MTN awards TEARS for their contribution to social change

Non-profit organisations (NPOs) encapsulate a broad range of interests and provide support to some of the most vulnerable in our society. It is important for NPOs to measure the outcomes of their work to ensure that maximum impact is achieved. This year, to encourage and reward good monitoring and evaluation (M&E) practice in the non-profit sector, MTN Foundation, in partnership with CSI and sustainability consultancy, Trialogue, launched the MTN Awards for Social Change.

These awards recognise and reward non-profits that are able to provide evidence of the positive difference they are making. “We wanted to reach out to all non-profit organisations, not just those currently benefiting directly from MTN’s existing ICT in education or youth empowerment programmes,” said Kusile Mtunzi-Hairwadzi, General Manager of the MTN Foundation.

The awards aim to establish a platform for learning and sharing information that will assist all non-profits that engage in this process. Through the application process, non-profits are exposed to M&E practices and principles. Registered NPOs were required to enter a project or programme that is creating positive impact, has been running for at least two years and has some level of associated M&E practice.

“We were delighted that seventy NPOs entered the Awards, with the quality of the entries reflecting the non-profit sector’s commitment to measuring their impact in our society,” added Mtunzi-Hairwadzi.

Entries were shortlisted by Trialogue and twenty organisations were put forward for final selection by a panel of independent judges. A total of R1 million of prize money was awarded to the winning NPOs in each of the three categories, as well as a fourth bonus award winner.

And the winners are…

TEARS Foundation, for Help-at-yourfingertips®

Small NPO category winner, with a total annual income less than R2 million (R300 000 prize)

TEARS Foundation supports survivors of rape and sexual abuse and has an annual turnover of R1 million. The TEARS’ Help-at-your-fingertips programme, which began in 2012, provides support to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse using prompt-based mobile technology. When someone sends a distress message, using *134*7355#, they are geolocated.

The person is then sent the locations of the nearest partner facilities that can assist them. In the last financial year, TEARS Foundation spent R1 million on the programme.

TEARS began developing Help-at-your-fingertips in 2005, based on gender-based violence (GBV) data from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ), the South African Police Service (SAPS), Statistics South Africa, the United Nations and the University of Pretoria’s Student Health Services. Input was also included from many NPOs.

To date, 57 318 survivors have received speedy responses and access to medical assistance, counselling and criminal justice support. Through the programme, 150 SAPS officers have been trained on how to treat GBV survivors with dignity, empathy and confidentiality. TEARS also drive education campaigns across the country and collaborates with various healthcare stakeholders.

Daily activity data is collected and analysed for quality assurance and internal improvements. TEARS is a member of Shukumisa, a coalition of 80 NPOs that contributes to a national database to inform service delivery in the country. The data also contributes to GBV trend reports produced by the DoJ.


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