Oct 13

Full Circle: Managing Director’s Review And Preview

In our previous report, I made mention of the importance of thinking big and starting small and hope that many of you have been spurred to action since then. In this edition, I share updates and encouragement in our core areas
of service, education, community engagement and wildlife. As the Spirit Foundation we recognise and acknowledge that our work, together with our partners, remains unfinished, but are determined to make a lasting impact on the lives of those most in need.

These profound words have been at the heart of our mission since our organisation’s inception. Education is the cornerstone of empowerment, and through our dedicated efforts, we have witnessed countless lives transformed. From the eager faces of children in classrooms to the determined parents and guardians embarking on new educational journeys, our commitment to education has created ripples of change throughout our community. Our Spirit Education Foundation (SEF) team has worked tirelessly to provide access to quality learning opportunities. We have striven to bridge the gap between privilege and disadvantage, ensuring that every child, regardless of their
background, has the chance to dream, learn and grow. This year, we expanded our scholarship programme, growing from 122 scholars to 140 in 2023, working with 18 feeder primary schools and 12 high schools, thus enabling more underprivileged students to pursue improved education and fulfil their potential to access higher education or employment. We are living Mandela’s vision, where knowledge becomes the key to unlocking doors previously closed.

Community engagement is the heartbeat of our organisation, and our dedicated partners and passionate supporters exemplify this truth every day. Together, we have achieved remarkable feats in our local community. For example, our programmes with The League of Friends of the Blind (LOFOB) served 49 blind children in a home-based support programme and another 40 children in other mainstream settings. Our employment readiness programme with Bonnievale 418 has resulted in 31 participants finding full-time employment, and our work with Big Issue ensured on average 11 children per month received additional tutoring and educational support. Through these collaborative efforts with local community based organisations, we have fostered a sense of unity and purpose. Our community has become a close-knit family, working hand-in-hand to address the challenges we face. Together, we have seen economic, social, and environmental barriers removed, employment opportunities rise, and the spirit of cooperation thrive. This year, we are doubling down on our commitment to community engagement and launching new projects within the sporting domain that will empower our young people to take charge of their own destinies.

Lastly, let us not forget our commitment to wildlife conservation. Our natural world is a fragile tapestry of life and it is our duty to protect it. Our conservation efforts have not only preserved the rich biodiversity of South Africa, but have also provided opportunities for understanding best practices and models of conservation which further benefit our community. Care for Wild, the world’s largest orphaned rhino sanctuary, remains our trusted partner caring for the Spirit Fab Four: Spirit, Grey, Jemu and Lilli amongst others. Their work is unmatched locally and globally and we look forward to sharing some exciting news and developments in our next issue. In the face of unprecedented challenges, our dedication to wildlife conservation has remained unwavering. We have expanded our partnerships to include WildLifeVets, addressing the capture and relocation of wild dogs and cats as well as other endangered animals. In all our efforts and partnerships, we have seen the value of educational programmes that raise awareness and engage with global partners in combating poaching and the encroachment of humans into wildlife spaces. Our work reminds us that the future of our planet is inextricably linked to the well-being of our local ecosystems.

In conclusion, I am reminded of the immense power of unity, education, community, and conservation. Together, we have turned dreams into reality and our story continues to unfold.

As we look to the future, I want to remind you of the profound impact we can make when we unite around a common purpose.