It goes with out saying that our biggest challenge is the lack of financial support. The lack is not just for the different projects but also for the basic overheads to run the charity. We try keep overheads down but every activity brings overhead costs which donors do not always appreciate. To distribute food for example cost manpower, petrol, packing material….so it goes on.
Probably our next biggest challenge to finances is inadequate premises. We have an unsympathetic Landlord and the premises are too small. They also have no air conditioning or windows so “we boil in summer and freeze in winter.” These premises also cost us a fortune (R18000) a month with Gospel Outreach still carrying the bulk of the rental even though the Charity’s operation dominate the space and time.
The challenges we encounter with the food distribution, clothes and even the sponsoring of children for school is the abuse by some of the system. Such obtain items from us and go off and sell it to buy alcohol. One of the parents of the child we were sponsoring to go to school would be drunk for weeks on end and not ensure the child was washed or that she attended school. We also found we were giving food to people who did get in some money, but instead of buying food with it bought drugs and alcohol and relied on our food to live off. This is extremely unacceptable of course, and we seek to eliminate these abuses.
A vehicle was donated to us but is in need of major work to be done on it. But owing to lack of funds it has not been repaired and is therefore not at a roadworthy standard. Yet we need to keep the insurance up to date as we still need to run the vehicle (bakkie) when making deliveries and distributions.
The great challenges on getting the homeless and unemployed back into society are many and various. Many are on the streets because of addiction or problems they have caused at home. They need to stay awake at night to stay alive and then sleep during the day. Hence when they get a job, it is extremely difficult to work all day and go back to the streets at night and then be unable to sleep. This cycle has to be broken. Others we work with start cleaning up their lives, stop drinking and find a job. They manage to keep it for the first month and as soon as they have their first pay cheque they drink again. They stay sober or clean only while there is no money.
The vulnerable children bring with them many of their own unique challenges. Not only have they lost parents but many are also now having to fight AIDS / HIV alone. Owing to the absence of parental or caregiver involvement, many lack any form of discipline or control and can hence be “wild”. They do not go to school as no one ensures that they do. They have no, or little income even where a caregiver is present, so hunger is a major challenge for them. We approach these children on the basis of trying to build relationships with them and we find, as you spend some time playing with them they warm up to you. Then they do not leave you alone for they are starved for love and appreciation from another human being who does not judge them but accepts them as