The trustees are a group of enthusiastic South Africans passionate about their country.
Their role is to make sure the trust follows the correct path and adheres to the riginal intention of Lula Isandla.
As Lula Isandla’s designated attorney, my role is to ensure compliance. Initially it was going to be about the fees but then I realized that there needs to be some good in this world and for me there is nothing better than the good that Claire, Fakazile and the rest of the trustees are doing with Lula Isandla. It is just a small way of giving something back and quite honestly a privilege to be involved.
It brings me great joy to be part of such a noble cause. I first got introduced to Lulu Isandla in my current role at Sony Ericsson, where we were looking for a meaningful cause to support over the Christmas Period. Instead of getting all our key customers expensive gifts, we got together with Fakazile, Claire and team, and made a donation on behalf of all our customers to Lulu Isandla. The same happened the next year and will also happen again this year. At Sony Ericsson we are very proud to be able to contribute to a cause that makes such a visible and meaningful difference to all the kids.
Fakazile runs the community centre. Her modus operandi is to set up projects, ensure that they are running smoothly, and then pass them on to someone else to manage on a day to day basis. She then moves on to the next necessary project.
Lula Isandla is one such project.
Lula Isandla is a bright, shining example of how ordinary South Africans can scrape together a few resources, combine it with a lot of initiative and hard work and make a real difference to people who need it.
For me, Lula Isandla started a few years ago when I was approached with the initial idea and asked to donate whatever I could spare every month. Through tireless work from a few individuals it has grown into an organisation I can proudly say I am a part of.
I have recently heard about the new Lead SA initiative. Briefly, the Lead SAinitiative is described as follows:
"The ability to change your life and your country is in your hands. Rather than feeling helpless, Lead SA encourages you to feel hopeful about your future and play an active part in unlocking the potential of your country. South Africa is filled with passionate people and the nation’s achievements are endless, but we need you to use your leadership potential and move the nation forward."
I think Lula Isandla epitomizes this initiative everyday!
>So I come from a highly educated privileged background. I therefore have the means and opportunity to leave the country and go and live in a ‘first’ world country.
But I chose to stay! Because firstly, I feel that my education and privilege means that I have a duty to repay the country that provided me with it, and give back to the people with less fortune than me.
But secondly, this country is blessed with amazing people! So many amazing people who make me proud to call myself South African. And some of these people, like the children we help feed, need our help to fulfil their potential. So we get the amazing, and generous people who have, to share with the equally impressive and amazing people who have not. Lula Isandla is the connecting of people in order fulfil potential and demonstrate that this collaboration is a recipe for success!
It was Christmas of 2008 when Ma took us out to the Zenzeleni Community Center for the first time. As we are prone to congregate at that time of year there were about 10 of us. Fakazile and Bonginkosi met us and we sat around a table discussing what they had in mind, and what Ma and Fakazile had thought up. After spending about an hour with these interesting and gentle people we meandered back to folks' house for our Christmas celebrations.
A little while later - a month or so - the first email was distributed. The next thing you know we had money, and Ma's bank account began to blossom! What were we supposed to do now? Well a website of course, and we need to tell people where their money has gone, and we need to ...... etc etc. So many ideas and so much generosity has led to where we are today.
Why am I a part of this? In the Boondock Saints there is a quote: "But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men." Lula Isandla is my complete lack of indifference.
After 7 years overseas, I was suddenly overwhelmed with an urge to return home. And with that came the urge to help back home with the many problems that seem to dwarf those of our 1st world neighbours. And what better way to do it than with the “grassroot” charity of Lula Isandla. When I came across the monumental efforts of Fakazile, Claire and company, it became clear to me that big things can be achieved if one puts their mind to it. I began helping out with the raising and managing of overseas funding. And since I have returned to South Africa, I am now proud to be a trustee and look forward to the responsibilities and challenges that come with it.
There is no country like this country. I’m fiercely passionate about it – about its natural wonder, its courageous spirit, its abundant opportunity, but most of all about its beautiful people. We need to protect this precious resource and do our bit to “reach out” with a hand to our brother.
Lula Isandla is not saving the world. It is just a group of ordinary people, showing what a huge difference a little can make, and it’s an extremely fulfilling movement to a be a part of.