Karin Comer, Director and Founder of the company says: "As director of the company, I firmly believe it is important to be active in one's community, give where one can and support projects and campaigns that need support."
Over the years, the Directors and students from XChange have done various fundraising events in Europe for Western Cape charities. Homes for Aids children, organisations for abused women and more recently a project for street children in Cape Town, have become beneficiaries. The latter received an amount of over R50 000 from a fun walk held at a school in Hamburg via ex-XChange students and staff.
We further have done Christmas parties in the Townships every year and can truthfully claim that we have made significant contributions to upliftment, the sharing of professional knowledge, job creation and tourism development during the past years. Our last Christmas function was held for abused mothers and children and it was an emotional afternoon learning how a simple kind deed could really mean a lot to people.
We have also assisted an orphanage in Elsies River for 30 children – all abandoned, neglected or abused by parents. We normally take them food, but also started with a cleaning team once a month to help maintain their gardens, paint or just help by playing with the children. This is a very measurable project and what we do really makes a huge difference to both the staff and children. The long-term goal is to train their staff and empower them with different skills.
Furthermore we are supporting a school for twelve 10–12 year old semi-literate children with all their books and equipment. We also support a school for older high school children who would not have gone back to a normal government school due to many social factors. This year, we sponsored a large percentage of their school books and stationery for the 90 plus young people. One of these children is now in a top mainstream school and we support her with school clothing and other needs. She is doing very well at school at present.
Our interns with our planning and support completed a heated swimming pool, 2 play parks, painted murals in a recreational area, a soccer field and several other charity events for the organisations we worked with during 2008/9 already.
Our students also started a special project with our help and support. A trust has been set up to fund a job creation project in a Cape Town Township. This project was started by two of our interns with the aim to assist an unemployed man to earn a living. They helped to identify needs in the Townships, wrote a business plan and helped him set up a small, but successful business. Funding is available to start phase two of the project - funding raised by our students. This project has gained support and respect by some prominent Rotary Clubs in Cape Town.
Past students have done very successful projects here in South Africa. Those include the upgrading of classrooms, funding outings for large NGO's, the rehabilitation of an indoor heated swimming pool, the construction of various sport fields, playgrounds and food gardens - of which some still continue today.
Further to the above, we regulary support charity gala's and fund-raisers. We have also sponsored printers for schools, stationery for special needs schools and something we are most proud of, are the number of projects our interns are involved in on the side during their stay in South Africa. Many volunteer for projects over weekends as part of their community service and make a contribution in this way to all local communities.
SIMPLE DEEDS CAN SPARK A FLAME THAT CAN CHANGE OUR WORLD. XCHANGE IS ONE OF THE ONLY – IF NOT THE ONLY ORGANISATION – WHO ACTIVELY GETS INVOLVED WITH SOCIAL PROJECTS