How You Can Give Back This Festive Season

By Koketso Mamabolo

Christmas and the New Year are around the corner and while for many it has been a year of recovery, there are many who will need a helping hand. Throughout the year, there are opportunities to offer up your time to help those in need, and if you have not done so already, the festive season is a perfect time for you to start making a difference. Here are some organisations you can donate your time or money to and bring some cheer to others.

National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI)

The South African festive season falls right at the beginning of summer which will see tens of thousands of people flocking to the country’s beautiful beaches, as well as rivers and dams. A key feature of safety programmes during the festive season are drowning prevention programmes, with the NSRI leading the way with its three core programmes. One of those programmes is the award-winning Pink Rescue Buoy initiative, which began In 2017.

“Placed strategically on signs at selected inland rivers, dams and at beaches, these bright pink buoys act as a reminder to take care if there are no lifeguards on duty, and that in the event of someone getting into difficulty in the water, they can be used as emergency flotation until help arrives. Their bright pink colour allows them to be easily seen,” says the NSRI.

In 2018 the initiative was recognised with the International Maritime Rescue Federation’s award for innovation and technology. Last month, the rescue of a young man by beachgoers in Port Edward highlighted the effectiveness of the Pink Buoys. You can sponsor one for R1 500 on the NSRI’s online store, or become a custodian. For more information, visit

Khulisa Social Solutions

With a national footprint – including over 180 staff members, working in ~150 communities – Khulisa Social Solutions is a non-profit organisation focused on vulnerable young people and communities at large. In the beginning, they were geared towards helping young offenders by establishing the country’s first official rehabilitation programme specific to the youth.

They have since broadened their focus incorporating “peace-making and restorative approaches, to holistic community development, tackling a wide range of issues countering social and economic inclusion”.  Khulisa Social Solutions does not view social issues in isolation, instead, they take a unique approach to community development which seeks to align policy, service delivery and support systems. For more information on Khulisa Social Solutions, and information on how you can play your part, visit

The Haven Night Shelter

Cape Town is a popular tourist destination, not only for international travellers but for locals as well. If you find yourself in Cape Town this festive season, offering your time at the Haven Night Shelter is a great way to give back. The shelter’s history goes back to the late 70s. “Our method is to make temporary shelter, rehabilitation opportunities, social welfare services, family reunification services, physical care and support available to adult people living on the streets who are committed to reintegration,” says the shelter.

With 15 shelters across the city, their reach allows them to help as many people as are willing to be helped. Social workers assist in helping the people who come to the shelter with forming a personal development plan. For more information on how you can get involved, visit

TLC Children’s Home

For almost three decades, TLC Children’s Home has been providing “attachment-based, trauma-informed” care to children and babies. The home runs on a family-orientated approach, rescuing abandoned children. “Since 1993, we have helped over 900 abandoned babies find forever homes. Building on our legacy, we recently moved to a new property that is better suited to the excellent services we provide our babies,” says TLC Children’s Home.

A team of 40 cares for the children full-time, and the annual cost of running the facility is R9-million. Over the years, almost a thousand babies have been cared for at the home. They have a close relationship with social workers at the Department of Social Development, who bring children from different backgrounds to TLC. “We also help to support about 30 other TLC children who, over the years, have been placed into the care of the TLC founding family. As they reach adulthood we work hard to support and encourage their independence as they gradually phase out of their dependency on the organisation,” says TLC.

For more information on how you can volunteer your time or make a donation, visit

Sources: HPSA| Khulisa Social Solutions | Haven Night Shelter |TLC | Daily Maverick | NSRI

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