NPOs play a vital role within our communities across Africa, especially during times of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these NPOs are seeing their funds rapidly decrease, whilst the need for their services continues to grow exponentially. This leaves those on the frontline, caring for thousands of vulnerable people, under increasingly crippling funding pressures.
The Mergon Gap Fund was set up as a distribution platform for grants to financially aid these indispensable NPOs in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
Says Neil Hart, executive head of the Mergon Foundation: ‘We had to make some adjustments as the crisis hit, as we asked ourselves how we could best serve people in need during this time. Though we continued distributing much of our funding in the same way to our existing partners, the Gap Fund was launched as an initiative to come into step with the crisis. The idea was to create a fund that would allow us to distribute funds in a short space of time, with less due diligence than we would normally do – as we wanted to be able to deploy funding quickly and effectively.
The two main areas we looked at as we established the Gap Fund were:
– sustaining NPOs who have lost funding because of the COVID-19 crisis to enable them to remain sustainable;
– and aiding NPOs who are serving the most vulnerable at this time.’
Distributions from the Gap Fund are done through the Mergon Foundation that has a long history of carefully selecting exceptional NPOs who have a track record of delivering essential services to communities in need. Partnership bases include South Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa.
To date, the Gap Fund has distributed more than 70 small grants (more than R7,000,000) to support NPOs in need. Many of these organisations are directing their efforts towards the education, support, and protection of children and youth; assisting needy people in rural areas as well as people with disabilities; taking care of orphaned and vulnerable babies and children; and providing food, healthcare, counselling, and other resources to those in distressing circumstances.
NPOs: the unsung heroes
Supported by the Mergon Gap Fund, NOAH (Neighbourhood Old Age Homes) is just one example of an NPO that had to adapt fast during COVID-19. NOAH cares for hundreds of social pensioners in the Western Cape, helping them stay healthy, connected, and contributing to their families and communities.
Watch the NOAH video here:
How to give
If you would like to contribute towards the Gap Fund, please choose one of the following options:
1. Donate funds through The Nation Builder Back-a-Buddy campaign.
2. Click HERE to make an EFT donation.
Your generosity will allow these NPOs to not just continue their valuable work, but in many cases, enable them to step up and fulfill an even bigger role than before. We truly are stronger together!
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