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Genevieve Vieira
2 minute read
16 Jan 2014
6:00 am

Offer a helping hand this year

Genevieve Vieira

Every new year, many people around the world make another brave attempt to resolve some or other negative aspect of their lives. A little over two weeks into January, it wouldn't be surprising that some have already given up.

SHOWING SUPPORT. It's never too late to give a helping hand.

Why? Because, all too often, these resolutions are made without much thought and thereby yield no result.

Going into 2014, it’s possible to turn things around and instead of finding ways to improve the quality of your own life, to think about what can be done to improve the lives of others – those less fortunate than yourself.

Barack Obama once said, “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”

And hope is the start to any successful endeavour.

The problem is, many of us are trapped in the “there’s not enough time” loop. But offering help in some small way doesn’t have to take a large chunk out of your day, and you could contribute to the transformation of someone else’s life, while at the same time, enriching your own.

According to, volunteering can increase your social skills, increase self-confidence and combat depression, as well as helping you stay healthy and teaching you valuable job skills.

There are numerous volunteer opportunities available – it’s just about choosing the right one for you, or even creating your own.

NOWHERE TO GO. Two homeless men forced to take refuge and sleep on the side of the road. Pictures: Stock.xchang.

NOWHERE TO GO. Two homeless men forced to take refuge and sleep on the side of the road. Pictures: Stock.xchang.

Refilwe Community Project

One of our biggest challenges in South Africa is the lack of safe and secure family environments for the current generation of abandoned and vulnerable children. Without changing this, we will continue to have orphans raising orphans. Refilwe Community Project is a development initiative based in Lanseria with a strong focus on child care. They provide a loving environment for orphaned and vulnerable children.

Paballo Ya Batho (Caring For The People)

Paballo Ya Batho strives to strengthen the unity of people who are homeless and destitute and to lobby for their basic human rights, in partnership with Central Methodist Church. Come and engage with the people living on the streets of Johannesburg, and help to dish out food, medical supplies, clothing and soap every Wednesday evening from 6pm.

Choc Foundation

“Choc” is an acronym for Children’s Haematology Oncology Clinics, an organisation that recognises the impact of cancer on families and the children undergoing treatment. Its aim is to contribute to the well-being of children with cancer and blood disorders as well as their families. Choc is very dependent on the support of volunteers.