As we celebrate National Volunteers Month this April, we present this love letter to all our volunteers, both inside and outside The Love Trust, who have dedicated their time and expertise to The Love Trust and its initiatives and with the aim of providing quality, holistic education to the most vulnerable learners in their community.
Thank you to our Corporate and Individual Volunteers: “We just have the most amazing donors out there… and it’s so wonderful to have donors and partners in different ways… people who give their time, their expertise. So, they may not be giving money, but they may be giving very sophisticated expertise, financial, legal and in management areas, where we have people who volunteer their time, to help us grow this organization. And so what a joy and privilege for me to be able to work with these types of people.”- Martin Morrison, CEO and Founder of The Love Trust
“I am a very firm believer in education, particularly at the early stages of childhood. In addition, it is critical that we support this country and the development of this country. What The Love Trust is doing in education, at Nokuphila school and the ECD centres, and what we’re doing to facilitate learning in the townships, to me, that’s very important.”
“The Love Trust has a credible track record and it’s great for my team to go off-site and spend time around a good cause.” – Anton Jacobsz, CEO of Networks Unlimited Africa
Deeper bonds with our Corporate Partners: “I think part of the philosophy that we have, as The Love Trust, is that we certainly ought to collaborate. We are in an ecosystem and in this ecosystem, you have many partners, just find your niche (the role that you can play), but don’t forget to learn from other people or organizations. These are not problems that should be ignored and they’re not problems that can be solved by one party. It will take a community: we can all share our knowledge, our resources (not just money but knowledge). And, slowly, we have a way of dealing with the so called almost seemingly insurmountable challenge that that we face. The fact is, we cannot ignore it, we ignore it at our peril. You can’t have the sea of poverty and an island of means – we need to try and bridge the gap. If we put our heads together, we can overcome this as a community, as a society, as a nation and, of course, as the world. But it will take dedication.
“For-profit organizations can actually do such a lot: they have skills, funding and there are people they can deploy to make a difference. Sometimes it’s just removing cumbersome bureaucratic systems and replacing them with simple systems that can help an NGO run better. They can also second their own people for short periods so that NPOs can do what they need to do, better. In my work experience, I know that when corporate social responsibility started, in essence in South Africa, and companies started to have policies around it they allowed their staff to volunteer for certain causes that they’re passionate about. I think corporates can help the NPOs a lot by seconding staff and, of course, where they have the means, to donate financially to assist these organizations. But don’t just donate and walk away: hold those NPOs accountable!” – Dr. Jerry Gule, the Chairman of The Love Trust
Adopt a learner project – Teachers: The desire to bring about change in a child’s life and prospects through education is in the DNA of The Love Trust, to the extent that Nokuphila School teachers continue to nurture and mentor and teach past pupils by volunteering their time after hours. Teachers from grade four and up can voluntarily “adopt” a learner who they then tutor beyond their term at Nokuphila providing pastoral care and guidance.
Shepherd Chihwehwete, the Head of Department of the senior grades at Nokuphila Primary School believes other schools could adopt similar initiatives as it will help the learners when they leave school to inoculate them against that sense of isolation, loneliness, and abandonment: “It fosters strong social bonds between the learners, the school, the community. That they have left does not mean to say that we are completely separated
When asked what message he had for volunteers, donors, and partners Chihwehwete quoted Helen Dyer, “Volunteerism is the voice of the people put into action. These actions shape and mould the present into a future of which we can all be proud.”
Thanks to Staff and In-House Volunteers – In response to the Herculean efforts of their staff members in the wake of the pandemic and beyond, Martin Morrison, CEO and Founder of The Love Trust had the following to say: “Our staff, and we’ve got such wonderful people, went above and beyond to make sure that all the regulations, all the PPE, everything was adhered to. It has just been magnificent. And a lot of staff just sacrificially went out of their way to serve and to help. For example, we’ve passed on countless food hampers, to families in our constituency in Thembisa, who were in need. We as an organization said, how can we serve others better?
“Just remember, like anything of value, there’s a lot of blood sweat and tears. We make lots of mistakes. We don’t get everything right. Sometimes we fall in the mud. I thank God because he’s drawn together, this family of people from different backgrounds, different expertise, different resources. And when you look at the organization, there is a determination, there’s a resilience, there’s a dedication – just some of the factors that make us what we are. And that is true of our donors, our partners, our children, the parents, . Whatever happens, we’re going to get through this, and we’ll get through it stronger. We’ll be a bit wounded. But we’re going to get through this together.”
Interested in Volunteering at The Love Trust? Change lives with us. We would be pretty lost without those who give their time and talents.
Here are a few ways for you to share:
- Host an event and encourage your friends to join our Sponsor a Child programme.
- Adopt The Love Trust as a beneficiary of an event.
- Volunteer your skills from home or office or at our Nokuphila Campus in Thembisa by helping with a whole range of things from gardening, maintenance, admin support, coaching, music, therapy, reading and writing with children, graphic design, just to name a few.
- Help us bring business skills and other personal development to our students so we help them to be a step ahead and improve their market access.