Last Updated: April 2017
Contact Rico Classen
- 044 752 1076
- 074 934 5412
BUIG is a non-profit organisation, that invests in the holistic development of individuals in farm and rural areas in order to stimulate the progress in which these communities can grow and work together, eradicating poverty, and to empower themselves to attain an improved and sustainable quality of life.
Buig is a very small but effective NGO and their success lies with the fact that they are very focused and committed to the rules and the regulations of their donors. Initially it was difficult to understand and implement the regulations as they tend to think of themselves as a charity in stead of a facilitator of our funders.
Below is a brief breakdown of their activities.
Only patients identified by the department of health who are suffering from HIV TB or STD, registered at the health clinics (Mobile Clinics) and are currently on medication and ARV’s qualify for food parcels from BUIG. We are not a soup Kitchen or charity food distributor. If the patient/recipient under any circumstances neglects to take the medication, he/she is removed from the list of recipients. The mobile clinics also looks at the patient in a more holistic way for example if there are any children involved, is the recipient a breadwinner of a family the seriousness and progress of the of the disease. BUIG or any members of the NGO cannot recommend a recipient based on social problems unless private funding and not the donor buy the food. This project is completely uncomplicated as we have direct and precise guidelines to follow. All our recipients are from the Kamanassie, Noll, Haarlem and Warmbad rural area as per our successful proposal.
We decided on the greater rural areas as we have found that the geographical location affects the support systems which is quite common in the Uniondale community regarding access to food, other NGO’s, community support and churches.
Only 30 food parcels per month is available and it consists mostly of produce as identified by the Dept of Health dieticians. We have food that will take the least amount of energy to prepare We do have field health workers who will request items not on the list if there are infants involved to which we respond immediately.
The facilitator for the project is Irene Woudberg and without her dedication we would not have been able to run the project on a sustainable level. She was relentless in her pursuit to attain a successful and sustainable micro business for the women identified by herself for this leg of BUIG. She started this project without the affiliation with BUIG or any funding from Institutions or Corporations. We approached her a few years ago when BUIG was allocated funding from the Global Fund. She was willing to collaborate with us and managed the project by herself. She invested financially, she invested her time, put in lots of effort and today she has a separate bank account for the profits generated as well as remuneration for the dedicated women currently partaking in this beautiful selfless project. It is not just about Income Generation or skills development but Irene has taken on the role of spiritual mother.
As Jennifer James said, and I quote: The accumulation of small, optimistic acts produces quality in our culture and in your life. Our culture resonates in tense times to individual acts of grace.
She has been graceful in her optimism, tender in her approach and her kindness infected not just her Laslap ladies but also myself and many others. This is not an appraisal but an honest recognition from one human to another.
The guidelines for Income Generation is not as clear cut as the Food Security and after numerous phone calls, emails and meetings we are now moving in a more secure and direct direction towards the main purpose of funding i.e sustainable income for the parties involved.
As previously mentioned it took two years for the project to start generating income as no funding are allocated to marketing. Irene is solely responsible with the success as she marketed the products herself. Once again you will notice that all the projects are region specific, outer rural area of Uniondale. With this project we were fully aware of the geographical location not just of the area but also the vast distances the women had to travel in order to get to the venue. Irene to the rescue once again. She is the one who sees that all the females are contacted and transported to the various venues.
The women do not just do the skills development but are also attending educational workshops, spiritual guidance and discussions, TB, HIV and STD facilitated by the Dept of Health’s field workers. This unfortunately is the last year that the Income Generation will be funded by the Global Fund and we attended NACOSA’s workshops on Social Enterprise, Sustainability and Marketing and advertising to the absolute benefit of the project as we were trained to look at our NGO not as a charity but as a business with the relevant business principals.
We have faced many challenges regarding this specific project.
As you all know that the moment you start working with children the most obvious social dilemmas are exaggerated by the fact that you tend to get emotionally involved and it is difficult to fight your humanitarian impulse and stay completely focused and objective. Here there is no guarantees for results. All their achievements are bonuses as the OVC’s life and situation can change in an instant. We have no control over their lives but we are in a position to offer guidance and assistance regarding their education, self esteem, morale and general well being, which is every child's basic human right. We also play the role of policing the parents especially where grants are involved as the requirements as recipient of the grant is that the child should attend a registered educational institution. We have stopped grants where parents neglected to report their children out of school. It is our moral obligation to report these matters as it is ultimately the child that suffers. We have two matrics who wrote their end of year exams and who were with us from grade 7. Next year we have three in matric but decided to put more focus on Jonathan Vaaltyn as he is the only orphan in the group. Our funding for OVC’s will also stop but we have private donors and additional funding to take care of our OVC’s
We have been working with the Dept of Social Development and are in regular contact with the social worker of the area as well as the school psychologist to assist us where necessary.
We are continuously grateful for the support and effort from everyone involved to make this tiny but effective humanitarian NGO successful in changing lives one person at a time.