We like getting to know the people behind the non-profit organisations that we partner with. Today, David Brown, Managing Director of Joint Aid Management South Africa (JAM SA), tells us more about working for a non-profit organisation.
In 10 words or fewer, what is the idea behind Joint Aid Management SA (JAM SA)?
Helping Africa help itself. Improving the education of pre-school children in South Africa through improved nutrition, facilities and teaching.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received (in the context of a Non-Profit Organisation)?
Listen to your beneficiaries and their communities in order to really understand their needs and make sustainable change.
What advice would you give those wanting to work for, or start, a Non-Profit Organisation?
Understand the issues and do this by listening – do not impose on people what you think are the solutions. Find people or supporters with a similar vision and passion.
What, in your mind, has been JAM SA’s biggest success?
Our ability to provide pre-school children in South Africa with a highly nutritious meal every day for R30 per month or R360 a year for the last 7 years.
What have you/ your organisation learnt from mistakes that may have been made?
Working with beneficiaries is working with a partner – you need to clearly define and continually clarify the responsibilities and obligations of each partner.
In what way would you like JAM SA to impact South Africa?
We would like to see no children in South Africa going to bed hungry. We would like to see children well prepared for their entry into the formal schooling system in Grade 1. We would like to see children educated to be able to take their rightful place in society.
Have you met any people or heard any stories that have inspired you to do the work that you do? If so, please tell us a little more.
We continually see how the lives of young children are changed through receiving proper nutrition and being in a pre-school with appropriate infrastructure and education.
Why did you decide to do the work that you do?
After many years working in many parts of the world in many different industries it is a privilege to be involved in such meaningful work and contributing to changing the lives of children.