What do you do when temperatures reach single digits and its pouring rain outside? You cling to your hot water bottle or snuggle under a bunch of blankets – sometimes you don’t even know how many. When you absolutely have to go outside, you wear a thick coat or a waterproof jacket and a scarf.
What would you do if you had none of these?
Hundreds of orphans and underprivileged homeless youth in South Africa don’t. That is why the Ntshulisa Foundation (TNF) has launched the Project Polar BEAR – Bringing Empathy and Relief. The project will ensure a coordinated distribution of blankets, food and clothing among orphanages and non-profit organisations this winter.
Each polar BEAR package contains a book which encourages reading and bonding, a security blanket which can be cuddled, a scarf, mittens and beanie which can protect them from the bitter cold and a stuffed animal which can become a cherished friend. The main objective of TNF’s project is to supply 1000 children with these packages, and for that they need our help.
Ntshulisa acts as mediator
TNF aims to empower, change and develop societies by addressing the youth’s social and educational challenges. One of their aims is to create a sense of responsibility under young people and to promote the spirit of Ubuntu.
In 2002 Karissa Samuel, chief executive officer of TNF, began organising an annual Christmas party for various orphanages around the country. These events have steadily grown over the years to include several orphanages in Gauteng and the Western Cape. The parties began with 30 toddlers from the Ethembeni Salvation Army Orphanage and have grown to around 400 children from 2-12yrs old.
TNF has partnered up with various non-profit or public benefit organisations such as Holy Cross Orphanage and Pilane Home to help them identify their needs and communicate it to sponsors and businesses. In South Africa it is mandatory that companies contribute 1% of their Total Net Profit to Community Support Initiatives.
TNF acts as the middle man between what the youth need and what sponsors are willing to provide. These range from time to visit and host children, specialist skills (e.g. accounting) to providing money or materials. They have helped orphanages and charities with several clothing, book, food and blanket drives.
TNF also organises the Experiential Growth Programme. It includes tailor-made cultural, educational and art-orientated and fitness or sporting workshops that benefit children from ages 2-18. The workshops instil a sense of usefulness, belonging and competence among these vulnerable kids.
Ntshulisha is appealing to corporates, individuals, government and NGOs to support the Project Polar BEAR by:
- Pledging to sponsor specific items needed
- Donating second hand items to the drive
- Contributing funds to the drive
- Supplying volunteers to assist with the distribution of the items