Angus Gillis Foundation
Located in South Africa - Founded in 2002 - IDEX partner since 2010
Located on the Eastern Cape of South Africa, the Angus Gillis Foundation (AGF) was founded in 2002 by an independent charitable trust initiated by the owners of the Kwandwe Private Game Reserve to support local villages on the outskirts of the reserve.
"The Foundation recognized leadership in me. Now I can go out there and encourage people to be positive and healthy. I have learned poverty isn't everything in life - you can make something of yourself." Jennifer Clack, member of AGF.
Targeting impoverished communities that lack sufficient healthcare access, ACF seeks to build self-sufficiency by working with communities to create food gardens, income-generating activities, and leadership development projects. AGF also runs a local health program.
Since its inception, AGF has assisted in the establishment of 45 self-help groups (SHGs) in 12 villages. Comprising between eight and 20 members, SHGs meet weekly and collect member contributions, which are funneled into a savings pool. As the savings pool increases, the group is able to provide loans to fellow members. After a group has achieved a certain level of savings, AGF will offer additional assistance for small business development. To date, more than 500 unemployed people, mostly women, have benefited from the SHGs.
In addition to the savings pool, the weekly meetings encourage members to share their problems, resulting in a powerful support system and nurturing enduring trust among members.
AGF has also embarked on a tourism initiative that will enable economically disadvantaged communities to benefit from sustainable income-generating activities, such as local craft making.
IDEX's grant will be used to develop and implement training programs and strengthen leadership for 8 self-help groups.
Check out the IDEX blog and read about what Angus Gillis does!
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