2010 was an amazing year for the Positive Change Project. It was full of learning opportunities, new adventures and life changing experiences. Back in October Arron and Lauren picked up their lives and moved to South Africa to start our first programs and haven’t looked back since. They have built meaningful relationships with people in the Eastern Cape, which have allowed us to make the biggest impact possible.
With these relationships we were able to get connected with Vivienne, a wonderful woman who runs two safe houses for a dozen AIDS orphans. In November and December with the help of your generous donations we were able to buy seed and plant a large garden for these safe houses. We also were able to get an enormous water tank installed to capture rain water as a backup supply when their water is turned off due to rationing or lack of money. And lastly, we were able to provide a bit of a proper Christmas for these kids who have never known the abundance of our holiday season through the generous giving of about 20 teddy bears from a local church.
What we are doing now
Being a young non-profit and hungry to make a difference, we made more plans than our organization could realistically handle. We recognized that we were being spread thin working on two fronts trying to start a stateside program and a South Africa program at the same time. We could foresee that we would ultimately end up with two poorly developed programs and that isn’t what we are about. We want real, sustainable change, and in order to do that we have had to simplify. Our simplified philosophy looks like this: establish a program, fund it, make sure it is sustainable and stable, and once that criteria is met we add a new program and repeat.
We are already in that process with our flagship program. As we mentioned above, we have done a lot for the AIDS orphan safe house in Sada. This month we are starting a small food program for them that we can run through June, and with continual support we can go beyond June and grow our commitment. To start we will provide basic food like bread, milk and fruit, but with our 40 @ 30 drive we are seeking to have a more robust program where the kids can have breakfast everyday and take food to school so they aren’t hungry and unfocused. We can’t do this without your help though, if you can be a part of the 40 @ 30 that would be such a huge blessing for these kids, and help shape a better future for them. If 40 @ 30 isn’t fit for you, please consider donating a different amount.
What are our plans for 2011
We are looking to grow a lot this year in the South African community we are working in. In addition to the Sada house, we are looking to connect with another AIDS orphan safe house that is not as well off as Vivienne’s. Arron is going to meet with the people running the house and see if it is a good fit for us.
When we first started the Positive Change Project we had hoped to start food programs at some schools that we had connections to. They proved to be too large for us at the time, but we now feel like we can grow into the roll of providing food programs for these schools. The connection to these schools is as strong as it was in the beginning and the need is still present, but we can’t get there without your support.
We need support. We can have all the good will in the world but if we don’t have funds we can’t buy a bag of bread. This year we are looking to hit the equivalent of 100,000 donors at the minimum giving level, which is only $3.65/ year! If we can achieve this goal then we are in a position to make big change in a sustainable way. If you haven’t taken the opportunity to give yet please do. We are all in this together, so join us in growing the Positive Change Project!
Last but definitely not least, we want to give a enormous thank you to all the people that have supported the Positive Change Project so far. It may feel abstract but you have all tangibly helped a group of AIDS orphans have a better, healthier life. And we hope that you will continue to stay with us in growing this project.
2011 is going to be a great year and we can’t wait to share it with all of you!