Phola Receives Prestigious Award

On 8 March 2021 Phola was among organizations honoured in a glamorous function organized by Gender-Links. The event was for organizations partnering with Gender-Links in its outreach programmes. 

2021 WVL Awards

In her keynote address a senior gender expert spoke about the Mexico Generation Equality Forum. The 2021 Generation Equality Forum was a major global inflection point for gender equality. The Forum took place at a critical moment. COVID-19 has exacerbated existing gender inequities, with reports of rising violence against women.

At the awards ceremony Phola was the overall winner in The Youth Empowerment Category with the following citation: ‘In Recognition of Your Outstanding Contribution in Promotion of Gender Equality.’

Women’s Voice Leadership – Phola Youth Empowerment Award

The event was not only for Johannesburg based organizations, but it included the entire country from Durban and Cape Town. Those who could not attend, joined virtually. 

The participating organizations are registered with the Department of Social Development and mandated to provide specific services to needy communities in South Africa. Phola in collaboration with Gender-Links promotes the empowerment of women advocating and fighting the scourge of gender-based violence. The partnership is on issues of similar synergies namely gender issues, children’s rights, Gender-Based Violence and women rights and psychosocial support services. Phola works in the following communities; Diepsloot, Zandspruit, Cosmo City and surrounding areas.

The financial injection from Gender-Links helps Phola to facilitate COURRAGE sessions for women in different communities within and outside Johannesburg. Ncazelo Mlilo, a renowned psychologist developed The COURRAGE Methodology. She is a trainer with a global footprint. She is also the Founder and Director of Phola a psychosocial organisation based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

COURRAGE is a collective narrative therapy methodology developed to privilege the second or alternative stories of people have faced hardships and trauma. It seeks to honour the strengths and skills people show and use in the face of pain, discrimination, and abuse.

It is a psychosocial support programme aimed at providing a culturally sensitive space for individuals to feel comfortable expressing their entire identity in an atmosphere of acceptance.

Sikhonzile Malinga (Psychologist at Phola) holding the Award

Sikhonzile Malinga received the award on behalf of Phola.

PHOLA ATTENDS DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT (DSD) CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP

The Department of Social Development recently facilitated two workshops for senior management and Board Members of Non-Profit Organisations funded by the Gauteng Department of Social Development. The workshops were on NGO Capacity Building and Leadership Development and Fundraising Skills Training, respectively. Phola appreciated the opportunity to participate in the two workshops.

DSD workshop on Governance and Fundraising Efforts

We learnt a great deal on Organisational Governance, and that it is an inherent part of any organisation. Governance is a process by which organisations are held to account. Governance involves authority, accountability, leadership, direction and control in an organisation. It keeps organizations and communities functioning effectively.

There are two components of governance i.e. Performance and Compliance. Performance is a series of events that starts with planning, goes through a series of reporting, and culminates in feedback. Whilst Compliance refers to fulfilling requirements of legislation, contracts, taxation, insurance, and pension.

The modules investigated the critical role of management, organizational leadership, mentoring and coaching.

Implementing Good Corporate Governance

Corporate governance is the term used to describe the balance among participants in the corporate structure who have an interest in the way in which the corporation is running, such as executive staff, shareholders, and members of the community. Corporate governance directly impacts the profits and reputation of the company and having poor policies can expose the company to lawsuits, fines, reputational damage, and loss of capital investment.

Presentation on approaches to governance

We also investigated the Labor Act Provisions.

The Act reinforces the following rights entrenched in the Constitution:

  • The right to fair labor practices
  • The right to form and join trade unions and employer organizations
  • The right to organize and bargain collectively
  • The right to strike and (recourse to) lockout

The training on Fundraising Skills Training investigated The Present Patterns of CSO Resources;

  • An organisation (small) dependent and vulnerable to time limited project funding, which brings to zero after project grant is exhausted.
  • An organisation with over seventy percent of its funds from one source and thirty percent from a short-term restricted and fixed contract.
  • An organisation whose dependence on foreign funding increase over time, and the proportion of whose other funding, while it remains steady in absolute terms, decreases relative to foreign funding. It may decrease in absolute terms.

Important Links to increase fundraising efforts

– Crowd Funding

– GoFundMe

– Mighty Cause

– FundRazr

– Indiegogo

– First Giving – Fundly

CHARITY IS THE CORNERSTONE OF HUMANITY

Is charity on the same pedestal as love? I believe charity is on a much higher plane than love. Love is a labyrinth of emotions and feelings hence its susceptible to pride, prejudice, expectations. Love is usually informed by relationships, friendships, and family bonds. But charity is giving a helping hand to someone not necessarily related to or known. It could be stranger from a different community or people living in another country.

Phola Community Facilitators reaching out.

When disaster strikes in any corner of the world, it is part of human nature to empathize and at times mobilize resources or even avail our skills and knowledge and lend a helping hand to those in distress. The urge is there to ameliorate or mitigate pain, loss, and suffering of fellow human beings.

Among the common disasters afflicting mankind are civil wars, floods, earthquakes, drought, and diseases like Ebola, malaria, and the current deadly pandemic coronavirus. Following the outbreak of covid-19 virus individuals from poor communities came out in the streets begging for food from passersby mostly in busy intersections, and outside shopping malls.

Phola was among the frontline organizations which provided psycho-social support and food parcels to the victims of gender-based violence during lockdown. The beneficiaries were women and children from Diepsloot, Cosmo city, Zandspruit and Alexander township.

Phola’s act of kindness might have been a drop in an ocean, but the ocean will be a drop less without it. The emaciated bodies of half-dressed children told a thousand stories of hunger and deprivation. Some related sad stories of how they had survived by scavenging in the dust bins.

Phola helping SA’s youth

The highest act of giving is charity. It is unequivocal, unparalleled, and selfless sacrifice borne from UBUNTU. This is the highest stage of love and knows no boundaries and is blind. It knows no religion, political affiliation, prejudices, color, or creed.

Phola’s psycho-social work services are offered gratis. The work is made possible through goodwill, partnerships and collaboration with organizations sharing similar synergies.

Phola’s mission and philosophy are firmly anchored on the values of UBUNTU, encapsulated in the motto, ‘I will be my brother’s keeper.’ Isn’t this the cornerstone of humanity, caring beyond measure and loving without limits?