Public giving and why it matters in ending GBV

Date: November 30, 2016
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By Debbie Harrison

Yesterday was giving Tuesday – this day is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. Seventy one countries participated in Giving Tuesday with $116.5 million being raised in 2015. What makes Giving Tuesday different is that it encourages everyone to give. It is not dependent upon a few wealthy individuals or companies as the current trend is in South Africa. It about giving to your community contributing towards a cause you believe in.

In South Africa 88% of High Net worth Individuals (HNWI) who earn over R1, 5 million ($108,141) per year or who have investable assets of over R5 million($ 360,469,000) excluding the persons primarily residents (Nedbank Private Wealth Giving Report 111) give to charity. And many companies do their bit too with the top 100 companies giving 66% of the total CSI expenditure, 30 of these companies gave over R50million ($3,604,690,000)per year. Over 75% of company contributions came from the mining, retail and financial services sector. (The Trialogue CSI Handbook 2014).

Despite all this giving, the non-profit sector is in terrible financial trouble, even big reputable Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) are being forced into closure. Much of this is because the sector is huge, only the mining sector employs more people. Another reason is that there is a very large number of NGO’s with 136453 registered on the Department of Social Development site in 2014-2015 and over 16000 new NPO’s being registered per year. Many of the larger NPO’s had been receiving substantial grants from international donors in the “North” i.e. Europe and the USA. These donors now consider South Africa as a middle income country with enough funds to care for its own. Yet according to research undertaken by the Children’s Institute of the University of Cape Town, 63% of our children live in income poor households and this figure is inclusive of social grants.

In the past during the 16 days we tended to focus on despair looking at the unacceptable levels of gender based violence (GBV) , however this year we are challenging South Africans and everyone across the world to look at the brighter side on what can be done to end the cycle of violence. The Gender Links award winning life skills and entrepreneurial skills program, the Sunrise Campaign is a classic example of turning despair into hope. It aims to provide women who are trapped in abusive relationships with the skills and confidence to develop their own small business and thereby provide them with the freedom to make choices about their and their children future without the consistent anxiety about money and the resultant dependency upon the abuser.

Our beloved Madiba said “Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.” This project is well worth supporting so another 1000 women can gain the freedom of choice through financial empowerment in 2017. So during this giving season we challenge you to give the little you can, and help Gender Links to help another 1000 survivors of gender based violence.


Author: Debbie Harrison

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