The thought of trying to understand another person’s circumstances when yours have been different to theirs can be much harder than one can imagine, and yet we need to try to do just that.
In the world in which we live, there are numerous disparities, especially those of a social and economic nature and there is no overnight solution for these.
It is important that the public and private partnership for developing and sustaining various areas of our society continues. Together with individuals and communities, there is the opportunity to collaborate on short- and long-term solutions.
The solutions needn’t be the sort that will tackle each and every issue that is faced in society, however it is possible to look at smaller ways that will assist in alleviating some of the challenges that are faced.
If you’re wondering where you could possibly fit in and how you could play a role in the life of someone else, then perhaps you could consider some of these options that don’t necessarily only require money but time and commitment from you:
1. Extra lessons teachers
We all remember those subjects that we were not the greatest at or we just wanted to pick up our marks a bit more.
Like that extramural activity that you showed potential in but you needed an extra push or maybe you didn’t have all the equipment, so you dropped it.
Look at what you are good at and really excelled in. Consider giving some of your time to a school in your community that could use some of your skills, knowledge and absolute passion for the subject or extramural activity.
2. Lift club or feeding scheme
How many times have you seen a group of children cramped in a vehicle or see them walking long distances to get to school and home again. Or you know that some of the children do not always come to school having enjoyed a full meal - they may not have or have had lunch or dinner.
With a bit of homework (For Good is a great place to start to find a place or a cause to donate food to) and to ensure that all the necessary legalities are sorted out, you and some other parents in partnership with the school and community could start or join a lift club for the children in need, or contribute to a feeding scheme that perhaps provides two meals a day to learners to ensure that they are well nourished. So they can learn.
3. Stationery, textbooks drive
Admit it, how stationery crazy are you? It’s not a bad thing at all. Let’s be honest though, you could share a little bit right?
How about donating some of your stash to a learner and even a university or college student, especially if you have your previous studies textbooks that you are not using anymore.
You may believe that it won't make a difference, but with the cost of textbooks, and yes a simple stationery set nowadays, there is someone out there who will treat them like gold because it is more than they had before. Kidz2Kidz or the Cape Town Multi Service Centre are great starting points if you’re not sure where to donate to.
4. Make small contributions where you can
It doesn’t have to be a weekly commitment: you can start small. Clean out your clothes or your children's, sibling's or cousins' toys and donate what you no longer use, and then offer to do the same with any extra things that belong to friends or extended family.
Make a small monetary contribution to a children’s home (if you can afford it), knowing that even though it’s small, it will make a difference in someone’s life.
Look out for ways to give in the supermarket while you’re shopping, whether it’s a trolley of groceries being collected for shelters, or ideas like Clover Krush’s #KrushGoodness project where you can nominate schools whose children are most in need of school shoes.
Nominations are now open and can be made by following the on-pack instructions on promotional Krush products. Krush will go through all nominations and by December 2018, 20 schools from provinces across SA will be selected. These schools will then be visited in the new year where 20 000 scholars will receive their brand new school shoes. There are a multitude of easy ways to spread goodness – you simply have to open your eyes.
5. Bring a learner or student to work day
Hands up if you had the opportunity to visit different people at work and learn about what they do on a day to day basis, as well as understand the steps it took to get there.
There are various initiatives (such as this one by the City of Cape Town and Take a Girl Child to Work Day by CellC) that already exist that offer young learners the chance to go to certain work environments that they may be interested in and learn more.
How about you and some of your colleagues in other departments at your company, look at identifying a school that would not necessarily be able to take their learners to a company due to various reasons, and you spend time with them on a regular basis and perhaps if there are opportunities, learners can volunteer at the company during holidays?
Have some other ideas you'd like to share with us. Let's grow this list! Send them to us here.