I: Tone Pahlke
Tone Pahlke, who has been responsible for IMPANDE’s economy over the past 8-9 years, died last week after a short period of illness. Tone was a central and strong contributor in the work towards giving children and young people from poor background in KwaZulu Natal Tone Pahlkebetter living conditions. This was an engagement that was very close to her heart. She contributed with countless hours of unpaid work as our economic leader. In addition, she obtained economic support that has contributed to the structuring and implementation of the 23 projects IMPANDE has accomplished. In this work her multicultural understanding, competence in languages, and ability to find operative solutions was unmatched. She has also transferred her accounting competence to African workers in the projects.
Contribute to Tone’s Memory
Tone’s family and the IMPANDE’s Board wish to build a kindergarten for 85 vulnerable children – several of whom are orphaned – in South Africa as a special memorial to Tone. The kindergarten will be built during 2016 and the family hopes that more people will support this project. Gifts can be given to account no 12015198085 or Vipps 92889697. The name of the leader, Rolf Olsen will appear, but the gifts will go directly to the IMPANDE account. Mark the gift with “Tone’s Memory.”
II: Opening Hanne’s Shelter
Hanne’s shelter was opened on March 20, 2016. The centre is a memorial to Hanne Løvlie who died during the terror attack at the Government building in Oslo on July 22, 2011. The centre will take care of women and girls who are exposed to domestic violence and also work comprehensively to prevent violence against women. IMPANDE has acted as the developer for this project.
The reception given in honour of the opening was a big local and regional event in the KwaZulu Natal province. There were approximately one thousand people present at the reception. Representatives from the Norwegian Embassy in Pretoria, The Secretary of State for Social Services in Natal, Liv Tørres from the Norwegian Peace Centre, and Hanne’s brother Jørgen were among those who gave speeches at this function.
The event received great attention in international media, with articles in The Guardian, Times Live in South Africa and elsewhere. In Norway, the newspapers Vårt Land and Ringerikes Blad wrote about it, while NRK was totally absent and rather wrote a lot about complaints made by the terrorist, Breivik, has directed towards the Norwegian authorities – a strange journalistic priority!
III: IMPANDE contributes to the building of Msenti Academy’s boarding house
IMPANDE, through means given by OHG has contributed to a complete renovation of KwaMaSoschwa High School. There are 1200 students at the school, many of whom come from poor areas in Eastern Cape. For these students, the distance to the school is too big for them to live at home. So far they have been living in the homes of other students – which does not always work out well.Many of them therefore do not finish their A-level course. Msenti Academy is now building a boarding house for 36 girls from Eastern Cape which is situated adjacent to the Msenti Group’s localities. These rooms have been sponsored and completed by Gresvig Sport.
In March IMPANDE received means earmarked for the boarding house. Combined with a Facebook canvassing, 80% of the means needed to renovate, equip and finish the boarding house were collected. During April the project will be finished, and the first boarders arrive in May. At the boarding house there will be extra homework helpers for those who need it. Some of the students are orphans and will also need support for food. An enthusiastic teacher at KwaMaSoschwa High School currently pays for food for these students from his own salary.
IV: Quality assurance of 13 Impande projects
IMPANDE is conducting 13 grassroots building projects for children and young people in 2016. This includes 10 kindergartens, two school projects and one drop-in centre. This year we will put special emphasis on developing our partner staff at NAG (Network Action Group) to enable them to execute our projects according to the requirements specifications. Such work demands good project leaders, clear specifications of requirements, good deals, and systematic reporting and follow-up. Our aim is of course to give a better life to children and young people at the grassroots level and that the local adults will gain more useful competence through the projects.
Behind it all is a deep wish that our Norwegian donors will see that their gifts are used efficiently. Satisfied donors often give more. Dissatisfied donors may hurt not only the project they have been supporting, but also hurt IMPANDE’s reputation and possibility to do more for people at grassroots level in the future.
V: IMPANDE needs 45 more sponsors!
IMPANDE is a small efficient grassroots organisation where 97 % of the means go directly to the children. There are approximately 85 children at Munster Development Centre that we have complete responsibility for. So far we have 45 sponsors to support the costs. We dearly need more sponsors – to be precise – we need 45 new sponsors. We hope you will be one of them!
Glimpses from South Africa Today
The fight to save the rhino
Among the first things you meet in the Durban airport arrivals hall are posters with the heading “Save the Rhino”. This is important information. Last year 175 rhinos were illegally killed in South Africa. This was a few less than the year before, but the fight against snipers is in no way won. In the neighbouring Namibia and Zimbabwe the number of rhinos killed has actually been increasing over the last few years. This sad fauna crime started around 10 years ago. The demand from Vietnam and China is the impetus in this criminal activity. In these countries they believe that horns from the rhino can cure everything from cancer to hangovers – and not least enhance the sexual drive!
Great resources have been mobilised to stop these delusions. Last year drones were used to among other things to monitor Kruger National Park and to reveal gangs of snipers. It was believed that the drones would be the final solution to the problem. In reality however, the drones have revealed much less than expected. Kruger Park is large and in parts very hilly – it is as big as Israel or Wales. It was once believed that the drones could reveal snipers hiding in the night through the heat they exude, but the results have been disappointing. Big stones absorb heat during the day and exude it during the night.The drones have thereby revealed many big stones but few snipers.
Low level technological solutions have functioned much better, such as dogs with specially developed noses.The dog breed Belgian Malinois has been especially good in this work.
To catch the snipers is, however, only a small part of the deal. They are usually poor young men – or when it comes to Kruger Park – soldiers from the Mozambique army. One horn for them is worth a years’ salary. This invites poachers to take their chances, even though many of them are shot at point blank when discovered. The real problem is the Asian syndicates that buy the horns at such high prices. Without the Asian and African Police joining forces, the future of the rhinos look bleak.The rhino is as easy to shoot as a cow grazing on a Norwegian meadow. And the spirit of the rhino can also in many ways be compared to that of a cow.
Pressure on Economic Aid Budgets
This spring we have seen hard discussions about The Norwegian Economic Aid budgets. These have at the same time been both under pressure and increasing. The Norwegian opinion has become more sceptical. One wishes sensible use of money and to see well documented results of the 37.4 billion NOK that in 2016 will leave the Norwegian Treasury. At the same time, many demand that parts of this money shall be used in other areas. For instance the OECD in February handled a change of rules to include the fight against terrorism as an area where money given to aid can be used. Nothing is easier than to grant more money!
Pressure on Economic Aid Budgets will increase in the coming years:
- We in the wealthy part of the world will get increasing problems with keeping up our own welfare budgets.
- A lot will go towards meeting the needs of refugees. For instance Sweden is now using 60% of their Economic Aid Budget on newly arrived refugees.
- Countries that receive Economic aid also have less need for traditional Aid – or will no longer want money earmarked towards specific goals that need a lot of reporting.
- And not least – many are in doubt as to whether economic aid really works.
- And what if economic aid invites corruption and weakens accountability and social responsibility?
A time to step back and rethink
I feel we need to take a break to get our breath back and rethink in much of this work. It is characterized by complexity as well as ideology, something that may easily lead to wrong investments and other less wise choices. The willingness to openly show projects that haven’t worked out is naturally not very big.“There is no doubt that the institutions that govern international economic aid will see great changes, may be a revolution” says a senior member and director in Norad, Jon Lomøy.
Don’t push the poor in front of us
We should therefore be honest enough not to take to arguments like “the poor will suffer for this” as soon as someone talks about restructuring or austerity in the Economic Aid budgets. People whose work depends on this international economic aid may be too quick in using this sort of arguments.
Many say that the biggest challenge in the future is to create enough jobs to the growing and poor population in the world, not least in Africa. To meet this challenge one needs both investments and aid. But rethinking is also necessary. In the areas in KwaZulu Natal where we work, it is not realistic to be able to provide full employment to the masses of people that grow up and will live their lives there.
A Realistic Alternative
“Sustainable livelihood” is a term I often hear used among the people we cooperate with. It is an expression I have come to like more and more. It substitutes the term “full employment.” It means: “How can we contribute so that people at grassroots level get a sustainable outcome and a relatively good life where they are.” This is not resignation or an attempt to hold people down or outside working life. It is carried by a realism taking into account the population explosion, level of education and the technological development the world at large is in the middle of. There is much we can do at grassroots level for sustainable livelihood. Isn’t this what we did in Norway a few decades back? Grew a few vegetables, had little jobs on the side, a small pension or insurance – and a couple of pigs to help with food in the backyard?
2% of the Economic Aid Budgets go to NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) at the grassroots level. Why not channel more means to where we know that they will – with 100% surety – help towards sustainable livelihood – i.e to good and liveable conditions for those who need it most!Rolf Olsen
Leader of IMPANDE Gamalakhe Foundation
This post is also available in: Norsk