Monday, 03 September 2007

50% To The People

On this, the 50th post for OnlineTrek, it is fitting that we feature an organisation which is making a significant difference in the lives of many in this country and beyond.

The organisation's name is "50% For The People" and offers folks the opportunity to work in South Africa in a volunteer capacity with a number of NGO's and other non-profits. The big difference with this organisation is that 50% of the monies paid are ploughed straight back into the NGO benefitting from the volunteer work.

The company promotes responsible volunteerism -

* minimises negative economic, environmental, and social impacts;

* generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities, improves working conditions and access to the industry;

* involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances;

* makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, to the maintenance of the world's diversity;

* provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues;

* is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence.

Aimed at people living outside South Africa, this opportunity opens doors for future tourism and investment. Impacting the lives of those whom they serve, the volunteers are exposed to experiences they may not have had otherwise and so they too grow from the experience.

Each trip generates over R75 000 for the NGO with whom the volunteers serve.

I believe totally in what this organisation is doing but I do have two questions :

1) Is any follow-up done with the NGO's which receive monies to ensure the income is put to good use?
2) Which NGO's are chosen and what process was used to determine their worthiness?

Notwithstanding these questions, I think that 50%FTP is a model which could be replicated the world over and I am delighted to think that the people of South Africa are benefitting from this initiative.

The latest OutSurance advertisements showing members of their staff giving their time and expertise to the community has also made an impact (watch some of the ads here). The act of doing something tangible rather than throwing money at a project is of far better value to the recipient and the giver.

My prayer is that more organisations and people would move from the comfort of their living rooms and the safety of their cheque books and get into communities that need assistance - not to give hand-outs, but to empower. The future success of South Africa does not rest in the hands of the powerful but in the hearts and hands of ordinary people.

Click here for insurence

1 comment:

eishman said...

Congrats on the 50th post!!