DAV's culture is rich in values, generosity and warmth. This is personified through the people of DAV who all have a strong sense of family and believe in having a positive impact on society.
Two projects very close to our hearts is supporting 2 families of children, orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS.
"Our girls" have really won the hearts of everyone at DAV. Everyone feels an overwhelming sense of affection and responsibility towards them, and within days of being introduced to the family donations of clothing, groceries, toiletries, books, toys, bed linen and furniture began to pour in for the girls and continue to do so. This is in addition to DAV's corporate support
DAV provides for all their schooling and living expenses, taking care of their basic needs such as food, transportation, education and rent allowing them to focus on the things that children should be doing such as school work and sport and relieving some of the pressures of taking on adult roles at a very young age. Our intervention also prevents that the girls are taken in by social services and adopted into separate foster homes.
Our assistance is facilitated by Ikageng Itereleng AIDS Ministry in Soweto, headed up by Carol Dyanti.
One of the eight much loved and lived DAV values is "the DAV spirit of belonging and loyalty". The company feels a sense of loyalty towards the girls and a responsibility to ensure that they are cared for financially, physically and emotionally, while Ikageng provides mentoring, life skills and counseling on a regular basis to help the children grow into well-developed adults. It is a real treat for the people of DAV to spend time with the girls on weekends, taking them on outings, delivering donations from the office and even celebrating their birthdays with them.
Both parents of the Taylor family passed away in 2007 due to AIDS-related illnesses and the children have been left to fend for themselves. They are in contact with their only aunt who lives in Gugulethu, another township close-by, who has not been able to support them financially as she is equally poor.
The staff of our Cape Town branch took it upon themselves to support the Taylor family both with their time and their money. A special christmas at the DAV offices left the kids beaming from ear-to-ear as they got to meet Santa who brought them gifts to take home.
At the end of each year the various teams in DAV select a charity to support in their own private capacity donating various items including money, food, and gifts as well as spending time with their chosen charity. In 2009 Carol Dyantyi, the founder and project director of Ikageng, came to DAV and shared the uplifting story of all the lives she has touched through the inspiring work she does. Her story had an immense impact on DAV's people. It was unanimous; the various teams within DAV would all support some of the other children from Ikageng.
The donations and pledges poured in from all divisions who gave freely and generously raising a total of R21,000 over and above DAV's regular monthly contributions to the Ntobela girls. The funds raised enabled DAV to support ten child headed homes and touch thirty three children's lives, spreading joy during the festive season. The needs of each family varied from clothing and toys to stationary and household items. Even roof repairs and freshly painted walls.
In true DAV style the troops banded together to purchase the necessary supplies, wrap gifts, deliver items and even give some of houses a much needed coat of paint. DAV's HR Manager said, "The visits to the children's homes were touching, humbling and rewarding. The smiles, laughs and tears of joy made every moment and every cent more than worthwhile. Time spent with the children painting their homes, fixing their roofs and watching them open their gifts will remain in our hearts for a long time to come."