It’s now 11am on Sunday morning. I sat down at 8am to answer one Mxit question and have not moved since. They keep coming.
It’s not just a case of answering one question and moving on. The questions keep coming and I spend at least half an hour chatting to each person. There are still about 80 people who asked questions and I’m now waiting for them to respond to me. Many of the questions involve me Googling organisations in their areas who can help them. Most of the conversations start off with somebody who is confused and in a panic, and end with someone who has a plan.
And they all come back the next day to tell me what progress has been made.
This is just on Mxit. Not including the time that needs to be spent improving the info that’s on Mxit, keeping the app up to date, as well as the website and FB page. This does not include the time that needs to be spent on our physical Young Mom Support group – the shopping, baking, organising, speaking to the moms, organising the donation distributions. This does not include the time that needs to be spent on the invites i get to speak at schools and other groups. Or the time spent on radio and TV interviews – for which I have to take leave from work.
And tomorrow, I have to go to work. That means 8 hours of the day that I CAN’T be working on it. This means that while i’m at work, the Mxit messages are piling up and I can’t answer them until I get home.
Currently – not counting my time – our expenses are as follows:
1. Storage for our donations – R600 a month
2. Refreshments and supplies for our monthly meetings: R500 a month
3. Help for moms in our physical group to get their personal business plans off the ground – R500 a month
4. Web hosting – R200 month
5. Internet / electricity not included because it comes from my household expenses
6. Telephone – now with using Mxit and speaking to many via SMS – going to increase exponentially
And lots more I’ve forgotten. Doesn’t include the times I have to give moms emergency food supplies, or help with school fees and other things.
All of this comes out of my pocket.
We’re not currently able to send moms on training courses or get paid guest speakers in because there is no money for that. We’re not able to expand to have meetings in other areas because there’s no money for that.
But the biggest thing is TIME
So what to do? I can’t afford not to get my salary.
I need to be doing this full time.
To pay my salary, run the group and expand it to where it needs to be, employ some extra people to help me (i’d like to start with employing some of the moms I know from our group), have a physical office in Masi where people can come and talk, and to enable us to travel to other areas to speak to schools, initiate groups in other places – will cost (conservatively) – R500 000 a year.
That sounds like a terribly huge amount of money and I’m embarrassed, honestly, to even be putting a number to my time.
But how else am I going to reach all these people who need help?
That’s R5000 a year for 100 people. Which is less than R500 a month. Most of us can’t afford that – I know. i’m not trying to guilt people into donating to us, truly. But there ARE many people out there who CAN afford something along those lines.
If they could pledge something a month – do you know what a difference it could make? To the girls and boys from Vryheid and Atteridgeville and Qwaqwa and Pietermaritzburg and Hout Bay, Lansdowne, Mitchells Plain, Uitenhage, Diepkloof and on and on.
Girls who are scared right now that they are pregnant and don’t know what to do. Moms at school who are struggling to manage studying and baby. Boys who want to know how to be good fathers to their children. They are all out there and they are crying out for help.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE TODAY TO ALL OF THEM.
Seriously. It’s only been a week on Mxit and I already see that it’s going to be a much bigger undertaking than I ever imagined. (Not that it’s important, but I’ve eaten and slept very little this week, never mind spent time with my own children). I had doubts that I should have started this, but i keep coming back to the idea that IF I DON’T, WHO IS?
Please help us.
This time, truly, I can’t do it alone.
See our SUPPORT US page for ways to donate.
It’s not easy to ask for help. Thank you for reading this far.