Living Social Justice

A blog about responding to poverty and injustice, everyday and in all sorts of ways

Archive for the tag “Give Hope”

Give your Christmas shopping a twist – Give Hope!

We think you’re going to like the sound of this…

Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver via Compfight cc

Every year millions are spent on Christmas presents as we all try to find the perfect gift for our friends and loved ones. The tragic part? These gifts, which we often sacrifice hours in crowded malls to buy, are often forgotten by Boxing Day or, gulp, unwanted and sent to the back of a cupboard. Yes, it’s the harsh truth. But what if instead of spending our money on socks, soap and chocolate boxes, we spent it on gifts that will make a real difference in the lives of those in need?

Not being huge fans of shopping mall madness – and having re-gifted our fair share of Christmas presents in the past (not yours Auntie Betty!) – we’re really excited about the concept behind Give Hope cards.

There are six beautifully illustrated cards to choose from and the money used to purchase each one will go directly towards supporting a specific Common Good initiative, like buying a book for a literacy programme, sponsoring a food parcel for a family or creche, or enabling someone who is unemployed to attend a beginners computer course.

Here’s an example of how it works: You stop by the Common Ground cafe during the week, or the Common Good involvement desk after a Common Ground Church meeting, and purchase a card (prices range from R50 to R200). Inside the card is space for you to write a personal message, as well as a blurb on how the money used to purchase the card will be meeting a real need. You then give the card to your Uncle George, for example, but the real gift will be going where it’s needed most!

Sound like a grand shopping plan? We think so. Click here to download the Give Hope 2013 catalogue.

And here are some great articles giving more info on some of the initiatives the cards support:

Give Hope through Paradigm Shift

Give Hope with Izandla Zethemba Fun Days

Give Hope with NETwork computer courses

Give Hope with Izandla Zethemba Fun Days

This Christmas, don’t just give another box of chocolates; instead purchase a Give Hope card and enable a child to attend a fun day… Here’s more about Izandla Zethemba and why these days out are the real gift.

Enjoying the thrills of chilly waves at an Izandla Zethemba beach day

Enjoying the thrills of chilly waves at an Izandla Zethemba beach day

It’s a sunny Saturday morning in Cape Town and a group of children are ready for a day at the beach. Flip flops, hats and swimming costumes are on; towels and spare clothes are packed. The anticipation of sunshine and ice cream is visible on almost every single one of the 60 faces as the big bus pulls into the Muizenberg beach parking lot.

Most children love a day at the beach but this day is made all the more special by the reality that, for many of these children, days like this don’t come around all too often. For some, this will be their first trip to the beach, for others it will be a rare chance to forget the challenges of home and enjoy a moment of carefree childhood – jumping in waves, building sandcastles and eating hot dogs.

A sand castle building competition under way

A sand castle building competition under way

These children are all a part of Izandla Zethemba (IZ), a community-driven HIV/Aids programme based in Thambo Village, Gugulethu, which provides care to families affected by the pandemic. This care includes weekly support groups for both adults and children, counselling sessions, home visits, and nutritional support. The children’s support groups also go on recreational outings once every six to eight weeks.

These fun days are a highlight on the calendar for both the 120 younger children, who form the aged 5-11 group, and the 40 teens, who are in the aged 12-18 group. Past outings have included trips to the aquarium, the snake park, the ice rink, up the Table Mountain cable car, and, of course, the beach!

A trip to the petting zoo

A trip to the petting zoo

“These days are great for them to explore their country and take a break from the hardships at home,” says Xolile Makutoana, the teens support group coordinator. “After a fun day, when we do a home visit. the parents tell us how much they appreciate it and that the children keep talking about it. For some of them, the next time they go outside [the community] will be the next fun day.”

“Some of the children are HIV positive or a family member is positive,” explains Lucy Joseph, who oversees the younger children. “And some of their parents have died and they’re now living with grannies, aunts or siblings. When we go on the home visits, we asses their living situation to find out who is employed, how many people are staying in the house, how well they’re being taken care of and if there’s enough food.”

Learning how to skate on ice with the help of friends

Learning how to skate on ice with the help of friends

In cases where it’s needed, IZ will provide stationary, school uniforms and monthly food parcels. For the teens, much of a week the week is focused on discussing life skills topics. The staff also build close a relationship with the clinic to ensure that those on medication are taking their medicine correctly.

“Some of the environments where the children are living is not healthy,” says Lucy. “The fun days give relief to the caregivers and the children always come back happy and with lots of stories. For some of the kids they don’t have outings with their family so it gives them something to experience outside of their community.”

“I enjoyed everything about the outing… It was good to bond with my sisters, to go out and be just our selves,” says Nokuthula, 15.

“When we go out we forget our problems and worries that we have back home,” says Abongile, 17. “Everyone is treated equal and special. You feel you belong to a loving family.”

For more on how you can get involved with Izandla Zethemba, email us. Read further for info on how you can support through Give Hope…

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Show loveShow Love This Christmas: Enable a child to attend a fun day

This festive season you can enable a child to attend a fun-filled day outing. How? Purchase an Izandla Zethemba Give Hope card for R50. There are also other cards available which all support Common Good initiatives. Click here for more info. On sale at Common Good Involvement Desks (Sundays) and at the Common Ground café.

Thank You For Giving Hope!

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During the Christmas season, we launched our second annual Give Hope campaign – and thanks to everyone who supported by purchasing cards, we were able to raise R42 500 for Common Good initiatives!

That means:

–          149 fun-filled day outings for children from Izandla Zethemba’s HIV/Aids programme

–          167 new books for children in our literacy programme

–          79 nutritious food hampers for families

–          27 small business owners to attend the Paradigm Shift Business Training course

–          32 currently unemployed people to attend the NETwork computer course

–          Over R7000’s worth of building material and tools to upgrade and maintain children’s homes, schools and NGO’s

We are so inspired by the generosity and compassion of this community. Your support has helped positively impacted thousands of lives 🙂

What a wonderful way to kick off 2013!

Love,

The Common Good team

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