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CSI Activities

CGF Research Institute corporate social investment activities


By Terrance M. Booysen

Ever since the abolishment of South Africa’s inhumane ‘apartheid’ system of racial segregation which ended in 1994, the effects of its almost irreversible social destruction are evident on a daily basis.  No matter how a person wishes to describe the country’s young democracy, South Africa remains a land of stark differences.

These differences are found within the ‘have’s and have nots’, rich and poor, the educated and those who are not sufficiently educated or qualified to hold onto any form of decent work that will adequately sustain their families and communities.  From a social sciences perspective; South Africa is not only beset by stubbornly high unemployment levels and crime, the country also has massive challenges in respect of ‘child-headed homes’ where young, parentless children live entirely on their own, or at best, under the supervision of an older sibling who themselves are minors.  Woven into this toxic social environment -- which is exacerbated by an almost complete lack of funding -- is the dismal health situation which exists within these impoverished communities; HIV AIDS being just one of the many health issues needing to be addressed.

Twenty-three years into South Africa’s democracy, the South African government has still not managed to deliver on all its promises to uplift the poorest of the poor.  In many instances, the meagre social grants cannot do justice to an appalling situation, which is set to get worse as many corporates tighten their Corporate Social Investment (‘CSI’) budgets as a consequence of an ailing economy which has been intensified by the recent country downgrades to ‘junk-status’.  Quite expectedly, as monetary aid begins to dry up, impoverished communities bear the brunt of immense suffering, and so do their children.

As a part of CGF Research Institute’s regular search to showcase registered small non-profit organisations (NPOs) who are involved in the care-giving of less privileged children in South Africa, we were introduced to Ilamula House, which is a culmination of the life-long dream of the late Winnie Mabaso.  Despite all the gloom of South Africa’s social challenges, Ilamula House was established through the Winnie Mabaso Foundation and provides a loving home for twenty two young girls, ranging from the ages of 2-16.  These girls are either orphaned, abandoned, vulnerable or abused and have been referred to the home by the local social workers.  For some of the girls, Ilamula House will be their ‘forever home’.  Others will live at Ilamula House temporarily until they are re-homed with extended families or adoptive homes.  Either way, qualified social workers work tirelessly to ensure that the best interests of the children are observed.

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