In our drive to maximise the impact made in transforming our community, the Pietermaritzburg & District Community Chest, from time to time, initiates and manages projects of its own, as a way of piloting or introducing new, creative and innovative approaches to the delivery of services and/or supporting or sparking off new social movements.
In the recent past, we have been involved in the following project –
1. Generation@ Project
Generation@ is part of the One Million Strong initiative (the brainchild of LUSA Community Chest and Kairos Connect). Generation@ is a holistic and multilevel approach to transforming schools. There are 3 key steps to the approach –
STEP 1 – Inner-visioning: Supporting the School Principal/Senior Management Team to develop and/or drive the School’s Vision
STEP 2 - Transformer: A life skills support programme for teachers who are critical to creating the next generation of leaders
STEP 3 - Breakthrough: A life skills support programme for learners of age 11 – 15, and facilitated by trained youth facilitators
PMB & District Community Chest has been implementing the Generation@ in 4 schools since 2014 is made possible through a generous donation of R1 million rand (over 5 years) by the Vivian Reddy Foundation.
2. Junior Community Chest (JCC)
JCC can work as a stand-alone or as a sub-project of the Generation@ Project.
As a sub-project of Generation@, JCC provides a hands-on and practical learning opportunity to Generation@ graduates to put into practice the information, knowledge and skills they acquire through the Generation@ Breakthrough programme.
As a stand-alone project, JCC has as its objective, the very same goal as Generation@ viz. preparing today’s youth to become tomorrow’s leaders with a raised level of social awareness and concern.
The JCC challenge
Participants on the JCC programme are challenged to identify a cause, either within their school or the neighbourhood in which their school is situated, that is worthy of a solution.
With the support of their Generation @/JCC mentors, participants try to better understand the problem/s leading to an identification of the cause/s and then explore potential solutions.
At the core of all their action-learning, participants are exposed to some of the real life issues facing many of their peers and/or families in their community. Seeking possible answers to the problems, requires participants to apply moral reasoning and make ethical decisions that go beyond themselves – the foundational steps that lead to the door of social entrepreneurship or activism, something of which our community, country and the world, as a whole, is desperately in need of.
Participants acquire knowledge, apply cognitive/thinking skills, moral/ethical reasoning and experience in real life application, requisites that go towards making a success of taking an idea that potentially can make a positive impact in the life of an individual or community and execute (design and ‘project manage) it through to completion. Participants grow in social awareness and leadership ability and simultaneously, raise the quality of life for their peers and/or people in their neighbourhood - win/win!
3. Youth Leadership Academy (YLA)
The YLA project, again puts emphasis on preparing today’s youth to become tomorrow’s socially conscious leaders. YLA does for out-of-school youth what Generation@ and JCC do for in-school youth.
The YLA programme deals with self and social awareness; leadership development; entrepreneurship (social and economic); career decision-making; post-school education and training opportunities; psychometric assessments; job-seeking skills; financial literacy skills and citizenship
4. NPO/CBO Capacity Building
Within our community there are a number of NPOs/CBOs that are striving to help build a better community for us all, but they themselves do not have the requisite skills to professionally manage the responsibilities needed for receiving and accounting for donor funding.
To this end, the Community Chest offers to its CIPs and other NPOs/CBOs the opportunity to acquire skills in areas such as –
- Understanding NPO/CBO type organisations
- Operations and Management
- Finance management
- HR management
- Resources mobilisation
5. The Deserving Kids Annual Christmas Party
Happy, healthy, educated children are a community’s pride and joy. Unfortunately, there are significant numbers of children in our community who are not so fortunate.
Once a year, we as the Community Chest, together with the help of our caring community, organise a Christmas Party at which up to 500 deserving children are hosted for a day full of fun, food and frolic – and gifts.
6. Marvellous Mothers and Fabulous Fathers
Mothers and fathers are the foundational stones on which every home is built. Sadly, for a number of our mothers and fathers, especially in their twilight years, they are no longer appreciated by children or extended family. Left to fend for themselves, life loses meaning and despair set in.
Our aging mothers and fathers long for companionship and being reminded that they are still appreciated for all the love given and sacrifices made while raising up their families.
To this end, on an annual basis, on/or around the time of Mother’s Day (May) and Father’s Day (June), we, as the Community Chest host deserving mothers and fathers to a day of pampering and entertainment, just to remind them that we as a community still care and honour them.
7. The PMB CC Staff-In-Action Day
The PMB & District Community Chest staff, as a team, engage in an annual Staff-in-Action Day. A deserving cause is identified by staff and a decision is made as to how we will assist this cause. We invite corporates, individuals and volunteers to join in on the day’s activity and whilst doing a good deed, we bond as a team and have fun together.
8. Valentine’s Day Tea (for deserving senior citizens)
When love is in the air, it’s time for tea! Annually, on or about the 14th of February, the PMB & District Community Chest hosts a “Love-is-in-the-air” themed tea party for deserving senior citizens in our community. It is a time to reminisce over love past; love present and for the lucky, love still to come! If nothing else, it’s an opportunity to enjoy a nice cup of tea, some cake and loads of fun! We invite corporates and private individuals to join with us as we make this occasion a day to remember for our deserving senior citizens.
9. Winter Warmth Drive
Winter in Pietermaritzburg & District can get freezing cold! For the children especially, it’s just not fun to rise up from a warm bed and go to school on a cold wintery day. What better way to show our love and concern than giving a child something warm to wear (a beanie; a scarf; a pair of woollen gloves; etc.) to keep the cold at bay. Every year, the Pietermaritzburg & District Community Chest goes on its Winter Warmth Drive, to collect clothing items for children attending the early childhood development (ECD) centres we financially support throughout the year. Corporates and private individuals are encouraged to join in with the Community Chest to help us give these little ones one more reason to jump out of bed and go to school.
10. Easter Egg Drive
The Easter Egg Hunt is a source of great fun for children around the world. The PMB & District Community Chest, with your support, ensures that children attending the early childhood development (ECD) centres supported by the Community Chest have the opportunity to experience the excitement and fun associated with Easter celebrations. Corporates and private individuals are welcome to partner with the Community Chest as we aim to collect 3,000 Easter eggs each year for distribution to 1,000 children.