Our Initiatives

OUR INITIATIVES

BURSARY PROGRAM FOR INDIGENT LEARNERS

SOUTHERN CROSS SCHOOLS, HOEDSPRUIT

Between 2013 and 2018, by way of grants totalling R975 000, the Trust supported the Reach-A-Cross Community Partnership Programme initiated by Ant de Boer, the then Headmaster of Southern Cross Schools. Reach-A-Cross offered two main programmes, one focused on being a support for educators in under resourced and previously disadvantaged communities, the other supporting promising learners from four partner schools by way of holiday schools focusing on mathematics and science. The programme was bolstered in May 2016 when Australian Volunteers International (AVI) assigned Ms Belinda Delaney and made her services available to Reach-A-Cross. 

 In 2018 and 2019 the Trust changed direction and elected to join the bursary programme, supporting three learners selected by the Headmaster and staff of Southern Cross Schools for their dire financial needs and their potential to succeed. In October 2019 Kgathy Mathile, one of our bursars, participated in a Rotary Exchange program where he was asked to make a speech on the two South Africans who impressed him the most. After delivering his speech “Why I admire Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk” he received the Best Speaker Award. Leonie Wiltshire was consistently in the top 5 of her 2019 class. At the end of 2019 Faith Khosa matriculated in the Independent Examination Board examinations and was accepted at Rhodes University where she is now studying Psychology.

In 2020 we continued to support Kgathy and Leonie who are now in Grade 12, their final year. The Trustees receive regular term reports and our bursars are doing well in their studies albeit under challenging remote teaching lockdown rules for most of this year.

Message from the Headmaster, Mickey Viegas

“Southern Cross Schools in partnership with The Balule Outreach Trust makes a tangible difference to young people in Limpopo, South Africa. The opportunity for an education of quality cannot be underestimated, in particular for those who would not ordinarily have the means to access such. The extraordinary generosity Southern Cross Schools beneficiaries receive from The Balule Outreach Trust, coupled with the personal hands-on involvement John Anderson extends to each of the sponsored learners, makes for a meaningful relationship that ensures a successful outcome for all parties. It is not often that one is in the significant position of having a direct influence on the lives of our future leaders, and this incredible partnership has certainly had a profound impact on all those involved!  Southern Cross Schools and their very fortunate learners, thank The Balule Outreach Trust for affording them the opportunity of a lifetime.

SIGAGULE VILLAGE AFTER SCHOOL CHILD CARE CENTRE, OUTSIDE HOEDSPRUIT

Our support of the after school Care Centre at Sigagule Village outside Hoedspruit is ongoing. The Centre, which caters for orphans and AIDS related children, is run by Shirley-Anne and Frank Beretta through an NGO, South African Medical Expeditions (SAME).

Our journey with SAME started in 2015- a journey which, in the words of Shirley-Anne Beretta, “has enabled them to achieve dreams and touch lives in a very special way.” Initially we provided funds to build and furnish a classroom. In 2018 part of our annual grant was used to equip their newly built clinic to comply with National Health Standards. The balance was utilised towards their Child Development programme and aftercare education. In 2019 a large proportion of our funding was utilised to construct an ablution facility with Enviro Loos’ – creating a much needed hygienic environment at the Sigagule Centre. The remaining funds were applied to equip a classroom to create a chalk free environment.  Our relationship with SAME has flourished and our donation in February 2020 will be used to construct a 3rd classroom and purchase sorely needed sports equipment to foster physical education in the young learners.

Unfortunately due to Covid-19 and the lockdown the building of the classroom has been put on hold and at the beginning of May 2020 the trustees embarked on an appeal for funding specifically for COVID-19 relief in the local communities. 

It is a vibrant facility where children have access to:

  • A healthy lunch after school each day
  • The services of volunteer teachers who give specialised Maths and English tuition to small groups of 3 or 4 learners throughout the afternoon.
  • The services of a volunteer doctor who runs the well-equipped clinic

COVID-19 INITIATIVE

SOUTH AFRICAN MEDICAL EXPEDITIONSOnce again we chose SAME for the distribution, from the Child Care Centre, of food parcels, three ply washable cotton masks, and sanitisers. Currently 160 food parcels are being made up and distributed monthly. The distribution is carefully managed ensuring that these nutritious parcels reach the targeted families, currently providing food for more than 500 people every month. The critical loss of jobs in rural communities is expected to continue long after lockdown is over and we are budgeting for this process to continue for at least until the end of the year.

Message from Shirley-Anne Berretta

“The partnership between The Balule Outreach Trust and South African Medical Expeditions has had a lasting impact on the lives of the children and families within the rural communities we serve.   Our first project together was the construction of a single playroom where orphans and vulnerable children could develop their find motor skills through the art of play.  This has since led to annual building projects at the Sigagule Children’s Centre where each child is given the opportunity to access daily meals, afternoon education, sports facilities and medical support. 

Our relationship continues to grow at a time of immense need in our country.  Since lockdown was initiated, The Balule Trust has provided consistent and essential support in the form of hygiene and food security to over 250 households on a monthly basis.”

NOURISHThe Trust has also teamed up with a local NGO, Nourish, and advanced them funds to make and distribute 3 ply cotton masks. Nourish engages local seamstresses and trains other women to make the masks, thereby creating employment at this very difficult time. 

Sarah Bergs, the CEO of Nourish recently wrote:

“Thanks to the donation of the Balule Outreach Trust – Nourish was able to distribute 2 000 masks to vulnerable families in need throughout the greater Acornhoek community and surrounding impoverished villages. Children, grannies and families are now able to minimize their risk of catching or transmitting Covid-19 and stay just a little safer and more resilient! Nourish was also able to support 4 women through our sewing initiative, bringing income in and supporting livelihoods at a grassroots level.” 

A further 553 cotton masks were delivered by a team in Tzaneen to SAME bringing the total of masks distributed in our target communities to 2 553.  

APOSTOLIC FAITH MISSION – In June the Trustees resolved to support the outreach work of the Apostolic Faith Mission, a small community church in Phalaborwa. Pastor Sampie Cronje and his congregants have for some time sponsored destitute communities of Namakgale, Lulekani and Boelang with food, toys, blankets, clothes and, whenever possible, limited financial support. The Trust has advanced funds to the AFS to purchase and distribute food parcels in these communities.

MASEKE  – In July the Trustees further resolved to support the Maseka community in the Phalaborwa district with funds for the distribution of food parcels through Sinah Magomane, who runs the Maseke Drop-in-Centre, an NPO which has been involved in distributing nutritional meals to, and organising after school activities for, orphans and vulnerable children within the local community since 2006.