The Grants and Donations portfolio, a special unit within the Transnet Foundation, has continued on a clear trajectory of uplifting communities in need through funding community focused organisations and initiatives whose sole objectives have been to make this world a better place to live in for all.
It is such organisations that demonstrate longevity or sustainability and further comply with good business practices that are strategically relevant to the objectives of Transnet SOC Ltd, its Operational Divisions and Special Units that have passed our rigorous funding criteria.
In the year beginning April 2015 to date, the Grants and Donations portfolio has funded community initiatives to the value of R4.5million. This has been through funding various activities embarked upon by community based organisations seeking to bring normality to those in dire need. These organisations and non-profit organisations play a crucial role in uplifting impoverished communities, where people mostly don’t have the means to help themselves. By providing much needed care and services, they help empower people to live productive, healthy and fulfilling lives, and offer hope for a bright future when prospects are dim.
The Transnet Foundation has been very pivotal in ensuring that such organisations continue to render essential services to the underprivileged, and in some cases, in the remote areas of the country. In April 2015, Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA) was one organisation that benefitted from the Foundation’s benevolence. MISTRA is a non-profit organisation established in 2010. The Institute combines research and academic development, strategic reflection and intellectual discourse to promote heritage preservation.
The organisation’ sponsorship was towards its new priority research projects namely; The publication of genetics and bio-technologies; The pedagody of Mathematics; The effectiveness of South Africa’s science and innovation value chain; Pursuit of social compact in education, and finally, Changing economic balance in Africa. By constantly searching for worthwhile community organisations and funding them, we have discovered that contributing to social and humanitarian programmes help build stronger, healthier communities through better human services and support systems.
Another organisation that benefitted from our grants and donations portfolio is the Centre for Education in Economic and Finance Africa (CEEF), a section 21 company addressing critical scarce skills shortage and strategic leadership education challenges. Our donation was towards 11 students doing postgraduate Diplomas in Economic Policy/Public Policy and Management. In KwaZulu Natal, we also funded the Co-operative Organisation for the Upgrading of Numeracy Training (“COUNT”), established 25 years ago with the main objectives to provide teacher development, learner and parents support from targeted communities of schools. The rationale behind the funding of the initiative was to improve interest, motivation and ability in primary mathematics taught and learnt in schools which can also be measured qualitatively and quantitatively.
The Pen Foundation is one of the latest non-profit organisations supported by the Transnet Foundation’s Grants and Donations portfolio. The organisation was established in 2013 to break the vicious cycle of poverty through the provision of educational support to youths in rural and semi-rural areas. Through the campaign “One Day without Shoes”, the Foundation was able to make a donation of shoes to schools across five provinces in KwaZulu Natal.
In total, we funded ten organisations at an estimated cost of R4.5 million in different sectors. Seven of those organisations were in the education sector, while the other three were in sport; arts and culture and publications; and community development. The Foundation runs an open window period annually when it requests proposals from compliant community organisations and Non Profit Organisations to apply for funding. It has eight focus areas, however, even if requests fall outside these focus areas, they are also considered if the organisation demonstrates sound corporate governance and good business principles.
In assisting these organisations through funding them, we undoubtedly put smiles across some people’s faces. The late former president, Nelson Mandela once said: “There is nothing I fear more than waking up without a programme that will help me to bring a little happiness to those with no resources, those who are poor, illiterate, and ridden with terminal disease.” These words ring true today as they did when he said them.
Our grants and donations window is still open until the 30th of April, 2016. The instructions and the requirements are on our website www.transnetfoundation.co.za