Neighbours was started by the Branken family who say: “We are a rather ordinary family doing some extraordinary things. We believe as Christians that God is extremely concerned with the brokenness in our city and nation and that He has called each one of us to get involved in making a difference. To bring change, we need to see the future, prepare for the future and then become the future… or in the words of Ghandi “we must become the change we want to see in the world”.
As an organisation, we want to see a world in which the rich do not tolerate extreme poverty and inequality. We want to see many people actually laying down their lives of comfort and convenience for the sake of bettering the lives of others. Seeing people freed from poverty, inequality, racism and exploitation is more important than fulfilling our lust for more things! We want to be part of a society in which people are valued more than things. We want to see the god of consumerism in South Africa bowing it’s knee to a love motivated revolution which results in freedom from oppression and exploitation. We want to see this for all people, regardless of class, citizenship, race or religion. We dream of equality in every sector of society. We believe that if the education system is not OK for a rich kid, it is not OK for a poor kid. The same goes with healthcare, housing, security. The same goes for rural kids and inner city kids. The same for black kids and white kids. We are not more valuable than the least valued in our society. We are doing our lives in a new way. We are going to live our dream and see this reality briefly described above happening around us. We hope others will join us and this will happen around them too. Who knows, very soon, the world can be a different place!
For us practically being a good neighbour can look very different each day.
- Some days we find ourselves helping a refugee friend gain access to the city’s health care facilities
- Other days can be spent sharing meals with homeless friends
- Sometime, and sadly way too often, we find ourselves consoling friends who have been hurt or abused or lost loved ones often as a result of uncaring and unjust systems.
- We also often get involved in advocacy standing with hurting and marginalised communities as they cry out for justice
We also have more organised ways of being good neighbours. These include:
- Our learning centre where we provide:
- Homework assistance
- Music lessons
- A library of books, games and toys and
- Access to computers
- Daniel (aged 8) has started a Lego club which helps kids dream and imagine different futures
- We have a soccer club with 4 teams – 2 girls and 2 boys team that has become a space of fun and friendship
These are just some of the ways that we have tried and are trying to become better neighbours and to create the better world we dream of as we seek to become a sign of hope.
For more information, visit www.neighbours.org.za.
You can also use the following bank account to make a direct donation to support Neighbours. Be sure to use your email address as the reference so that we can properly allocate your donation and send you a receipt.
Account name: Neighbours
Bank: ABSA Bank
Account number: 9310110831
Branch code: 632005
SWIFT code: ABSAZAJJ
Reference for donation: Your email address
Neighbours is a voluntary association under the Non-profit Organisations act (71 of 1997). Their funds are administered through a service level agreement with the James 1:27 Trust. The Trust provides
- Payment governance and processing;
- Donations receipting and issuing of tax certificates in terms of Section 18A of the Income Tax Act of 1962;
- The provision and auditing of a trust account on behalf of Neighbours
This ensures that all monies received and spent follow sound financial management practices. Your full contribution goes towards Neighbours and the work that they do.