The concept behind Matt’s Foundation began when I got involved in my sister and brother in law’s nonprofit organisation, Give Me a Chance.
The Give Me a Chance Children’s Foundation was created as a scholarship fund which would adopt promising students from the Kylemore (near Stellenbosch) community providing financial and moral support to help them achieve their goals of becoming successful in their own right. Initially I wanted to introduce the same concept in the Vaal but I very soon realised, after I encountered the enormous basic need of the children in our community, that I needed to focus resources and time on fulfilling a much more critical, fundamental need in these children’s lives.
Many children attend school on a daily basis on an empty stomach; these children are not able to focus and cannot absorb what their teacher is saying, so the chance of any of these children becoming promising students is much more challenging. Matt’s Foundation has been named after my son. As a mother involved in fundraising one can easily feel guilty providing for your own children when there are so many underprivileged children in the community. Within our community there are a lot of selfless individuals opening their homes and hearts to foster children, treating them as their own, offering them a safe place with love and support, where they can be happy.
They come from pain, poverty, and no hope for their future, to a place of laughter, acceptance, love, and personal growth. Most of these families receive a very small grant per child and are very dependent on the community or fundraisers to supplement their monthly expenses. During the past 5 years our company has been involved in various fundraising activities and in most of these instances we donated money raised to women and children’s charities. However, after learning that these funds were sometimes used for paying administration services etc. it was then decided not to donate money but rather pay for goods and services directly.
I would prefer the money being applied to the very specific needs of the children. Matt’s Foundation is built on the concept of creating a network of giving circles – this is very similar to the stokvel concept, whereby individuals or companies pool their funds or resources to increase the impact of giving. Each director and member is responsible for creating their own giving circle as part of their responsibility.
Your kindness can make a difference to a child’s daily life; please get involved.
“And we can change the world. We can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a harried world. We can throw our pebble into the pond and be confident that its ever-widening circle will reach around the world.” ~Dorothy Day
– Melanie van Schalkwyk