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  • Laila Manie and Nokubongwa Bhengu

At the Heart of Call 2 Care

Updated: Aug 18, 2021

A passion for giving back to underserved communities was the main ingredient of Call 2 Care’s inception. Born on Heritage Day in 2014 after a social event hosted by volunteers and philanthropists at Baphumelele Children’s Home in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, Call 2 Care’s mission was born - improving lives through education. As a non-profit organisation (NPO), Call 2 Care partners with the public and private sector to meet the needs of beneficiaries. As South Africa is a country troubled by poverty, inequality and many citizens struggling to access basic needs, Call 2 Care seeks to uplift and empower communities so that lives are positively impacted. In order to meet these needs and continue fueling the passion that motivates outreach projects and volunteer work, Call 2 Care works closely with corporates creating events for Corporate Social Investment (CSI) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Holistic community development is the essence of Call 2 Care and by fostering meaningful connections with communities, sponsors, government departments and other NPO’s or NGO’s, Call 2 Care can continue the work needed to leave a sustainable difference.

Call 2 Care: From Passion to Solution

The solution to Call 2 Care’s passionate inception was the partnering between the NPO and various other bodies to best meet the needs of beneficiaries. Partnerships and collaboration is imperative to Call 2 Care’s success and the success of many NPO’s. According to Ricardo Wyngaard via the Southern African NGO Network (SANGONet), partnerships between NPO’s and government departments as well as corporate sponsors aid the South African government to achieve its constitutional mandate. The South African Constitution has entrenched a number of socio-economic rights in its Bill of Rights. These rights are aimed, as stated in the preamble, at improving the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person. The socio-economic rights would be out of reach for most South Africans without the presence of a vibrant nonprofit sector. Call 2 Care forms part of this vibrant nonprofit sector and offers five core services including; delivery of outreach projects and beneficiary support, corporate social responsibility and team building events, MICE and tourism events, volunteering and internships as well as fundraising. Fundraising events play a large part of Call 2 Care’s ability to continue to collaborate and partner with others in order to achieve the mission.

Delivery of Outreach Projects and Beneficiary Support

Above all else, the delivery of outreach projects and events is the foundation of Call 2 Care’s services. This core service includes, among others, the iGardi Club and iGardi Project- Call 2 Care’s sustainable food security program that has gone on to feed and educate learners and communities on the process of food gardening, the importance of nutrition and all the know-how needed for successful food gardening. The iGardi Club is a collective name for all of the beneficiaries where a love for food gardening is established and support is available for iGardiologists who can go on to start food gardens and uplift their own communities.

Also within the core service of outreach projects, REVAMP involves the maintenance and upkeep of schools in underserved communities - essential to Call 2 Care’s mission to improve lives through education. Call 2 Care’s goal with REVAMP is to make learning spaces inspiring, motivating and most importantly, safe, so that learners and educators can engage efficiently in an environment that is conducive for learning.

Call 2 Care’s outreach projects and volunteer events have been fortunate enough to have sponsorship from corporates such as AdventureWorks, UniSky Trade, PPECB, UNiBA, Novus Holdings, Woolworths, PWC, Old Mutual, BMA and many others seeking to meet their CSR and CSI as well as give back through corporate volunteering. These companies have extensively contributed to the success of the iGardi Club, iGardi Project and REVAMP as well as Paint & Sip.

Corporate Social Responsibility and Team Building Events

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Corporate Social Investment (CSI) have become buzzwords over the last decade. Companies are more interested in their social appeal and in making investments that do not only generate business income but also to work closely with underserved communities and make a social impact. According to Deloitte (2005) via SANGONet, CSR is the manner in which a company manages its business processes to generate stakeholder value while having a positive impact on the community and minimising any adverse impact on the environment.

CSI’s however, also have a large feature with NPO’s or NGO’s and contribute to this above mentioned social impact through financial contribution. Social investments of this nature have the ability to assist NPO’s and NGO’s to meet the demands of those most in need - allocating funds to uplifting and assisting underserved communities. This is how CSR and CSI fits neatly into Call 2 Care’s core services. Call 2 Care’s CSR and CSI advisory , from concept to delivery, works closely with corporates to establish a project that needs financial assistance and attention as well as projects that meet the needs of corporates.

Team building events also form part of Call 2 Care’s CSR and CSI advisory which include corporate volunteering to allow your team to connect with beneficiaries on a grassroots level. This makes it really simple for corporates to meet their CSI and CSR values. Team building events also allow for employees to connect through giving back and allow for the understanding of a company's core social values - making Call 2 Care a well-suited partner for socially conscious events. All of these events are closely linked with improving lives through education whether that be physically training learners and passing on knowledge or uplifting places of learning. Corporates who seek to make a social impact in areas of educational upliftment and development can partner with Call 2 Care to meet those goals.

Call 2 Care’s most recent CSR and Team Building event took place at Thembani Primary School in Langa along with UniSky Trade where 2 classes were updated through corporate volunteering. UniSky volunteers with Call 2 Care on a bi-monthly basis and are avid supporters of Call 2 Care’s mission to improve lives through educational outreach projects and socially conscious events. Apart from UniSky, PPECB worked closely with Call 2 Care to meet their Corporate Social Investment (CSI) by sponsoring and sending their staff out to assist in the implementation of Call 2 Care’s Sebenza Gogos Garden in Gugulethu, Cape Town.

The Gogos Garden was implemented as a Mandela Day project in 2019 sponsored by PPECB where raised garden beds were built as well as painting infographics on permaculture on the walls of the garden. Lily, an elder of the Gugulethu community approached Call 2 Care for the implementation of raised garden beds to make gardening easier for the elderly who were already invested in food gardening. Along with PPECB, Call 2 Care made the decision to create a community garden in this space that currently houses 36 iGardi food gardens and has 7 official custodians of the garden. 2340 community members have been fed from the harvests. The Gogos Garden has benefitted Siseko Educare as well as providing households with produce from the food garden at a fraction of the price and has also been a source of income and upliftment as well as playing a core role in food security for the Gugulethu community.

CSR and CSI play an important role, often much more important than corporates truly envision. A small, sustainable change can transform into a project that benefits an entire community simply because a business took the time out to think about their social impact and ways to give back.

MICE and Tourism Events

Another core service offered by Call 2 Care includes MICE & tourism events. According to ATKV Resorts, MICE is an industry acronym for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events. MICE is a sector of tourism where large groups of people gather at a venue united by a common purpose or interest. MICE events are often business orientated and comprise [sic] of corporate getaways, teambuilding or strategic planning conferences.

Call 2 Care embraces the ‘incentives’ part of MICE and in 2019 collaborated with The Winners Group to host a Cape Town Chef’s table as part of a spouse program for the Youth President’s Organization (YPO). This experience created an opportunity for the showcase of local food and local people to allow for an authentic experience of Cape Town. The Cape Town Chef’s Table hosted by Call 2 Care was a socially conscious event that connected heritage, culture, local farming and sustainable food practices to be experienced by guests from all across the world. But how do MICE and tourism events fit into Call 2 Care’s mission and the inner workings of an NPO?

MICE is no longer only about fun and exciting events but also presents the opportunity for guests to be involved in outreach projects in order to give back to those most in need and for corporates, MICE could also mean meeting CSI and CSR. According to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) via Meeting Media Group, South Africa is ranked 34th in the world as a MICE destination and rated the number one meeting destination. With this information at hand, Call 2 Care partners with corporates and MICE companies to create experiences that highlight the needs of underserved communities and the true nature of the Mother City. Through collaborating with MICE companies, Call 2 Care explores opportunities for CSR and CSI which may turn into much needed assistance to continue the work needed for beneficiaries.

Local tourism paired with socially conscious events aids NPO’s like Call 2 Care to meet their mission and goals in unique ways that broaden the impact and understanding of the importance of the NPO sector. Apart from The Winners Group, Call 2 Care has collaborated with companies such as Adventure Works, Grovenor Tours, Team Orange Events, Red Events, Private Safaris, Into Africa and African Bush Safaris. These tourism companies have worked closely with Call 2 Care to personalize experiences in Cape Town that also focus on ways to give back to those most in need and highlight the essential work of NPO’s like Call 2 Care.

Volunteering and Internships

At Call 2 Care, we believe the best way to make a difference is to make connections at grass-root level so it is important that all our projects are available for volunteers to connect with our beneficiary partners. Volunteering at Call 2 Care is a fantastic way to give back, learn relevant skills to enhance your career move or work-readiness, or to simply meet like-minded friends

Volunteering is intrinsic to Call 2 Care and forms part of core services. Motivated and passionate volunteers assist Call 2 Care in achieving success in outreach projects and corporate events - whether it be with on-site volunteering in the Western Cape or remote opportunities available to anyone across the globe. Call 2 Care is unique in this regard - volunteers do not only give back and serve but are also mentored and upskilled during their time spent with Call 2 Care.

Apart from volunteering, Call 2 Care also offers internship opportunities. Internship opportunities are targeted at students who need to complete an internship as part of their degree/diploma at an NPO/NGO of their choice. Call 2 Care has had interns across various fields and universities including interns from SHAWCO’s International Student Placement Programme as well as working with CIEEE for students to complete service learning. Service learning involves the educational approach of classroom learning paired with community engagement to better equip students to understand their course work. Internship opportunities link closely with Call 2 Care’s goal to upskill volunteers and interns and create opportunities for work-readiness.

Recently, with travel being limited, Call 2 Care’s volunteering and internship opportunities have become remote to adhere to COVID-19 regulations as gazetted by the South African Government and across the globe. This presented a unique approach to internship opportunities and Call 2 Care hosted a remote volunteer, Paige Rychalsky, all the way from the USA for 3 months.

With being a virtual intern, I sadly can’t be there in person but everyone is so warm and welcoming! I am honoured to be a part of the amazing work they do such as the iGardi project and be able to lend a hand to an organization that is making such a positive impact on children and their communities! - Paige Rychalsky

Connections with underserved communities, fellow volunteers and the main team at Call 2 Care creates a space for networking and growth within the NPO sector and within your career as well as an opportunity to showcase your skills across a range of opportunities. Apply for a volunteering opportunity and become part of the Call 2 Care family that currently consists of 27 active volunteers. Call 2 Care is built on investing in underserved communities but also in the people that make all of the projects possible.

FUNdraiser Events

As much as corporate sponsorship and collaboration makes an immense impact, it is important for NPO’s to host fundraising initiatives to cover all other areas within the NPO that might need funding. Paint & Sip is a fundraising event hosted by Call 2 Care, both online or virtually as well as in person which includes an artistic experience where all art tools are provided and in person events feature a meal and a glass of wine as participants navigate their inner artist. At Call 2 Care, the fundraising experience is fun, tech savvy and really easy for anyone to get involved in. Uncork your creativity as an experienced local professional artist takes you step by step through the process of creating your own masterpiece - all for a great cause! Tickets to virtual and in-person events can be bought online where proceeds go towards Call 2 Care’s various outreach projects. The events continue to be a great fundraising initiative that drives income for Call 2 Care and creates a painting experience for everyone who participates.

Corporate and private events can be held in person and Call 2 Care recently hosted a Paint & Sip event at PWC Cape Town where employees were treated to an experience on the rooftop of the Silo District V&A Waterfront. The online Paint & Sip events make it COVID compliant and allow anyone from across the country to join in and enjoy an experience that ends in funds raised for those in need. Apart from raising funds, Paint & Sip also creates an opportunity for local artists to be featured which creates exposure and generates income for the featured artist. The tickets are available on the Paint & Sip web page for both virtual and in person events.

Projects in the Pipeline and Call 2 Care’s future

Climate change is one of the largest global threats to the environment and Call 2 Care understands the importance of making an effort to save the environment not only for the present generation, but for the generations to come. Climate change poses a significant threat to South Africa’s water resources, food security, health, infrastructure, as well as its ecosystem services and biodiversity. Considering South Africa’s high levels of poverty and inequality, these impacts pose critical challenges for national development. According to the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science South Africa, yearly temperatures have expanded by at a rate of 1.5 times the worldwide normal of 0.65 degrees Celsius and in recent years, the frequency of extreme rainfall has increased. The Spekboom for Climate Change is a project in which Call 2 Care aims to join the fight against climate change and be part of a movement that recognizes the need for a safe and healthy planet for all. As Call 2 Care is a socially conscious NPO seeking to make sustainable differences, concern for environmental well-being is essential to the mission of improving lives.

Spekboom is a South African succulent with some incredible properties. It is an edible, resilient plant which even has certain medicinal benefits. However, the benefit of Spekboom which sparked Spekboom for Climate Change is that it acts like a carbon sponge and can remove tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year. This impact on reducing our carbon footprint has motivated Call 2 Care to work towards getting as many Spekboom planted in as many areas as possible.

The Spekboom, also known as ‘elephant's food’, is an incredible plant that can live for up to 200 years. Spekbooms have the ability to absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide compared to any other plant and thus, is a cost-effective and easy way to inspire anyone to join the fight against climate change. The Spekboom for Climate Change project is a unique initiative by Call 2 Care as it creates employment and economic opportunities at schools and at beneficiaries of Call 2 Care. The project opens doors inside schools and among Call 2 Care recipients through the iGardi Project workshops. The workshops aim to do this through a range of products and services that generate revenue for Call 2 Care and beneficiaries while encouraging a global movement. To get involved in this project, you can donate a spekboom plant to Spekboom for Climate Change and Call 2 Care will plant a Spekboom in an underserved community.

Another pipeline project includes the collaboration between Call 2 Care and the SHINE initiative. Call 2 Care was approached by the SHINE initiative to assist the project with their food security programme through Call 2 Care’s iGardi project, which assists in the implementation and education that teaches people to create sustainable and eco friendly vegetable gardens. The SHINE initiative seeks to uplift the underserved Hout Bay community in Cape Town and is specifically targeted at youth. Call 2 Care’s iGardi project utilizes water-wise and low maintenance approaches to achieve sustainable food gardens. The SHINE initiative stands for Safe, Health, Inspired, Nurtured, Engaged is working to create a community hub in Hout Bay will help youth to gain access to educational outreach projects that are fundamental to development and in line with Call 2 Care’s goal to improve lives and foster independency and sustainability - to the point where beneficiaries are using their learned skills to uplift themselves and their own community.

Call 2 Care’s ultimate goal is to have a nation wide approach and to reach across international borders. The vision for Call 2 Care is to be the leading NPO in South Africa that connects and helps corporate, government, and the general public to create sustainable social difference. Since Call 2 Care’s inception, dedication to improving lives through education in South Africa has always been at the heart of Call 2 Care. Call 2 Care is committed to providing the five core services to pave the way to the ultimate goal and vision. All five core services are at the center of Call 2 Care's capacity to adjust itself to the needs of South Africa and the services have created varying ways for these needs to be met. Organizations or businesses can get involved by reaching out to Call 2 Care and the general public can make monthly donations or volunteer when opportunities are available. Call 2 Care intends to keep meeting the objective of improving lives and making a difference. Every sponsorship and individual donation makes a difference to someone in need.

What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead - Nelson Mandela


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