HISTORY AND BACKGROUND

Hope of Africa Foundation was established in 1997 and grew out of an earlier project called Jehovah Jireh Ministries. Its primary purpose is to empower communities economically, socially and spiritually in order to address the problems of Africa.

Hope of Africa uses an approach whereby successful professionals in many different spheres are encouraged to plough back their skills and experience into real and lasting community development initiatives.

Hope of Africa Foundation is managed by a competent Board of Trustees drawn mainly from the business sector in the Western Cape.

The Chairman is PASTOR CHRIS NAIDOO who was Area Manager - Retail of Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd and a Director of various companies and an ordained minister. Chris has been personally involved in many community projects, NGOs, church planting and revivals over a number of years and has a passion for the rapid empowerment of key individuals and communities. As from 1 April 2000, he has been heading up the Foundation on a full time basis.

A COMMUNITY IN NEED

People of all communities desire a better life where there are opportunities and avenues for improvement and advancement. But for many these are very slow in coming and some wonder if there really is any hope for the future.

Now many years into the New South Africa and Africa, many are asking why so little has changed to impact their own personal lives and a spirit of disenchantment is taking hold.

Many are living in informal settlements or in mass housing projects in South Africa and elsewhere in Africa and see little hope for the future. Many in these communities are labourers or unskilled workers and lack the necessary skills to advance to a better-paid position. In fact many people wish to improve and better their living standards but without help from outside will never be able to grasp new opportunities.

During his opening of parliament speech on 12 February 1999, President Nelson Mandela posed certain questions which he wanted all South Africans to ask themselves: " What am I doing to make South Africa a better place for all who live in it and to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged? What am I doing to counter criminal and corrupt activity? What am I doing to help reconcile and unite our people?"

The mission of Hope of Africa Foundation is to provide answers to these questions by bringing together people from all walks of life to equip and empower them to develop their own solutions to their spiritual, social and economic problems.

DIVISIONS

Hope of Africa Foundation has four operating divisions of which HOAF Economic Division and HOAF Business Network are set up to generate funding for the activities of HOAF Social Division and Spiritual Division.

Key functions of the HOAF Social Development and Training Projects is to assist communities with training and development opportunities, study bursaries to underprivileged students, feeding schemes, funding to children, youth upliftment programmes, rehabilatation programmes and job creation.

The key function of the HOAF Business Network is to be a catalyst in linking individuals with the right business contacts who themselves also subscribe to the principles of the Hope of Africa Foundation. The HOAF Business Network also has regular meetings where one-on-one networking takes place and key speakers cover relevant business topics.

The HOAF Economic Division acts as consultants and conduits for various individuals, companies and organisations wanting to set up programmes, and requires finance, training and mentorship. Furthermore, it assists empowerment groups to enter into joint ventures and execute projects, contracts and access opportunities.

The Economic Division is also involved in acquiring strategic stakes in projects and businesses.

HOAF Spiritual Division focuses on various spiritual missions in association with all churches and other key role players within the community.

It also assist with strategic planning, funding and support programmes for these organisations.

FOCUS

Hope of Africa Foundation has consistently focused on training, development and mobilizing members of communities it works in to reach their full potential. These empowerment activities are conducted in cooperation with community and business leaders.

The organization actively assists businesspersons in small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) in managing and marketing their businesses.

Interventions for the unemployed are directed to them accessing mainstream employment as well as starting their own businesses.

Leadership training, career development advice, strategic planning and spiritual development programmes are key empowerment tools being utilized by the Foundation.