Archive for the ‘Fundraising’ Category

Education without Borders has partnered with Rose Charities on Firstgiving.com in order to accept tax deductible donations from donors in the United States.

Donations by credit card – FirstGiving.com issues tax receipts and charges a fee on credit and debit card payments on their site. To make payments by card, visit:


Donations by cheque – There is no fee on donations made by cheque. Cheques should be written to “Rose Charities NY, Inc, (Education without Borders)”. Tax receipts on cheques will be issued by Rose Charities. Cheques should be mailed to:

Rose Charities NY, Inc,
(Education without Borders)
158 Seaside Ave. #C
Stamford, CT 06902
If you have any friends or family in the US, please let them know.

Source – Cecil Hershler


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A number of volunteer run NGO’s like Education without Borders are active in South Africa, and many of them share a common problem:  access to fundraising.

At EwB fundraising has for many years come from donors in Canada, in particular Vancouver; however, as the South African diaspora ages, these sources will become increasingly difficult to draw from. Logically funding from first generation diaspora is easier to source, but what about second and third generations? Will they feel as attached to South Africa?

The key for future funding lies in South Africa, from local corporate and private donors. As mentioned in previous blog posts, South Africa has substantial infrastructure, a host of medium and large corporations, and no shortage of middle class and upper class populations who have the resources to support NGO’s such as EwB, the question is how to reach out to these groups. This is where diaspora – immigrant South Africans of all generations can play a major role.

South African immigrants have a vast network of friends, family, and former employers who they can ask to help fund EwB projects.  Tools like facebook and skype make this possible because they allow immigrants to remain connected to friends and family back in South Africa.

One particular example of the success of diaspora driven funding is the work by Paula Phillips and Iam Hlompho. Paula lives in Vancouver, and Iam is in Soweto. The two of them have used the power of social media to create a local registered non-profit foundation in South Africa to raise funds for cricket development in Soweto. The organization, called the Golden Bells Cricket Development, provides youth (girls and boys 6-14)  with free access to after school cricket and meals. Through cricket, Iam works with youth to provide them with team, leadership, and life skills. Most of the funds for Golden Bell Cricket comes from local South African donors who have been called upon by diaspora to provide materials and funds. To learn more about Golden Bells Cricket, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/360136927364805/.

Another NGO of interest is Communiversity. Unlike EwB and Golden Bells, this NGO focuses on young people who are beyond school age, but who lack skills to find employment in South Africa’s economy. The objective of this NGO is provide accessible and affordable post-school education. Students in the program pay a low cost fee for courses; however, upon completion of their studies they receive full reimbursement. Costs are kept low by using existing unused infrastructure provided by South Africans in South Africa. To learn more, visit http://www.cidafoundation.org/.

EwB’s donor model is under constant evolution. Unable to make donations yourself? You can play a part by talking to your friends and family about NGO’s such as EwB, Golden Bell’s Cricket, and Communiversity. By involving South African’s in our charities, not only can we  reach out to more young people, but we can also get more South Africans talking and working together to solve the country’s problems.


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South Africa has a lot to be proud of.  For a country that many consider relatively isolated, it has achieved leadership in numerous fields, including medicine, commerce, the arts, and human rights.

Many would not know that South Africa has the world’s third largest hospital, Chris Hani – Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto (1). South Africa was also the first country to conduct successful open heart surgery – performed in 1967 by Christiaan Barnard on Louis Washkansky at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town South Africa (2). Groote Schuur also happened to be one of the world’s laregst teaching hospitals at the time.

One of South Africa’s biggest cities, Durban is the 9th largest port in the world, and the largest in Africa. Presumably this is the case because South Africa is also a major manufacturer of automobiles, as well as the world’s largest producer of gold, platinum, chromium, vanadium, manganese and alumino-silicates. For those of you who think think I am nuts, South Africa is also amongst the largest producers of macadamia nuts (3). South Africa also has most of Africa’s phones, internet connections, and infrastructure. It is also a major exporter, producing more manufactured goods than Russia, Singapore, or Portugal.

South Africa also leads when it comes to the arts. The recent anniversary of Paul Simon’s Graceland tour, celebrated with the film “Under African Skies”. Is a reminder of the quantity and quality of musical talent in the country. Famous South African artists include Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Johnny Clegg and Sipho Mchunu of Juluka, and painter Gerald Sekoto (http://www.art.co.za/gerardsekoto/).

South Africa also arguably has the world’s most open constitution, allowing for same gender marriages, freedom of expression, and freedom from oppression. The country will also be the first to have a disabled athlete on its 2012 Summer Olympics team in London (4).

These feats demonstrate that South Africa is a can-do country. South Africans are open-minded, talented, diverse, and hard working. By supporting the work of Education without Borders in Cape Town, South Africa, you know your money is making a huge difference in students lives. By donating just a few dollars a month, you empower students to participate in a country that really is on the move.





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This past weekend was the second annual VSAFF. The event included the opening gala fundraiser, as well as a host of other films from South Africa.

The event has been for the most part a success, with us raising lots of dollars (rands) through ticket sales, the gala, sponsors, and one off donations from film patrons.

My role in the festival has consisted largely of setting up the ticket management system – hardly a simple task! The system saved us a considerable amount of time as it handled all of the pre-event tocket sales for us, and also helped expose the festival to a wider audience; however, the back end of the ticket site was nothing short of a nightmare, and then add the fact that it took on a mind of its own once the event started….

Anyway, the opening gala had over four hundred patrons, and despite all the problems with the ticket system, we still managed to get everyone happily through the doors and into their seats! – pheww!

Tickets and galas aside, I had the chance to meet Vimbai. Let me say she is amazing, and has everyone so impressed. We are so fortunate to have such a motivated, intelligent, and creative young woman doing such great work on the ground in Cape Town – students, Vimbai is your role model!

Vimbai and I will meet up next week to have a chat about arts projects, books, and how to get students more involved in getting their creative work out (stories, photography, drawing, painting, poetry, music, etc). Looking forward to this!

Well, gotta go, Johnny Clegg film is playing, and I’d like to sneak in and see a bit of it.

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This evening, after leaving the office late, I was tempted head straight home and go to bed early. This past week I’ve had very little sleep; the unfortunate juxtaposition of my obssession with early morning starts, and my partner’s obligation to study well into the morning hours for his Ph. D. Call it burning the candle from both ends.

An early Friday night seemed awfully tempting on a cold and rainy winter’s night, but in the end I stuck to a promise I had made myself earlier in the week, that I would go to synagogue to practice my Hebrew and connect with my community. Now don’t get me wrong, I am about as religious as an apple can be an orange; however, religious event aside, there is something special about being part of a community, being connected to people of similar backgrounds and interests.

Community is important. It connects people together to a common project to better their lives and the lives of the people who live around them. Education without Borders’ mission is to empower parents, teachers, and students to build a community around their schools. The long term objective is not just education, it is also to create a community around the schools EwB supports.

Yet EwB also indirectly helps build community amongst South Africans living abroad. Our NGO achieves this by offering meaningful cultural and fundraising projects (such as the Vancouver South African Film Festival) that bring expats together in a common cause to help improve the lives of fellow South Africans.

In the end everyone is looking to belong somewhere. We are all in search of a community where we can contribute, and where we feel we belong, and where we can be better human beings. Projects such as EwB help build that sense of community for so many people, whether in  Gugulethu at the start of another school year, or here in Vancouver on a cold raining night.


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Many of us in Canada take for granted our access to education. In fact, one may argue that Canada, like many countries in the West, has an excess of accessible education. As long as one has an interest and desire to learn, post-secondary education is reasonably accessible, whether directly at universities and colleges, or online through the internet.

In South Africa the situation is vastly different. As highlighted in a recent Globe and Mail investigative piece, South Africans face enormous barriers to access affordable public education (1). Waitlists for post-secondary institutions are in the thousands, and all this despite a well document need for a more educated work force.

Education without Borders helps to fill the void for many young South Africans seeking to improve themslves through better education. By providing access to improved education, EwB gives the students we support the tools to be one step ahead in the competitive process to access post-secondary education and rewarding jobs.

(1) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/worldview/in-johannesburg-a-desperate-bid-for-education-turns-deadly/article2297297/

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Rodney, one of our volunteers and supporters, hosts a regular Education without Borders poker fundraising night.

The night includes plenty of beer, refreshments, and prizes. For those who are interested in joining the activities, please contact us at Education without Borders, and we’ll put you onto the mailing list. Activities typically take place at the Shark’s Club in downtown Vancouver.

Participants are not pros, and are out to support a great Canadian-South African charity.

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