Through our IBL CSI programme we support charity organisations and non-profit based organisations. Anchor of Hope is one of the organisations that we support with our CSI initiatives. Anchor of Hope is a faith-based organisation that bases its programmes on religious principles. Anchor of Hope believes that people that are able to work, need to work to make an impact on themselves, their families and the community. In line with this principle, Anchor of Hope started job creation workshops to train, employ and coach members of our community. Through donations, Anchor of Hope distributes food and clothes in emergency situations to orphans, children, the elderly, feeding schemes, churches, other organisations and special projects such as the Street Store. All profits generated through the job creation workshops are ploughed back into the sustainable projects such as the pregnancy centre, the food and clothing banks. To make a meaningful impact, support and to help more people, Anchor of Hope does not only rely on donations as companies and individuals are often over committed in the area of donations. Anchor of Hope opted to offer companies a service or product that is a meaningful, measurable and can also make an impact and a difference in the community. This approach also builds dignity and self-worth amongst those who receive help from Anchor of Hope. Below is a brief overview of some of their initiatives, some which are funded and supported by IBL.
Pregnancy Crisis Centre of Hope: The Pregnancy Centre is an initiative that looks after young pregnant school girls that may not be able to look after their babies. The young girls are assisted with counselling and support for their babies. These young girls are housed, maintained and supported by the centre before and after giving birth.
Food and Clothing Bank: The food and clothing bank collects and bank food supplies and clothes which then gets distributed to the needy and vulnerable. This year Grey College and Oranje Meisies School took part in the gathering of clothes and challenged each other to see which school could gather the most clothes. Oranje won with 2438.2kg of clothes and Grey gathered 632.6kg. Despite these efforts by the schools, there is still a huge shortage as food sources are getting scarcer. Members of the community are urged to donate and support with any items and donations.
Anchor of Rest: This is an initiative set up by Anchor of Hope where the beneficiaries make furniture such as couches, bed headboards and also upholstery of all Interstate Bus Lines bus seats. The months of April to June were by far their busiest with Interstate Bus Lines requiring additional bus seats for our bus refurbishment programme. The sustainability of the Anchor of Rest is very important to Anchor of Hope as the profit is ploughed back into the food and clothing banks and the Pregnancy centre.
Esther: (Making of washable sanitary towels): Interstate Bus Lines also supports Anchor of Hope’s Esther centre by buying sanitary towels for young girls, which we then distribute as part of our outreach programmes. We have found that most young girls in particular from destitute backgrounds cannot afford to buy sanitary towels. IBL is fortunate that through Anchor of Hope, we are able to assist. The Esther center is founded within one of IBL premises where Anchor of Hope is accommodated. Esther as it is commonly known was set up to produce washable sanitary towels. If taken care of these sanitary towels can last up to three years. The towels come in nicely packaged complementary bag with six towels of which three are meant for use during the day and the other are for night use. Currently Esther through the Anchor of Hope is busy with SABS for approval. They expect that the standard will be published by the end of August 2019.
W4living: Through the W4living initiative, Anchor of Hope assists with preparing unemployed youth for job opportunities. They assist job seekers with formulating CV’s and preparing for interviews. Most of the job seekers that have gone through the centre have managed to find employment. They also visit townships, churches and companies to invite people to attend this course to better their chances of getting employment. Some companies have gotten onboard and set their minimum requirement for new recruits.
Anchor in Sobriety: Anchor in Sobriety is a substance abuse ministry aimed at assisting members of the community to overcome substance abuse challenges.
Streets of Hope: This is another exciting programme that aims to take people off the streets and help create jobs for them. The project is starting to grow and is making a change and positive impact in the greater Bloemfontein. Currently the project is serving 7 companies, including Interstate Bus Lines and two private individuals with cleaning services. Through the project, Anchor of Hope cleans streets to a total of about 6km every month and created 6 employment opportunities. Out of the teams that clean streets, Anchor of Hope has placed 2 individuals from those teams permanent employment in Bethlehem and another 2 as security guards. The vacancies are then filled with others from the streets that are looking for employment. This is surely a wonderful vehicle to equip the unemployed.
Lighthouse Centre of Hope: This is a brand-new project by Anchor of Hope that took over the only men’s shelter in Bloemfontein. The Shelter was taken over in May 2019 and a lot of work had to be done on systems, people and the building itself to get the shelter to a standard worthy of the people staying inside the shelter. Interstate Bus Lines is amongst companies and individuals that have offered support with renovations on the premises. Renovations are currently underway and it is expected that the shelter will be ready in August 2019. At this stage the plan is to house about 35 men.
Interstate Bus Lines is able to assist and support these non-profit organisations from proceeds generated from its income, some of which comes directly from ticket revenue collected from passengers. In this tough economic climate, our passengers can rest assured that Interstate Bus Lines will continue to be a caring and responsible organisation that looks after its communities. Efforts by organisations such as Anchor of Hope as well as other non-profit organisations also go a long way in making a positive contribution to our communities. We salute their continued effort to be the difference.