If it is to overcome the problems of HIV and AIDS, poverty and prejudice, South Africa needs solutions which are sustainable, not temporary.
We believe that the assistance we give people should be more than hand-outs which foster dependency on charity. We offer life, job and business skills to empower people, enabling them to become self-sufficient. If, instead of giving a food parcel, we give someone the helping hand to start a new business, they can hope to trade their way out of poverty, and eventually to become an employer and giver themselves.
Sustainability through Business start-up and trade
The Business Development Programme and Rural Home Industries projects focus on giving people entrepreneurial skills. Over the last decade businesses started on the Project Gateway site have grown to become large employers, and so are helping others escape the poverty trap - without depending on financial aid. Women originally trained in dressmaking have gone on to become translators, instructors and township creche coordinators.
The Zandla Xpressions trading scheme is helping fledgling businesses reach a large customer base - which enables many businesses to grow quickly through trade not aid.
In October 2008 Project Gateway launched OPC (the Old Prison Cafe), as another means of working towards sustainability. In addition to serving quality food and beverages, OPC is steeped in history and has been refurbished to reflect the history of the prison.
Sustainability through education and social development
If projects answer immediate needs with only non-sustainable support, the requirement for assistance is never ending. We work towards making our aid projects redundant - by tackling the root cause of the problems, i.e. family breakdown which contributes to the transmission of HIV/AIDS, and mis-education leading to an increase in sexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancies.
Ethembeni has recently been set up to provide a basic level of health care and training around HIV/AIDS and TB. The Pregnancy Crisis Centre makes regular visits to local schools, giving assemblies on the dangers of pre and extra-marital sex, as well as providing for, without prejudice, those in a pregnancy related crisis.
Women resident at Esther House are taught basic skills such as knitting and dressmaking to produce income for themselves and the projects.
Project Gateway as a self-sufficient organisation
Project Gateway's long term vision is to become a self-sufficient organisation. In 2000 the Gateway Enterprises Trust, registered with the 'Proudly South African' logo, was started to make a profit through Zandla Xpressions.
We are tapping into our potential as a tourism site to produce an income to fund our projects and in 2004 the Issachar Trust was formed to handle tourism and overseas visitation.
Volunteer teams are invited to experience South African culture, and tourist activities are arranged for them through the Issachar Trust to support local economies.
The sole beneficiary of the profit making Gateway Enterprises Trust and the Issachar Trust is Project Gateway.