A digital fundraising campaign, launched last year to help non-profit organisations (NPOs) that were struggling to buy data and stay connected during the pandemic, is now reaping rewards and helping NPOs to continue with their vital work.
The total sum raised in the campaign was R8750. Data vouchers to the value of R350 each were distributed among 18 non-profit organisations in April 2021. The recipients are based throughout South Africa, from Riebeek Kasteel in the Western Cape to Mangaung in the Free State.
The NPOs have used the data to continue and build on interventions that include food security for orphans; an after-school homework club; addressing gender violence; capacity development for rural development organisations; and testing for HIV-Aids, high blood pressure, and other medical conditions.
Says Feryal Domingo, Operations Director of non-profit organisation Inyathelo, which initiated the campaign in August 2020: “Last year we became aware that funds which non-profits used to receive were being redirected, or simply lost because of donors’ financial constraints.
“We launched the campaign in a powerful Zoom presentation, with contributions by Warren Nebe of Wits University, Director of Drama for Life, and his group The Healers. They brought such skill and insight and all were reminded of the importance of connection. We are so appreciative of everyone who participated and donated.
“That campaign to raise money for data has helped the voucher recipients to work remotely and continue offering their services, and to stay in touch with the communities they serve.”
Sign Language Education & Development
One of the beneficiaries is non-profit organisation Sign Language Education & Development (SLED) in Mowbray, Cape Town.
“We are so excited about this opportunity,” says SLED Director, Cara Loening. “It is still early days for us as we received the vouchers at the end of April. We have, however, already used a few vouchers for Deaf teaching assistants in Cedarville, Eastern Cape, while assisting them with their annual teaching plans and their South African Sign Language (SASL) weekly lesson plans. (‘Deaf’ is capitalised when it refers to the Deaf community and Deaf culture, as opposed to deaf in lower case, which relates to an audiological hearing loss.)
“We are already teaching weekly Zoom SASL Home Language lessons to some Intermediate Phase Deaf learners in KwaZulu-Natal. We would like to use these vouchers to extend this service to various schools for the Deaf across the country.”
Loening says that teachers (hearing and Deaf) will be able to observe good teaching practices with well-prepared lesson plans and activities. This will also give Deaf learners a chance to take part in lessons that are well-planned and offered in their home language at an age-appropriate level.
“We have already approached some schools and teachers, who are delighted.”
SLED planned to provide a group of parents with SASL stories and activities via WhatsApp, to share with their Deaf children during the school holidays.
“A large majority of Deaf children live in hostels. During their school holidays, when they are at home, they are isolated as their caregivers and broader community do not understand SASL. The stories give the family an opportunity to share and learn together.”
Concludes Domingo: “We are delighted to hear how our recipients are using the data. Their feedback has shown what an impact a donation can make.”
For more visit: www.inyathelo.org.za