Doing Good in South Africa with the GOGO Project

Thanks to the contacts which Club member and Foundation Chairman Ivan Hill has developed with the Rotary Club of Knysna in South Africa we’ve recently been able to work with that Club on a project to provide some much needed welfare to vulnerable and needy children in the nearby communities.

Knysna have been involved with the “Gogo” project for some years. “Gogo” is ‘grandmother’ in Xhosa and pronounced ‘gorgor’. The Gogo project is a nationally run welfare scheme which effectively puts trained social workers (Gogo’s) in direct contact with needy and vulnerable black children.

The focus of the Gogo workers is on both education and welfare, with particular emphasis on HIV/AIDS. Each Gogo is allocated up to 20 children who are at risk – childheaded households, single HIV patients deserted by their spouse due to fear of AIDS, or single parents who have had to leave their homes due to alcohol abuse, physical violence etc.

The Matching Grant funding for the project of R.110,000 (£7,500) will fund Knysna’s Gogo activities for a year and will be spent on clothing (mainly warm underwear for the cold summers, May to August, and School Uniforms), food, health and sanitary requirements, with a very small payment to the Gogos to help them with buying shoes, as they have to walk several miles every day.

Currently, there are 6 Gogos involved, looking after 140 children with the support of Rotarians from the Knysna Club whotake turns at purchasing the week’s necessities and delivering the produce to the soup kitchens and the supplies to the Gogos.