This monthly feature is my response to the President’s invitation: “Thuma Mina – Send Me”. It is a toolkit of ideas to help the public respond to that call.
We have a dear friend and colleague by the name of Cindy McNally. Cindy lives in Durban. She is a wife, a busy mom to two little girls and a Chartered Accountant. She loves South Africa, social media and wine – not necessarily in that order.
Two years ago, Cindy decided to marry her passion for these three things with her desire to make a difference. One night whilst drinking a glass of wine and playing around on social media, she began to do some research. Were there groups on social media that connected the tens-of-thousands of NGO’s in our country, enabling them to collaborate? She discovered to her amazement that there wasn’t; that NGO’s in our country are largely very lonely, lone rangers.
SA NPO Network
So, without further ado, she started a Facebook group called SA NPO Network and quickly NGO’s all over the country began to connect. She moderated these discussions in her spare time, whilst having a glass of wine.
In two years – with no funding or PR or office – SA NPO Network has over 3000 followers. The group swops ideas, contacts, donations and products. It puts NGO’s in contact with donors and vice versa. Just recently a company in Johannesburg wishing to donate hundreds of boxes of ready meals was connected with a creche in rural Kwa-Zulu Natal via the group. A thousand catheters found needy patients, an unused jungle gym in Cape Town is now being played on by some very happy under privileged children – all via SA NPO Network.
Thuma Mina – Send Me: A Toolkit. Cindy McNally is a living example of this. Her secret? She is doing something that is in her “sweet spot”, because it involves stuff she already does and loves.
What do you love? It may be as simple as walking so you can greet people as you pass them by thereby creating bridges and connections across age, race and gender. You may love sport…you may love cooking. What can you do with these talents to lend a hand? That is the heartbeat of this call; no grand gestures necessary. Just us using what we have. This is your toolkit!
Thuma Mina Workshops
We will be running a series of workshops to help people get clarity on what they can do. For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime take a look at SA NPO Network on Facebook.