Good Deeds: Love is Giving

In May 2012, we had our first Good Deeds initiative of distributing baby blankets to an orphanage in Johannesburg South. My husband Loyiso Nyengule and I created Good Deeds together and later some of our friends and colleagues who saw the work we did, decided to join us. Initially we started as a group of young professionals who wanted to start a non-profit organization (NPO) and come up with ideas on how to alleviate social ills in disadvantaged communities. We were eager to make a difference, our objective was simple: to alleviate societal ills, notably in education, by raising funds to assist impoverished youngsters in their pursuit of higher education.

Our quest began with the shared objective of establishing an NPO. Regrettably, the initial group did not unfold as planned. Undeterred, Loyiso and I decided to carry forward the work individually. Good Deeds embarked on its journey, embracing an informal yet passionately charitable spirit. Despite lacking a formal structure, we continued to receive support from our friends, family and colleagues, who contributed through donations and spreading the word. We acknowledge that we are merely vessels leading these initiatives, and none of them would achieve success without the support of our friends. Good Deeds has taken on many different forms over the years. Through various initiatives, such as toiletry drives for abused women in Johannesburg and winter drives and blanket distributions for the homeless, we have tried to make a difference in people’s lives. Amongst many other initiatives we have given groceries to orphanages, meals to the hungry, and precious memories of time spent with underprivileged children.

Our recent outreach was in an informal settlement called Boiketlong in the Vaal area. We hosted a birthday celebration for all and distributed food parcels. More than a hundred children and their parents attended our birthday celebration, which offered some much-needed happiness to a community struggling with the harsh realities of poverty. These are the times when the genuine meaning of good deeds is revealed, not only as a supply of necessities but also as a source of comfort, joy, and hope for a better tomorrow.

We will never forget the lasting impact of one especially motivational success story. We helped a young student from Boiketlong transition from Grade 10 to Grade 12 a few years ago through sponsored tutoring sessions. With determination and support, she not only excelled academically but also secured funding for tertiary education through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). Today, she stands as a graduate in information systems, a living testament to the transformative power of collective kindness. We hope one day she will be able to pass it forward and be a beacon of hope for the young ones in the community.

The idea that each person can contribute to closing social divides is the foundation of Good Deeds. We recognize the significant influence of our twice-yearly efforts, even though we might not be able to save the world right now. Whether it is giving a warm blanket, sharing a meal, or making others smile, every act of kindness has a positive effect that transforms communities.

Thinking back on our journey, the significance of giving strikes a deep chord. Since nobody is alone, helping others is a reciprocal recognition of our common humanity. Giving unites people from different origins and connects them through compassion. Giving might take the form of chances, meals, or small acts of kindness.

Good deeds go beyond just giving things; they include being kind, wise, and creating a continuous cycle of sharing positive vibes. By doing one good thing at a time, we can change the world if each of us contributes a little bit, whether it’s through intangible qualities like kindness and wisdom or tangible things like material possessions. Good Deeds is like a woven thread of generosity and transformation, showing how people coming together can make a big impact.

Feziwe is a UWC graduate and co-founder of the Good Deeds foundation.

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