Utopia Foundation currently supports international microloans through microenterprise in South Africa through the Hermanus Rainbow Trust. This organization shares Utopia’s goal of lifting people out of poverty through effective, self-sustaining, and empowering programs.
Since 1999, the Hermanus Rainbow Trust (HRT) has been providing services to orphans, at-risk children and disadvantaged families living in impoverished communities in the Overstrand Region of South Africa. Imagine for a moment a community where over 50,000 live in small shacks with no fresh water, electricity, or sewage systems. The unemployment levels are very high (71%) and the literacy levels low, with 59% earning less than R1,200 per month and 4% not having any form of income at all. It is estimated that 45% are “infected” with HIV, but the reality is that virtually every family is “affected” by HIV in one way or another. Tragically, this is further aggravated by widespread crime, gangs, drugs, violence, rape, teenage pregnancy, HIV, neglect and the abuse of women and children.
To support our vision of “Rebuilding the fabric of society in the impoverished communities of the Overstrand,” our four community and social development programs focus on six main areas of need: poverty, hunger and malnutrition, child morbidity, HIV impact, and early childhood development (ECD). These are the current programs targeting these areas:
- Parenting Worx
- HRT developed and implemented their flagship program, Parting Worx, in partnership with Stellenbosch University. Through this program, pregnant women, as well as disadvantaged families with babies and toddlers, are educated in nutrition, life and parenting skills, and early childhood development assessments through a series of modules that include visits with medical students from Stellenbosch University. These skills enable parents to rebuild family structures and raise healthier children for a better future.
- Children Circle of Support
- Children’s Circle of Support works to improve the quality of life for orphans, children in child-headed households, and other at-risk youth by providing them with psycho-social support, basic needs such as meals, school uniforms, after-school educational play, opportunities, and counseling.
- Sponsor a Child
- Provides assistance enabling disadvantaged children to attend Creches (nursery school), Grade R Centres (Pre-K), and schools.
- HIV Care and Support
- Provides awareness and prevention, counseling, and special care services to HIV positive children, teens, and adults. This program often overlaps with our other three programs.