How successful has Hermanus Siyakha been in the first 100 days since its launch on 14 March? Has it succeeded in its mission of “Transforming communities by building relationships and growing businesses”? If you look at the numbers, 8 interest-free loans totalling R33 500 and 1 grant of R4 00 in this period, the answer might be, only moderately successful. But is success to be judged by numbers alone?

Perhaps we should be considering other measures of success. Perhaps success is better seen in the eyes of a Gogo who can now be assured of paying her granddaughter’s school fees as her food business brings in additional income. Or in the excitement of the clothing distributor who is experiencing the growth of her business through an expanded product range. Or maybe it is the building contractor who can safely transport his workers using his own vehicle, paid off with an interest-free loan from Hermanus Siyakha. Success might be measured by the involvement of the business executive as he helps paint the spaza shop of the person he is mentoring. It could even be in the number of cups of coffee drunk. Each week another mentor and her small business owner share the events of their lives over a cup of coffee as they discuss improving their business model.

So, we want to thank all of you who have contributed financially towards Hermanus Siyakha. Your contributions have enabled us to make these interest-free loans; you have provided the mentors who are building relationships; your encouragement keeps the volunteer committee enthused.

We are looking forward to the next 100 days as we seek to build new relationships, disburse more interest-free loans and gradually transform our Overstrand communities. Please check out our website – www.HermanusSiyakha.org.za – for new projects, updates on existing projects and opportunities to get involved in this initiative.

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