Note from our Chairman
I believe that we are all called to live lives that are bigger than ourselves. I further believe that one can only gain a sense of true fulfillment and happiness, when involved in something that takes you outside your comfort zone and requires you to give of yourself. It was to this end that the Paw-Paw Foundation was established.
Our organization came about as a result of a simple idea that grew wings. We wanted to somehow assist the poor and needy, but did not know how to go about it. There is so much poverty and strife in the world, one does not know where to begin to help. And so we started trying to do at least something positive! Some hard lessons have been learned, but the Paw-Paw Foundation has grown magnificently and now seems to have a life of its own.
We have noble and lofty plans for this year and beyond. In particular, our Ziphakele Gardens project is proving to be a real winner.
Kim Matthews Awarded by the eThekwini Municipality
On the 5th September 2014 the CEO of the Paw-Paw Foundation, Kim Matthews, received an important award from the eThekwini Municipality, a Living Legends Award, which in part recognized the good work that the Paw-Paw Foundation has been doing over the past six years. The eThekwini Living Legends Awards is an initiative of the Parks, Recreation & Culture Service Unit of the eThekwini Municipality to recognise the greatness achieved by past or current residents of eThekwini in various fields of human endeavour, while they are still living. These Awards acknowledge individuals with outstanding achievements, and those who have demonstrated a sustained and extraordinary contribution to our legacy, in various categories of expertise.
Kim Matthews accepts her award from the eThekwini Municipality
A few years ago Durban Businessman, Paul Myers, decided to give a portion of his company’s income to charity. Frontline Underwriting Managers (Pty) Ltd put aside R 25 500.00 each month and paid different amounts to various charities accounts. Organisations like Durban Children’s Home, I Care, Save a Child, Tafta and others were given money every month. After a couple of years, Paul became frustrated with this and decided to start a foundation in order to raise funds and make more of an impact on the lives of the people he was trying to help.
One day a co-worker, Zelda, brought the most perfect paw-paw to work. She had been fascinated by this wonderful fruit which she had picked off her tree at home and brought it to the office to show everybody how perfect it was. There wasn’t a mark on it, not a single blemish and the birds had not made one hole in it. Paul was entranced with this beautiful paw-paw and by the end of the day, Zelda gave it to him to take home to his family. He was really happy and was looking forward to sharing the paw-paw with his family that evening. As he drove out of his office, a beggar appeared at his window. Paul looked for some loose change to give him and for the first time in his life, could not find a cent lying around in his car or in his wallet. He only had the incredible, delicious super fruit with him. He rolled down his window and gave the man the paw-paw, the blessing! The Paw-Paw Foundation was born and we have tried to pass on a blessing ever since.
As part of our skills development project we have partnered with an organization called The Little Wing Foundation who erect containers at schools which have been converted to music teaching facilities. Inside the containers there are instruments, lighting and air conditioners. They have two containers, the one being at LIV Village and the other at a primary school in Umlazi, Isithokoziso J. Primary. We send 4 of our junior teachers there to teach 48 children how to play drums, recorder, keyboard and theory. During the October holidays a group from this container performed their ﬁrst concert at a mall in Umlazi and then at a concert for the Department of Arts and Culture. Our goal is to get as many of these containers into as many schools as possible and train educators who are at the school already to play an instrument and do theory. Once they are qualiﬁed we can move out of the school and leave the container for the educators who have completed their training. In this way we hope to empower many primary schools and hopefully start good and sustainable music programs in schools. Read more here
Since 2009, we have been running a skills development program involving hundreds of orphaned and vulnerable children from the rural areas of Inchanga and Hammersdale, which are located approximately 60 kilometers outside Durban. We collect children during the week and bring them to the Durban Music School. Here they are given a musical instrument (which they keep), are taught to play and encouraged to practice! At the music school, they receive practical and theory lessons. Choir lessons are also available. They receive all the sheet music needed and we examine them twice a year to insure that they are progressing well. They are also given a hot meal before they go home. This project has had an impact on their respective communities, as it keeps them busy in the afternoons (and they don’t get up to mischief)! We are most hopeful that many of these children will go on to find jobs in the music industry
Some of the Projects of the Paw Paw Foundation