We give you the details about NGOs, now it’s time to talk to someone who works in the field. Charmaine Maphutha is a vibrant 22-year-old from Limpopo province, South Africa. While Charmaine studies at the University of Johannesburg, she also runs the Bopedi Hope Foundation. The Bopedi Hope Foundation was founded by Charmaine and two other women who wanted to make a difference by helping the needy. Makalela Mositsa spoke to Charmaine on her passion for helping the disadvantaged.
Tell us about Bopedi Hope Foundation
Bopedi Hope Foundation was founded by 3 girls, including myself. Our focus is giving to the disadvantaged. Currently, we provide sanitary pads, school shoes, clothes, toiletries and anything else identified as really needed. Our sole intention is to give hope.
Our vision is to help as many children as possible, instilling hope and eventually taking some to school. Having a children’s home in Sekhukhune is also in the works and in our future plans.
What inspired the foundation?
I was inspired by an organization involved in giving meals to children in universities. I saw how dependent students were on the feeding scheme. It meant so much to them to receive meals that they probably didn’t know they would get. I immediately knew helping people was something I needed to do.
Also, as a student teacher at Lekhini School in Limpopo, I got to meet students that inspired me. There, children from different backgrounds and households came to school because they wanted to better their future. One of the students once mentioned to me the de-motivation of having to study in classrooms that had no windows and sometimes no doors!
That was when I started thinking about how to help these students with things the government couldn’t provide them. I thought to myself, “What if I could give them things that will help them live comfortably”.
Wow…what else motivated you?
I also had an interaction with a young lady who told me how she had to choose between buying a bag of potatoes and buying a packet of sanitary pads.
This made me even more motivated to help.
What advice would you give to someone looking to lending a helping hand?
First, you need focus. You may never complete a task if your head is all over the place.
Secondly, take things slowly. One project at a time, so your recipients are satisfied with whatever you decide to offer them. And lastly, do not make premature announcements, that way you won’t leave disappointed people at your wake.
Red or white wine? Which would prefer and why?
Red dry wine. Of course, because it contains procyanidins, compounds commonly found in red wine known for protecting against heart diseases.
What would be a perfect day out for you?
Good food and good company. Sharing creative ideas with people is my idea of a perfect day. Meeting people with different personalities and socio-economic barriers is cool, you know.
I also find peace running the organisation. It’s something very dear to my heart. It opens my heart to want to give even more.
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