Previous grants in South Africa

View past grant projects by our partner organisations in South Africa.

Since 2019, the Impact Fund has been focused on a range of thematic priority areas. These include COVID-19 response, gender equality, disability and social inclusion (GEDSI), climate action, organisational strengthening, and volunteer assignment support. Explore successful grant applications and projects from South Africa below. 

GEDSI (2022)

Eco Children

Taking Kids into Kruger Park

Eco Children is a non-profit organisation delivering hands-on environmental education by stimulating an interest in nature and improving learning environments.  

For generations, Kruger National Park has been inaccessible to the communities who live on its fringe. The Native Settlement Act banned Black South Africans from visiting the park, and while the Act has been abolished, the cost of entrance fees and need for transport mean that low socioeconomic families are still unlikely to visit.   

Eco Children believes that every South African child should be able to visit the Kruger National Park and witness the beauty of the environment, which is an important part of their heritage.

This project will offer excursions to Kruger National Park as a reward for learners with top academic grades and those who participate in the Eco Children Program.  With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • deliver a pre-excursion lesson about conservation to 460 year seven students from eight schools 
  • take 16 students on an excursion to Kruger National Park, where they will observe and learn about wildlife
  • deliver a bush art program for the students who did not participate in the excursion
  • support the excursion students to deliver a presentation about their experience.   

Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA Queer Archive)

Hopes and Dreams That Sound Like Yours, Volume 2

Hopes and Dreams is an illustrated anthology of queer activist stories from sub-Saharan Africa, developed through a partnership between GALA Queer Archive and Taboom Media. 

These anthologies highlight some of the work happening on the continent to advance queer rights and combat discrimination and provides an opportunity for LGBTIQ activists to write and build their own history. 

This book will be available and distributed free of charge to contributors, queer activist and human rights organisations, libraries and other interested parties.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • provide a workshop and mentoring for activists to write their stories (online) 
  • post a digital version of the publication online for free download
  • print and distribute physical copies of the book free of charge
  • hold a launch event
  • publish excerpts of stories online in video and text format 
  • open up a call for queer animation students to apply for a funded opportunity to animate a selection of the stories from the publication, to be shared online and used in educational settings such as workshops and training. 

Hlanganisa Institute for Development Southern Africa (GEDSI)

My Healing My Story - Amplifying Voices of Women with Disabilities  

Hlanganisa supports women’s rights-centred, impactful, community-led programs to build resilient, sustainable communities.   

Levels of violence against women (VAW) in South Africa continue to rise. Women with disabilities face complex dynamics regarding VAW, as their needs are not prioritised in policies and resource allocation. Many do not report violence, and those that do rarely get to access justice due to: a gross lack of information in accessible formats – such as braille – about gender-based violence an intimidating court system that considers them unreliable witnesses a fear of victimisation.  

In 2018, Hlanganisa developed a gender-based violence storytelling guide as part of a toolkit that enables community-based organisations to implement disability-inclusive gender-based violence programming. Storytelling is an important aspect of healing, yet few survivors have the opportunity to share their stories in a safe space.  

Through this project, Hlanganisa will help women living with disability and affected by gender-based violence to tell their stories as part of a healing journey. The case studies will be documented and disseminated to help women in similar circumstances.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • convene a storytelling retreat to provide a safe space for women living with disability and impacted by gender-based violence to tell their stories
  • facilitate healing and build resilience through storytelling and accompanying psychosocial support and illustrate the link between justice and healing
  • establish a virtual peer support network for women living with disability who are survivors of violence. 

Media Monitoring Africa

Inclusive Media Reporting  

Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) seeks to promote diversity of voices and sources in news reporting.  

Women, ordinary citizens and children continue to be marginalised in South African media. MMA has determined that women hardly feature as sources in news, even in coverage of issues that are highly relevant to them, such as gender-based violence (43 per cent) and issues of national importance like elections (19 per cent). Ordinary citizens are only included as sources in coverage of events of national importance like elections 4 per cent of the time. Children only feature in news 10 per cent of the time.  

If the media can deliberately include these groups' voices in news reporting and provide a platform for them to raise their issues, there is a higher probability that their issues will be prioritised and addressed.   

MMA aims to build the media's capacity in ethical reporting of women and children as well as inclusion of ordinary citizens from diverse backgrounds and regions of South Africa. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will: 

  • train 40 journalists and editors in gender-sensitive reporting of women that includes women's voices in Kwa-Zulu Natal
  • train 40 journalists and editors in diverse reporting that is inclusive of citizens' voices in Western Cape
  • train 40 journalists and editors in ethical reporting that is inclusive of childrens' voices in Gauteng. 

Refugee Social Services

Empowerment of Refugee Women and Youth Affected by Social Exclusion and Gender-Based Violence in Durban.  

Refugee Social Services supports refugees and asylum seekers in the Kwa-Zulu Nata province of South Africa.   

People seeking refugee status in South Africa experience immense difficulty in being recognised as a refugee. Even if granted refugee status, they often struggle to meet their basic needs and can experience violence. Youth, some of whom were born in South Africa to refugee parents, are often excluded from accessing opportunities to further their education or work, resulting in a disillusioned population who are at risk of being abused and exploited.  

This project aims to empower 16 refugee women and youth who are either at risk of gender-based violence or are survivors of gender-based violence and have been excluded based on their gender and nationality from securing education and other opportunities.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • select eight women and eight youth to participate in the program and attend orientation
  • establish groups for survivors of gender-based violence and youth at risk to engage in eight-weeks of therapeutic group sessions
  • ongoing monthly sharing, networking and capacity building sessions
  • skills training programs based on interests or for starting a business.  

QuadPara Association Western Cape

Disability Awareness

QuadPara Association Western Cape strives to improve the lives of quadriplegic and paraplegic people in Western Cape, South Africa.

People living with disability are often marginalised and misunderstood in South Africa. Most schools do not include people living with disability, so young people miss out on the opportunity to learn how to interact and communicate with people living with disability.

In this program, volunteers who use wheelchairs will visit schools to share their stories, inform learners about the challenges faced by people with disabilities, highlight the abilities that people living with disabilities have, and educate students about how to interact with people living with disabilities.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will visit 12 schools in areas identified as high risk of people acquiring disabilities as a result of gang activity and substance abuse. Volunteers using wheelchairs will deliver presentations to a minimum of 1500 students on the appropriate way to interact with people living with disabilities the importance of an accessible built environment the discrimination faced by people with disabilities the talent and ability that people with disabilities have the dangers of negative lifestyle choices such as gang violence and substance abuse.

Sexual Violence Research Initiative

Building Networks and Careers of Young Researchers from East Asia Pacific

The Sexual Violence Research Initiative’s (SVRI) Forum is a space for researchers, practitioners, funders, policymakers, activists, and others working in the field of violence against women and children around the world to learn, share and connect.

SVRI Forum 2022 will be in Cancún, Mexico, from 19-23 September. Bursaries are offered to support researchers, activists, and practitioners from low and middle-income countries who would not otherwise be able to attend. SVRI encourages applications from diverse groups of young people including LGBTIQ, people with disabilities, and people from diverse racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will award one bursary to a young researcher or practitioner in East Asia Pacific to attend SVRI Forum 2022.

Organisational Strengthening (2022)

Sexual Violence Research Initiative

Addressing Language Justice

The Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) is the world’s largest network of researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and other stakeholders who aim to achieve a world free of violence against women and children.

The biennial SVRI Forum brings diverse voices together to accelerate and advance the field. SVRI Forum 2022 will be held in Cancún, Mexico, from 19-23 September 2022. Translation and interpretation services at SVRI Forum are essential for enabling communication and sharing.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will provide translation and interpretation services at SVRI Forum 2022 in Spanish and English.


Uplifted Teacher Training – Train the Trainer

Botshabelo will improve early childhood development (ECD) in rural South Africa by providing training and knowledge sharing for teachers, along with resources and renovations. 

Everyone has the right to a basic education, but young children from rural families in South Africa often miss out on early childhood education because their carers don’t have the finances to provide them with a foundation in education. 

The Department of Basic Education is about to bring ECD under their umbrella, so this is a good opportunity to work with the government to make improvements. However, although the government is wanting to bring about change in the sector, recent rioting in the region has crippled infrastructure and finances are having to be spent elsewhere to recover from the looting. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • train and equip at least 10 ECD principals and teachers to promote early childhood development education in the rural setting
  • empower 135 principals and teachers working in rural ECD centres to have a fulfilling career, prevent corporal punishment and offer better education delivery 
  • reach at least 4,000 pre-schoolers by improving foundational education in rural communities 
  • resource rural ECD centres with appropriate educational equipment
  • train rural ECD practitioners in good ECD practices. 

Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA Queer Archive)

Archive Development, Preservation and Storage

Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (commonly known as the GALA Queer Archive) is a catalyst for the production, preservation and dissemination of information about the history, culture and experiences of LGBTIQ+ people in South Africa.

For GALA and the archive to thrive, it requires updated IT equipment and the ability to engage with queer archives and researchers around the world.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • cover costs for safe storage of GALA's 203 collections at the Document Warehouse facility in Johannesburg
  • secure and pay for GALA’s office space
  • purchase a new desktop computer to be used to archive GALA’s collections
  • enable staff to attend the "Why Queer History Matters" conference in Bergen, Norway.

Hlanganisa Institute for Development Southern Africa (Organisational Strengthening)

Anchoring Hlanganisa into the Future

Hlanganisa supports women’s rights-centred, impactful, community-led programs to build resilient, sustainable communities.

Hlanganisa recently adopted a new strategy that sets the organisation's priorities for the next five years. As Hlanganisa embarks on this journey, internal changes are required in human resources.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • acquire specialist human resource development services to support the new strategy
  • acquire specialist board coaching services to support and strengthen governance.

Hoedspruit Training Trust

Hlokomela Employee Wellness Program

Hoedspruit Training Trust (Hlokomela) is a non-profit organisation working in South Africa’s healthcare sector. A health and wellbeing program for staff is required to benefit 80 employees.

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will:

  • orientate 80 staff into the Employee Wellness Program
  • implement employee wellness program quarterly themes and monthly activities
  • facilitate annual medical check-ups for employees.

Assignment Support (2021)

Ann Harding Cheshire Home

Equipment to facilitate communication with volunteers for our residents 

COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns have made it difficult for residents in care facilities to connect with others and many have experienced boredom or loneliness.

Residents at Ann Harding Cheshire Home in Randburg, Gauteng Province, would benefit from an increased connection to facilitators and family outside of their home setting. The Ann Harding Cheshire Home is a residential care facility for adults aged 18 to 54, who have physical disability. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will purchase webcams, a big screen smart television, a meetup camera and a speaker to help residents connect with family and an external facilitator. 

This equipment will also allow the residents to explore the world more through the internet, and residents will be encouraged to use it on a daily basis.  

GEDSI (2021)

Ann Harding Cheshire Home

Computer accessibility for Ann Harding residents 

The Ann Harding Cheshire Home will provide a computer station that all residents can use, including residents living with a disability.  

Residents struggle with boredom and loneliness, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic as residents cannot see their families and friends. Some residents also struggle to communicate, which makes it difficult for staff to understand their needs. 

Computers will be installed in an existing area close to the residents’ lounge area, equipped with specialised software that allows residents who struggle to communicate access to the internet, email, social media and video calls. Residents can type their needs (using specialised equipment), and then show it to a staff member. The software has predictive text and will become more efficient over time. The computers will also be equipped with specialised mouses and keyboards for people with limited mobility.  

‍With support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, project activities will include: 

  • purchasing and installing five desktop computers 
  • ordering specialised software and equipment 
  • staff and resident training 
  • encouraging residents to use the computers on a daily basis. 

The computer station will broaden residents’ horizons and improve their social connections and mental health by improving their access to friends and family. 


Early childhood development education for women and children in rural areas

Botshabelo will offer effective early childhood development training and knowledge-sharing to women in rural and remote regions of South Africa. It will provide the skills and resources for women to establish early childhood education micro-businesses while being agents of social change in their communities. 

Women rural and remote regions of South Africa often do not have the education training and tools needed to empower their own career paths. They can lack the foundations in early childhood education or sustainable business practices to establish successful early childhood development programs.  

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, Botshabelo will: 

  • upskill women with theoretical and practical skills in early childhood development 
  • promote shared knowledge and skills development 
  • create a peer network system that is sustainable and will ensure accountability 
  • establish a training centre for participants using an existing early childhood development facility 
  • train rural early childhood educators at the training centre  
  • provide technological support for remote training. 

This project will allow teachers in rural and remote areas to receive training, coaching and mentoring on a regular basis. It will also empower rural women to improve the value of early childhood education in rural South Africa by building positive and authentic relationships with the key stakeholders.  

This project will provide the basis for quality early childhood education curriculums for children in South African rural areas. Effective early childhood education will enable these children to enter primary school on par with children from urban areas. It will also promote safe and educational places for children to develop holistically, and help provide good educational foundations that will set children up for future academic success‍.‍ 

QuadPara Association Western Cape

Disability awareness campaign 

The QuadPara Association Western Cape project will dispel myths and preconceived perceptions about wheelchair users in South African communities. It will deliver art workshops in schools to show children how to confidently interact and engage with wheelchair users, improving their understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities. 

People with a disability continue to be marginalised and misunderstood in South Africa. This project aims to educate children at schools about people living with a disability at an age when they are likely to be more open minded. 

With the support of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund, this project will visit 12 schools to: 

  • share success stories from people with a disability and explain the challenges faced by wheelchair users  display mouth paintings by QuadPara Association Western Cape members 
  • teach students how to interact with wheelchair users 
  • highlight the importance of accessible environments for wheelchair users  demonstrate the importance of positive lifestyle choices. 

The project team will include three wheelchair users, their carers and a driver who will travel to three rural regions in the Western Cape province. The QuadPara Association Western Cape will work with the Western Cape Department of Education to ensure that the project targets schools where positive messages about wheelchair users are most needed. 

Participants will be equipped with the knowledge required to confidently engage with wheelchair users. The information shared will dispel misconceptions about people with disabilities in the community, improving understanding and acceptance in their communities

COVID-19 Response (2020)

Malamulele Onward

Protection of children with cerebral palsy and their families living in rural resource-constrained settings from the negative impact of COVID-19

Malamulele Onward will provide children living with cerebral palsy, and their families, with food, clothing, personal protective equipment and sanitisation products, to help support them during COVID-19, as well as providing education and testing support. 

The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA)

Reimaging our futures beyond COVID-19

SAIIA will engage with South African young people and educators on a series of interactive virtual dialogues to help provide a safe and supportive platform for them to share their views on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and develop ideas and solutions for tackling challenges during the pandemic and beyond.