No NGO is working alone – even if the South African fundraising market is heavily contested and organizations try to gain the upper hand in securing funds, networking is an essential. There is unfortunately not really a culture to this – and jealousy and the meaning of superiority can undermine every effort to network on the same eye level. Obviously there are also exceptions, but it has to be said that there is a long way to go in South Africa to understand the real meaning of working together. Next jealousy is politics the other downfall when it comes to the attempt to work together. It was amazing to see how many “hopes’ have been created after the visit of chancellor Angela Merkel to HOPE Cape Town and I was thrilled to see an organization in Durban using even our logo for their advertising. Even in certain township communities people try to cash in on associating themselves with similar wording. Amazing to see when analytically observed…
HOPE Cape Town has always tried to keep an open mind and is networking and partnering with many organizations in South Africa and Germany. The German AIDS Foundation and HOPE & Future e.V. are such NGO partners but also in South Africa there are partners like the Manenberg After-school Care or Emilie’s Creche @ St. Lorrie’s Pass Village. There is always so much to do and so little one organization can do alone, so working together is essential if one really wants to better the lives of people.
Belonging to a network of NGO’s here in the Western Cape, I visited AMANDLA in Khayelitsha, an organization using soccer as means to bring youngsters away from drugs and gansterism and allow them to develop self-esteem and developing their potential. They are trying now to establish a further project exactly between Manenberg and Gugulethu – a black and a coloured township. Everybody who is familiar with the locations will know that this is an adventure as these areas are strictly separated since apartheid and each area is a no-go area for the other side. Bridging this gap and ending the hostilities is the aim of this project and obviously HOPE Cape Town sees the chance to network and introduce the Manenberg After-school Care project to AMANDLA. I guess sometimes it only needs to bring some people or organizations together to create synergies.
I wish the new endeavor of AMANDLA all the best and hope that more networking can be done in the future to strengthen the fabric of those lives still separated through race or skin color.