Passionate, imaginative and critical thinkers are civil society’s greatest assets. To harness this transformative energy, civil society should take its equal place alongside government and business in shaping the social and economic future of South Africa. This requires a pipeline of skilled, confident leaders with a strong sense of identity as public innovators.
Leadership for public innovation is not limited to organisational management, but includes community leaders and mobilisers who drive collective action for change in their communities. We believe that community ownership and participation are fundamental tenets in building a sense of pride and aspiration.
Galvanise and support civil society to have greater influence and participation in twisting our way out of the inequality trap.
Our strategy is to build and expand an influential national network of innovators who will contribute to the successful transformation of society.
We also need to strengthen collaboration and positive engagement between the state, civil society and the private sector. To do this, we need to facilitate the generation of ideas and find ways to connect and collaborate using digital technology and platforms.
Nowadays, even though not everyone has access to mobile phones and connectivity in this country, people are more likely to connect to the Internet using their phones than any other device. Digital technology can be used to drive changes in human behaviour for the benefit of all South Africans, which is why civil society’s effective use of online communication is essential for building support for social movements around new ideas, practices and behaviours.
Our goal is to provide funding and packages of support to civil society organisations to improve their effectiveness as well as expand and deepen their impact. This will build collective action to strengthen community pride and aspiration.
What we are working on…
- Developing a diagnostic tool that defines and identifies organisational strengths and gaps.
- Incubating initiatives that address civil society’s most pressing issues.
- Supporting local initiatives that build collective action and strengthen community pride and aspiration.
- Championing fundamental services provided by civil society organisations in communities through grants of compassion and care.
Flagship projects addressing this opportunity
Civil society projects addressing this opportunity
These projects are by no means a comprehensive list of the work of civil society. This list represents a small selection of organisations that will be updated from time to time
Technology as an enabler for social change
An organisation that provides technology systems support through training young leaders and placing them in NPOs. The organisation is run by an experienced IT professional who left the corporate world to make an impact. Their services help organisations increase efficiency in reporting, donor and volunteer management, branding, communications and operations.
Empowering young people to escape poverty
A collective action organisation that drives community development through mobilising systems and support for young people. Amandla Development aims to reach as many youths in Philippi as possible, supporting them as they navigate poverty and violence in their community. With mentors, tutors and counselling, young people have a better chance at harnessing their education to reach their full potential.
Encouraging positive change in communities in the Eastern Cape
A community grant-maker that reaches small community-based organisations and change drivers that are often overlooked by large donors and government departments. They also work to build relationships with local government, businesses and other organisations to develop long-term solutions to some of the most challenging circumstances in communities – including poverty, access to health care, education and unemployment.
Developing the most valuable asset, employees
Rainbow Education, formerly J.L Zwane Centre, is one of the organisations in South Africa that connects and empowers the local communities of Gugulethu and surrounding areas, with skills development and employment opportunities. The organisation supports committed women to gain a formal qualification in plumbing, encouraging women to be independent and do odd jobs to earn an income. This contributes to a community of empowered women who serve as role models. In 2023, the organisation registered 30 women per cycle who attended the plumbing programme.
Sparking community pride by giving the youth a voice
The organisation is located in the heart of Paarl-east in an area that was previously gang-stricken. It offers a nutrition program, day-care, after-care and youth-at-risk programme. A crucial part of its offering is going beyond education through its arts and culture school, a space where artistic talent and expression can be cultivated. These activities are essential in providing holistic care for the community. This project provides a platform for mentoring and group activities, to foster relationships between youth and their community. Law enforcement, social services and Miqlat are in unison to ensure that those involved with gangs are provided with the resources and opportunities needed to transition away from a life of crime. These initiatives have been successful in promoting social cohesion and providing essential services for children and youth.
The Rural Development Support Program (RDSP) provides a positive role in supporting Rural Community Development Organisations (CBOs) in Namaqualand, Northern Cape, in the form of organisational development and capacity building through intensive training and mentoring. The community of Namaqualand is populated by individuals who are in a sense of despair, lacking motivation, and a limited sense of agency or possibility. RDSP then seized an opportunity to address this by developing a programme that would build individual motivation and agency by driving collective action and strengthening the pride and aspiration of the people of Namaqualand. Through the Life program, it aims to equip participants with the knowledge, skills and the right attitude to deal with every aspect of Life.