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Tuesday, 27 November 2012 16:04

Connecting the dots

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Connecting the dots... enabling development from within

DonateNowButton-smOur family, Bergnek:   What has become evident as we work in communities is that we must work alongside community from within and we must support and create continuity with each step we take building upon the previous one. In many communities, they have seen people and organizations come and go, but they see very few that come back. Each time we return, we are greeted with a smile and "You came back!?". In creating trust, we create hope and our hope and belief is that each of the communities we work with are a part of our family. A family that works and grows, together. A family that always 'comes back'.

It begins with Mindset

Bergnek Maria Oct2010 003When we are invited into a community we start not by listening, but by hearing the conversations that go on within the community itself, without judgement or any filters. Creating the first "dot", so to speak. We hear how people think about themselves and their community?; How people Feel about themselves and their community? What is they are willing to do to create the changes they are talking about? We work alongside the community to access the knowledge and skills that are already there starting with the person and working in our Iziko Labahlali program. The name means: 'Hearth of The Community' and is designed and facilitated to help and support each individual to learn to understand and accept that they count, that they are worth it, and they can contribute and DO deserve more.

By the Community, For the Community

What we do within communities is determined from within the community. In the case of Bergnek, the first step was to get access to a clean and reliable source of water. The key was not to just find water but to transfer in the skills to maintain the water source for the long term. After achieving this priority, the community then moved on to the next 'dots' they wanted to connect. These were identified as education, food security and employment

Education and Food Security 

My Arms Wide Open® is helping the Bergnek Community address the education priority by supporting girls to get back into school giving them a chance to break the cycle of poverty by providing basic sanitary supplies. And, by working with the community to build its first My World In a Garden vertical vegetable garden we are helping to keep the girls in school by providing the girls and their families with fresh vegetables each week from the garden.

With your support we've done well in the GirlEffect Challenge 2012 and will be able to support more girls to get back into and stay in school. 

To see details of the GirlEffect Challenge and to help get girls back into school - Click to donate NOW...

Building for the future... Employment

Bergnek MYWIG Oct2012 005To address unemployment in Bergnek, My Arms Wide Open® is supporting the community to help 10 village women start a business making re-usable sanitary products that they have named “Girl Stuff. Period!” along with an initiative that is more long term, named One Brick at a Time that will not only provide additional employment in Bergnek, it will also generate the resources to address other priorities within the community including health-care and housing needs.

If you would like to make a contribution and support the GirlStuff.Period Community Business right now, visit our page on GlobalGiving.

Help us to connect the dots: 

l Mindset & Leadership  l Education  l Water Security  l Food Security  l Employment  l Infrastructure and Health-care → = Self-Sustaining Communitie

The Support they need...

DonateNowButton-smGive Girls the POWER to Choose and help level the playing field. To support GirlStuff.Period and our Pads4Girls program sponsored by Lunapads in Bergnek and Cradock in South Africa please visit our US partner site to make a donation. Help us to get the GirlStuff.Period women and the people of One Brick at a Time all they need to grow and sustain their businesses. To make a donation to 'One Brick at a Time' in the United States visit our page at GlobalGiving or in Canada use the My Arms Wide Open donation page on our site.

Next steps

The next step GirlStuff.Period is to get the women of Cradock, Eastern Cape, South Africa up and running too. What makes these women so successful is their passion and hope. It's that the power that comes from within, within these courageous women. We at My Arms Wide Open are truly grateful, and excited! to support and work right alongside them each step of the way.

It all started with Iziko Labahlali and a new well and water pump in Bergnek. Iziko Labahlali is the foundation to all our programs, causes and initiatives at My Arms Wide Open, and is a part of the My Arms Wide Open My Mentor My Coach cause.  Each of the women in GirlStuff.Period and their supporters have participated in and completed the Iziko Labahlali program. There are lots of ways you can participate and help out. You can volunteer at our events, help us with supplies or help to fund an event. Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out more.

A CALL TO ACTION: Please help us by forwarding this message to friends, family and people you believe could help using e-mail or social media. Every message and action helps the communities we serve with your support to create the future they want for themselves and their families


For more information please contact us at: email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The My Arms Wide Open® Charitable Foundation, was established to provide support and collaboration with mothers, children, and youth in South Africa, enabling them to build sustainable communities and responsible businesses. With stronger families, communities emerge as a solid foundation for society. In the process they re-engage fathers to repair the family unit. In our definition, mothers include women who are caring for children and include child-led households, working within the pre-teen and teen groups. Fathers include the fathers, young males and adult males within the community.
Support members of the My Arms Wide Open communities in Canada, the United States and South Africa - participate and BE the Change!


Read 10028 times Last modified on Thursday, 03 July 2014 15:19


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