Trusts and funds: an overview of GAGA UK

Goodwill and Growth for Africa (GAGA) would be delighted to be invited to tell our story for trusts, foundations and organisations who are passionate about improving the lives of the most vulnerable children and their communities, who share our charitable aims, philosophy and objectives of working together with children, communities, supporters and partners to bring real change.  We believe that every child has the right to a positive future so we direct our resources to work with trusted organisations delivering education and healthcare to orphaned and vulnerable children and their caregivers.  Our primary area of focus is in the province of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa, where over the years we have helped over 500 children to attend primary school, over 100,000 people a year to receive primary healthcare and 16 students achieve a degree or diploma.  GAGA originated in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa when UK students who volunteered at an orphanage in the Valley of 1000 Hills returned to the UK and established a charity in 2002.  Since then we appointed a local project coordinator and have built a strong network of communities, individuals and organisations.  Rooting our initiatives into local communities provides us with the advice and local perspective that enhances our decision-making and our impact. Recently we saw the need to support vulnerable children in Moshi, Tanzania and pre and postpartum expectant mothers in Bo, Sierra Leone, working with local partners which have direct links to the most deprived, share our charitable objects, as well as strong monitoring and accountability processes. It gives us the assurance that our funding will deliver tangible benefits for the beneficiaries and the initiatives will be well managed on their side.  

Examples of Projects Funded by Foundations and Trusts

GAGA UK have been delighted to secure funding from trusts and foundations for specific projects over the years of our operation.  Funding of this nature means that the projects can reach much wider communities, deepen our support and establish the necessary infrastructure more quickly.

Examples of how the funding was used includes the provision of a Safe Park in South Africa which offers children from the community a safe place to play and develop. The local partner in this initiative, 1000 Hills Community Helpers, told us:

children waiting for sports day at 1000 HCH

 "the safe park is now in full use by the community children and our school children.  We have weekly sports days and physical activities. Fitness is also done on the field now as part of our school day.  During play time the children are having a blast"

The Safe Park is also used by the adults in the community, as part of the physical therapy for people with TB and HIV.  The provision of the Safe Park through a successful funding application meant that monies were not diverted from the primary healthcare clinic or the preschool developmental activities but that core activities benefited from the safe and engaging outdoor space.

A key pillar of our philosophy is to encourage sustainability and economic empowerment within the partner organisations we work with.  We believe that this can be achieved in the smallest of organisations. For example, GAGA received funding a trust to set up a vegetable garden at the low primary school, First Step Right in South Africa. The funds were used to enclose an area of the playground with good quality fencing and create raised beds to grow crops for the school kitchen. The raised beds improved the quality of the vegetables as they offered better drainage, more air circulation and better ways for mulching.  They also made it easier for the children to manage planting and maintenance.  This project has been providing the some excellent learning opportunities for the children as well as the economic benefit of reducing the weekly food bill for their families.

If you believe that your trust or foundation could help us to make a long lasting, sustainable difference by contributing funding to one of our partner projects, please get in touch using our declaration-of-interest form.