COVID 19in Southern AfricaJust InSouth Africa

US Foundation Gift Global Initiative launches Self Help initiatives in Africa

JOHANNESBURG, (The Southern African Times) – An international charity organisation , Gift Global Initiative which is South African based has done a lot of projects to help the less privileged.

During lockdown in 2020 , they managed to do three separate initiatives “Soccer for Solar, GGI Works and COVID 19 relief.” The Covid-19 relief was under the theme: “Providing a hand up not a hand out.”

Speaking to The Southern African Times, the founder of GGI , Keith Kirkwood said that the goal of the initiatives they put forth are for the areas/people they work with to become financially independent. He also said one of the challenges he faced during their last initiative was making people believe that they can create their own businesses  and be entrepreneurs.

“We don’t just want o help out today, we help them to give the tools today to succeed tomorrow and beyond. We focus on investing in skills and create opportunities for them to take control over their own destiny and not to depend on government or NGOs,” he said . 

A local resident being taught how to use a sowing .machine

The GGI team implemented a sewing project as part of their GGI Works program as it was easily trainable and had a market demand especially with during Covid-19. 

They  program focuses on making jackets , hats and masks for protection. The project is open to anyone who wants to participate and learn on the condition that they to meet with tutors for lessons on how to cut , select fabrics as well as learning how to sell utilising  e-commerce and the local market places.

Children wearing GGI jackets that have been produced by participants within the GGI Works program

Their initiatives were have not been affected by Covid-19, apart from the “sports for solar” project which enhanced their focus on GGI Works and an emergency Covid-19 relief mission.

“GGI Works is our entrepreneur program where we invest into businesses to assist families we work with to become financially independent. Although we personally weren’t able to be on the ground the last few months, we have Gift team members who are locals and have been cosnstantly in contact with us managing the initiatives. It had been a lot easier with zoom , “ said Kirkwood.

He also added  that The Global Gift Initiative have a great team of members around the world who assist them with great ideas and add to the initial programs that typically come from Manna and himself. Kirkwood said they create programs around what they see as areas of need from visiting and listening to local residents in the many countries they visit. 

“GGI initiative team made jackets as there were shortages of warm coats for kids . So rather than sending the coats , we decided to create a business for them by sending fabrics where they could make their own , give them to the children in the settlement and then move on to selling them at local markets. We also found out that when we speak to large NGOs, they have a lot people doing the job that one or two people could do and they eat up a lot of donations in their payroll.

“The current situation is a global pandemic so resources from donations to sponsorships are harder to come by than usual, so if you are in this industry you have to be ready to do more work rather than delegate to others,” he said. 

 The Gift Global Initiative have offices in South Africa are in  S.As Pretoria,Johannesburg and Soweto.

Reported and Written by Sharon Dehwe.

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