hope to grow that by at least two. (I’m hoping more like three or four!)

At this Christmas time, we are thankful to all who have been committed in one way or the other to The Love Trust: our donors, our service providers, suppliers, our staff, our children, their families. This year has taken its toll emotionally, spiritually and psychologically on everyone and I hope that everyone truly gets a chance to rest and recharge themselves, not just physically but spiritually too, in order to meet the challenges of the coming year head-on, and use it as an opportunity to serve God and serve our neighbour.

CEO of The Love Trust, Martin Morrison