DIRECTORS NOTE PIECE

As we come to the end of the year, we can only look back over the past year with gratitude.  After losing a significant amount of funding and being forced to retrench a large number of staff in late 2020, things looked bleak indeed.  We faced great uncertainty and the prospect of greatly diminished impact in our work.  However, the remaining team stuck together, focused on the positive and looked to build back stronger.  

As a result, we had a number of significant wins this year.  We reorganised internally, secured the services of a Business Development Specialist, and put stronger focus than before on marketing, media and fundraising.  We hosted two successful fundraising breakfasts, ran a number of successful campaigns seeking support for our work and made connections with a number of new partners in our local communities.  

On the fundraising front, we won two new funding contracts with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and the PEPFAR Small Grants Programme.  We are grateful to these partners for their support.  We were also able to continue offering our computer course due to funding received through Skillwise, the developers of our course.  We continued with staff capacity building and organisational support with our partners, ActionCOACH Ignite, Thrive and Fulfil.  We thank them all for helping us get through the tough times. 

No reference to this year is complete without referring to the impact of the riots we experienced in July 2021.  TVT was not spared.  We saw our building – which housed a hardware store we rented out – get looted over a number of days and then get partially burnt.  But yet again, we’ve seen the operator of that business come back and prepare to reopen, albeit with certain changes to how the business will operate. 

TVT has undertaken a study to understand the motivations and impact of the riots on community members.  We hope to release the findings early in the new year.  Through all the ups and downs of the year, TVT has enjoyed the unwavering support of our board of trustees.  Our heartfelt thank you goes to all these individuals. 

It seems that one clear lesson from the past year is that one should never give up hope.  No matter how bad things look at a particular point in time, they do get better.  At TVT, we will hold on to that hope as we go into the new year and trust that 2022 will bring not only challenges, but opportunities for us all to get better at what we do as well.  We wish all our friends, supporters and other stakeholders a safe and enjoyable festive period and a prosperous 2022!

S’bongiseni Vilakazi
Executive Director
The Valley Trust
Tel: 031-716 6800
Cell: 072-639 6567
www.thevalleytrust.org.za
1953-2013: 60 Years of service to the community!

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