Philani Child Health & Nutrition Project
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CHOSA - Philani Family Fund (PFF)

The Philani Family Fund (PFF) once an independent fund, is now an integrated project at Philani. It is sponsored by the non-profit organisation Children of South Africa (CHOSA), and supplements the Outreach and OVC Programmes at Philani. The mission of the fund is to give families the tools they need to get themselves out of poverty. To achieve this, PFF is divided into two branches: emergency relief, which generally comes in the form of housing; and long-term human investments, in which a comprehensive plan is established to help a family or OVC adolescent reach a long-term goal. These investments usually come in the form of schooling bursaries or job training and include many items that often get lost in the red tape of other initiatives such as crèche fees for a beneficiary’s children, transportation, books, etc. In all cases the recipient is required to “pay back” for the sponsorship, either as a long-term low interest loan, or by committing to a set number of hours of community service.

The fund started in 2005 when a group of exchange student-volunteers from the U.S. decided to assist an impoverished family from the Philani Outreach Programme that was living in a broken down, leaking shack. The volunteers not only raised enough money to build the family a new home, but two of them decided to start a fund to assist similarly distraught families in the future. Since that time, PFF has funded the construction of over 20 homes and provided numerous bursaries for single mothers and OVC youths to further their education.

CHOSA and the Philani Family Fund are wonderful examples of how a committed group of young people can recognize a need and mobilize themselves to create tangible change at a grassroots level.

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