There is no doubt that Corporate Social Investment (CSI) has become an intrinsic part of today’s business environment. A well planned, thorough, and effective CSI programme can not only result in tremendous lasting impact for communities around South Africa but is also a key component and critical differentiator for any company.
While corporate South Africa spends billions on CSI programmes every year, many companies might not have the capacity to manage their CSI spend in-house and might also be unaware of the options to collaborate with reputable CSI Agencies. This resource can assist businesses and funders to meet their CSI objectives through organizations that have a proven track record of compliance, good governance, audited financials and transparency, while ensuring the provision of professional CSI services in an unburdening manner, at no cost to the business and the NPOs.
One such agency is MAMAS Alliance, a CSI agency that prioritises the empowerment and upliftment of vulnerable youth and children across South Africa. With a network of 2 200 Mamas across 36 independent autonomous NGOs operating from 75 predominantly rural sites, over 60 000 vulnerable children are cared for.
What makes MAMAS Alliance different is that by partnering with them, the whole CSI process is managed from start to finish with MAMAS Alliance providing over 400 opportunities for social investment. This service is provided at no additional cost, with a guarantee to all companies that 100% of the funds invested in a CSI project go directly to the intended NGO, and subsequently the intended beneficiary.
The NGOs supported by MAMAS Alliance provide Early Childhood Development services, basic numeracy and literacy classes to undocumented children, skills development programmes for youths and food gardens for sustainable food supply. These NGOs operate in the rural, and township areas with high levels of poverty, unemployment and low educational outcomes. The 2 000 Mamas and Papas that run the NGOs and provide the services to children and their families open their hearts to over 60 000 beneficiaries a month. The food gardening project has had a huge uptake in 2020 and 2021, and providing families with a means of putting food on the table.
MAMAS Alliance works with communities and children from conception to youth. The organization understands the importance of following the child until they grow and become self-sufficient. As much as ECD services are important, the youth must not be forgotten and must be provided with opportunities to gain skills and be employable.
At the heart of the organisation, is the love of children and ensuring that they live fulfilled lives, supporting the holistic development of children through early childhood care, nutrition, education and play.
When it comes to challenges within this sector, the pool of funds is limited, with many organisations competing for the same resources from the same companies. MAMAS Alliance supports grassroots NGOs that operate in the poorest provinces and rural areas, areas that are at times side-lined and do not receive much support.
MAMAS Alliance assists and encourages a strong and fruitful partnership between the funder and the NGO, identifying effective, reputable, well-run NGOs within their network to fulfil corporate CSI strategies. By thoroughly monitoring these investments, MAMAS Alliance is able to provide funders with regular reporting and facilitation of site visits where needed.
Millions of South Africans survive below the food poverty line. They have nothing and their children suffer the consequences. Government cannot do development work on its own – collaboration and working with partners are required for projects to be implemented at scale. NGOs do a lot for the community, and no matter how small they are, the change they bring to individuals and the community is amazing.
MAMAS Alliance welcomes corporate South Africa to engage with them, to work with them to better the lives of children and youth while providing a service to take care of all CSI logistics. This truly is a winning partnership, with the ultimate winner being a South African child in need, helping families to overcome poverty and to give South Africa’s children and youth a fighting chance.