Chris Roy Garland: South African Charities That Deserve Our Support

Christopher Roy Garland
3 min readMay 22, 2024

South Africa faces numerous socio-economic challenges, from poverty and inequality to lack of access to education and healthcare. Fortunately, there are many dedicated charities working tirelessly to uplift communities and create positive change.

Here are some remarkable South African charities that Christopher Roy Garland believes deserve our support:

National Sea Rescue Institute
The National Sea Rescue Institute is a charity that works to prevent drowning through rescue operations, education, and preventative initiatives along South Africa’s coastline and inland waters. I grew up in Plymouth, surrounded by the sea, and am passionate about it. I have supported this particular charity for many years.

With over a thousand volunteer rescue crew members, NSRI responds around the clock to distress calls, executing daring rescues in extreme ocean conditions. They also teach water safety and survival swimming to thousands of children each year through their educational programs.

Gift of the Givers
This highly respected disaster response NGO provides relief aid, including food, water, and medical care, during emergencies and crises both locally and internationally. Their rapid response and commitment to reaching the most vulnerable have earned them widespread acclaim.

Founded in 1992, Gift of the Givers has responded to nearly every major disaster around the world, from earthquakes and floods to conflict zones. Within South Africa, they run sustainable development projects focused on food security, skills development, and healthcare access for impoverished communities.

Cotlands
Focused on early childhood development, Cotlands operates baby sanctuaries, early learning playgroups, and toy libraries across South Africa. Their work supports orphaned, abandoned, and vulnerable children, giving them a strong foundation for the future.

Cotlands believes that every child deserves a chance at a bright future. Their integrated model provides not only educational services but also healthcare, psychosocial support, and family strengthening programs. This holistic approach ensures young children receive the nurturing care and stimulation crucial for their growth.

CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation
CHOC provides comprehensive support to children with cancer and other life-threatening blood disorders, as well as their families. From accommodation and transport to emotional support, they ensure no child has to walk the journey alone.

With a national footprint of regional offices and facilities, CHOC accompanies families every step of the way on their treatment journey. Their services include transporting rural patients, hosting them in affordable housing, providing nutritional support, and offering counseling to help cope with the immense emotional toll.

Afrika Tikkun
This NGO takes a holistic approach to community development, offering programs in education, health, and social services. Their goal is to empower youth and break the cycle of poverty and inequality.

Afrika Tikkun’s innovative Cradle to Career 360° model starts by providing early childhood development, then carries students through primary and secondary schooling with after-school programs and nutrition. Finally, they offer career guidance, skills training, and job placement to help youth become economically self-sufficient.

The Lunchbox Fund
Recognizing the importance of nutrition for learning, The Lunchbox Fund provides a daily meal to orphaned and vulnerable students across South Africa, ensuring they can focus on their education.

Good nutrition is fundamental for a child’s physical and cognitive development. The Lunchbox Fund delivers a nutritious daily meal to schools in disadvantaged communities. This enables kids to concentrate better in class and gives them the energy to participate fully in their education.

These are just a few of the incredible charities making a tangible difference in South Africa. By supporting their efforts through donations or volunteering, we can contribute to building a more just and equitable society for all.

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Christopher Roy Garland
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Christopher Roy Garland, Botswana managing director of Fidelity Indemnity (Pty) Ltd., a financial planning and corporate advisory firm based in Gaborone.