Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are institutions dedicated to meeting the basic needs of specific vulnerable groups such as children. The Declaration of the Rights of the Child was approved on November 20, 1959. It is an international document that promotes child rights such as: the right to receive an education, the right to live in decent housing, and the right to a family. However, these rights are not always fulfilled. The objective of institutions like Meraki Bay is to meet these needs. However, we can’t do it by ourselves. Collaborating with an NGO is very simple, just read closely and find out what you can do to help.
How can you collaborate with an NGO?
In order to collaborate with an NGO, always keep in mind that where there’s a will, there’s a way: you can do your bit to help any which way depending on your personal circumstances. Any and all help is welcomed! The three most common ways to collaborate are:
- Becoming a member: NGOs need financial support in order to develop their presence. Members’ donations are earmarked to cover the costs. In Meraki Bay, we pay for the salaries of Houties, supervisors, workshop materials and the specific projects we have going on, among other things. It is not necessary for you to make an enormous donation in order to become a member; every penny we receive means the world to us!
- Volunteering: more and more people are now deciding to enjoy atypical holidays by working as volunteers. Meraki Bay has been able to exist thanks to not just our members and GROWPROEXPERIENCE’s help, but also to almost a hundred volunteers that came here in the summer of 2018. We exist thanks to the work of all the people who decided to join us in this adventure; they were the birth of our organization. If you’d like to, you are welcome to come and help us.
- Participating in our campaigns: our personal as well as our economic circumstances can often limit our possibility to help an NGO. Donating money is not always required in order to collaborate with us. Talking about us to your friends and family or participating in one of our campaigns is enough. We share our daily work and initiatives on social media, so join in whenever you can!
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What do we use the NGO donations for?
What do we invest our funds in? As an NGO, Meraki Bay is engaged with all the community of Hangberg, a slum located in Cape Town in which about 20,000 people live and where violence, drugs and alcohol are the main problems.
Our main project is Houties, a youth group through which we want to motivate the children of the community to fight for their future, while drawing them away from the streets so as to prevent them from becoming drug addicts, alcoholics or school dropouts. Part of the donations that we receive are used to pay the salaries of our six Houties supervisors, but apart from this we also have to cover the expenses of our day-to-day and special Friday activities. What makes these last ones so special? At the end of the week, we take the children out of the community on a special outing for the day. We have already visited the bird sanctuary, but we have plenty of other things we would like to do. Our funds are to pay for all of the children’s tickets, food and transport.
It is also important to keep in mind that Meraki Bay is not only focused on the children, but on all of Hangberg’s citizens. We also want to stimulate the local economy through development projects and that is exactly what we have done with Moe’s vegetable garden. It is the first project we have completed and we have created a few jobs because of it. The next project that we have underway is Monique’s Café, and that is where we are focusing our efforts at the moment.
And so, why collaborate with an NGO? ‘Meraki’ comes from Greek, and it means “doing something with love and creativity, pouring your soul into it”. Alone, we are nothing. We need you. Donate.