Very often within the NGO space the good work that many NGOs do is not communicated very well, nor the story of the people on the ground that have been impacted; how the individuals lives have changed for the better and then as a direct result how their community has benefited.
Currently SA has a massive employment issue. The Unemployment Rate in South Africa averaged 25.37 percent from 2000 until 2016. Many South Africans are without jobs and added to this the amount of people who have little or no access to health care is of growing concern and a challenge that faces every single South African at the end of the day.
Cipla Medpro have been working to help combat this issue and in doing so have developed the Shap’Left Medstores initiative. The Shap’Left Medstores project is linked to a long-term business model that ultimately turns donor funds received into a sustainable self owned business for individuals in their community creating employment and access to basic health care; empowering people at grass roots, working with the community and with the community.
The Cipla Foundation South Africa’s Managing Trustee David Grier has been spearheading this project and recently visited the Eastern Cape to work with individuals helping to set up little businesses in their community.
Here is David’s story
“As the sun finds cracks in the clouds, stabbing shards of light through them, spreading ribbons of soft yellow beams over the mountains. The air is fresh and heavy from the rains of yesterday. I stand Staring down the valley, in the distance reflections shimmer from the roof of a home, dance and sparkle in the morning rays.
Green plains of long lush grass roll on into the distance and wash up against the wall of hills.
This Eastern Cape at its best, I have just spent the evening with a family in their traditional home in the little village of Hebron, about a 40 min drive from Matatiele. In the background there is the clutter of pots and the smell of coffee floats through the morning air. The odd cowbell rings in the valley below as the herds are driven out to graze. I quietly sit and sip on my cup of “Milk Coffee” and just reflect on this incredible experience.
I have been in the Eastern Cape for the past few days working on a project which assists individuals setting up little businesses in their village. This is not just any business; it also has a healthcare component, aimed at empowering these communities to get access to quality Non- Schedule medicine backed up with product training and basic health advice.
These areas have little or no access to basic health advice and meds, you can imagine having to travel 50 km to the nearest health post; it’s just not on. As the project grows, we will continue up-skilling the traders and their health knowledge, as well as partnering with the local clinics to assist with the distribution of chronic medication into the far flung areas. I have always been of the opinion that no individual, NGO, corporate or state can solve the healthcare issues of a country; it has to be a partnership. This initiative is a partnership between Reciprocity, SaveAct, SAB foundation and Cipla Foundation SA.”
For more information about Shap’Left and our other initiatives click here