When corporates, NGOs and foundations collaborate to have real impact

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Many communities in South Africa are reeling from the effects of COVID-19 and numerous socio-economic challenges compounded by natural disasters, unemployment, HIV and poverty. Initiatives that see collaborative partnerships between different stakeholders to help the most vulnerable in South Africa continue to highlight some of the steps that can really make a difference.

Children of the Dawn, a Non-Profit Organisation which is part of the Mamas Alliance Network, headquartered in Milpark, Johannesburg, recently facilitated the donation of food hampers to families in Mpumalanga.

Over 600 hampers were distributed to marginalised and vulnerable community members in Thembisile Hani Municipality, specifically the areas of Moloto, Tweefontein, Nkangala and Siyabuswa.

In partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and KP Lesedi Drama and Cultural Crew, this contribution took place throughout the month of April and benefited over 1 800 families. Each hamper included groceries and toiletries to benefit a family of five for a month.

“Many families still continue to feel the after-effects of the pandemic we experienced, and we are committed to supporting our fellow South Africans during their time of need. Improving the lives of ordinary South Africans is at the heart of our CSI strategy and we value partnerships we forge with organisations such as Mama’s Alliance Network who not only have a great track record in community development but are committed to the well-being of our people,” says Tshepo Ramodibe, the IDC’s Head of Corporate Affairs. 

“Our partner KP Lesedi Drama and Cultural Crew identified four impoverished areas in the Kwa Mhlanga area and surrounding villages where we distributed food parcels to 600 families.

The selected areas have the highest rate of unemployment, child-headed families and many elderly people who are unable to provide for themselves,” says Palesa Matuludi, CEO of Children of the Dawn (COTD).

COTD, an NGO established 20 years ago, works to support and strengthen rural community initiatives which focus on caring for HIV/AIDS orphans and vulnerable children in South Africa. They have been funded by Kinderfonds MAMAS, an NPO based in the Netherlands, for the last 10 years.

MAMAS Alliance is a network of 37 sustainable NGOS from 75 predominantly rural sites countrywide that receives support from Kinderfonds MAMAS, which raises funds for childcare organisations in South Africa.

As a CSI Agency, MAMAS Alliance collaborates with corporates who are looking to have real impact within a specific focus area to benefit some of the most vulnerable in society.

“This initiative is an example of how South African corporates have become more strategic when it comes to investing in social impact,” says Calisto Kondowe, a CSI Consultant at CSI Agency MAMAS Alliance who was key in managing this partnership.

“Many of our corporate partners are increasingly putting larger portions of their CSI budget into single projects that have specific and measurable impact, instead of spreading these funds across numerous organisations or NGOs.

The IDC first partnered with MAMAS Alliance in 2020 with Covid-19 social relief interventions and continue to work with them, and with pandemic-related social relief initiatives.

“IDC enables us to reach the most marginalized communities to provide for their most basic needs. IDC is a key partner in making a real difference in our communities,” says Matuludi.

Their work doesn’t end here, with the partnership between MAMAS Alliance, the IDC and Children of the Dawn set to continue given the devastating impact that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have on many communities around South Africa.

KP Lesedi Drama and Cultural Crew, an organisation that uses art and entertainment in order to assist with socio-economic uplifting, combat poverty and create employment, say that so many families in these areas are completely exposed to bad weather and need so much more assistance.                                       

“Some of the real challenges in these communities include poor service delivery, no development, poverty, unemployment and lack of opportunities for youth. In many of these communities, they have been without clean water for over eight months, the elderly go without proper medication and some families do not have proper housing,” Matuludi explains.

MAMAS Alliance provides CSI services at no cost via a network of strong, reputable, independent and autonomous grassroots organisations. For more information about how to collaborate with MAMAS Alliance, please go to www.mamasalliance.com.