Who we are
Watch our TEDx Talk
A world in which all children can experience the joy of being children.
1. To provide vulnerable children opportunities, through recreation, to learn, laugh, be inspired and connect with others in situations that are ordinarily inaccessible to them.
2. To offer adults from diverse backgrounds fun and accessible volunteer experiences that encourage active citizenship.
• Fun: We believe fun and enjoyment are catalysts to an open mind and an open heart.
• Recreation and play: We believe in the importance of play and recreation for healthy, holistic development of the mind, body and soul. Putting what you learn in school into practice in the real world can help to develop an adaptable, resilient and creative individual.
• Active citizenship: We believe that everyone can make a contribution and we aim to show the joy of this and remove the barriers to this.
• Opportunity: We believe that hopes and dreams for the future come from exposure to what is out there and what is possible. With these different opportunities a spark can be ignited and can create a drive to invest in life now!
• Togetherness and social confidence: We believe that a better future for SA lies in the ability for people to understand each other, respect each other, see the similarities, appreciate the differences and feel comfortable with interaction.
• Shared learning: We believe we can all learn from each other and with each other. The impact is more likely to be long lasting.
South Africa boasts some of the world’s most spectacular attractions but most of the children who live here aren’t aware of this. Many children face enormous challenges like sickness, extreme poverty and escalating crime that force them to grow up too quickly, without experiencing the simple pleasures that make most children happy: fresh air, colourful surroundings, smiles, hugs, healthy food to nurture their bodies (and not-so-healthy treats to nurture their souls), fun, freedom, and opportunities to jump, sing, run wild, play and laugh out loud.
These same children also so often lack a connection with inspirational, caring role models. Developing self-respect, creativity and confidence to interact with people of different ages and cultures are all skills which are needed for children to grow into happy and productive adults. Fun and relaxed environments make learning these skills far easier and more enduring.
Sisanda FunDaytion responds to this challenge by creating recreational opportunities, with our volunteers, for disadvantaged children through Sisanda Fun Days and Sisanda Circles. We partner with children’s homes, community centres, health and institutional centres, as well as other non-profit organisations to identify children in need of recreational support and Fun. We work with boys and girls from between 5 and 17 from different communities mainly in the Cape Town metropolitan area.
It all started when one of Sisanda’s founding trustees, Daniella, was at an HIV
clinic and met a group of 12 children who were HIV positive, had been damaged
in many different ways and were living in impoverished environments. The clinic
she was at was in deep need - the children's area had no chairs, no toys and no
psychologist. The convener asked them to share their biggest wish for
Christmas, no matter how big or impossible. She listened, quietly, at the back
of the room as 8 of the 12 children said that they wished to go to the beach.
This was preposterous! It was the height of summer and we were 20 minutes from
the nearest beach.
She sent out an emotional cry on Facebook to ask for people to donate so
that she could help the clinic and help the children realise their dream. The
response was phenomenal. Not only did the donations transform the clinic’s
environment by redecorating, providing food, buying chairs and toys, hiring a
psychologist and training two youth counsellors but it also left enough money
to take 37 children to the beach for the day.
It was supposed to be a simple day, but we could never have predicted
the impact it would have, not only on the children whose joy was palpable, but
the 14 'volunteers' who experienced what it means to give to another in this
country... They were transformed by it. That one outing lead to the start of our
NPO, Sisanda FunDaytion. Sisanda FunDaytion is named after one little girl, Sisanda,
who they met along the way and is a name that in Xhosa means ‘We are growing’.
Today, just over five years later, we have done many days like this with
thousands of children from more than 30 different clinics, orphanages and
community centers in the Western Cape with the help of our volunteers. The children we have worked with are incredibly impoverished,
largely HIV-positive and simply do not experience the kind of days we are able
to give them - days where they are free, days where they have access to the
beauty of our country and days where they feel deeply cared for. There have been
spin-offs - Christmas gifts, food parcels, teen movie nights, work experience
and an adoption and we are now registered as the Sisanda FunDaytion, an NPO,
named after one very special child we met along the way.
Our Registration Details
• Trust registration number: IT 3973/2009
• NPO number: 080-949 NPO
• Section 18a reference number: PBO 9300033409