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MiWay Golf day honours Nkosi Johnson

Published on: 20 October 2011

Local short-term insurance provider MiWay has dedicated the proceeds of its 2011 annual golf day to Nkosi's Haven in remembrance of its namesake Nkosi Johnson, the young AIDS activist who passed away in 2001 at the age of 12.

The company's fourth annual charity golfing event took place on 8 September at Blue Valley Golf Estate & Country Club in Midrand and raised R251 851.

MiWay CEO Rene Otto remembers the impact the young Johnson had on perceptions of HIV: "Nkosi touched the world with his bravery, forcing societies to look beyond their long-held views of the disease to see, in some cases for the first time, that it is not simply a sexuality issue. In fact, Nkosi demonstrated that it is not simple at all; HIV reaches beyond physical health, impacting on the way communities interact, governments intervene and people relate. Those of us who had the privilege of witnessing moments of his short life are still moved by his words 10 years on."

Nkosi's Haven was one of the first organisations to benefit from MiWay's community upliftment initiatives, notes Otto. This initial involvement impressed the MiWay team with the organisation's ability to achieve so much with limited resources.

"Nkosi’s Haven’s has changed the lives of countless people impacted by the HIV/Aids pandemic. In delivering care and support to infected mothers, their children and a growing number of Aids orphans, this organisation provides something more important: hope and dignity. We have built a close relationship with Nkosi's Haven in the knowledge that the financial support we are able to give them, has a real impact on the lives of South Africans," explains Otto.

Recent initiatives benefiting Nkosi's Haven include R36 000 raised during holiday promotions at the end of 2010 and 3 000 Easter eggs donated for the enjoyment of the many children in the organisation’s care.

Nkosi's Haven has embarked on a number of self-sustaining economic development projects to ensure its continued existence and expansion, says Gail Johnson, Nkosi’s adoptive mother and founding director of the organisation.

"We are still largely reliant on the generosity of the community to maintain our services and grow our reach into the many needy areas of the country. Like everyone else, we have been impacted by the economic downturn – not just in the financial resources available to us, but in the considerable increase of destitute people in need of our help. Without the help of partners like MiWay, we simply wouldn't be able to reach the number of needy that we currently do," she says.

Last year MiWay selected Special Olympics South Africa to benefit from its golf day. The R340 000 raised sponsored the attendance of six golfers at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, with R100 000 remaining to fund other expenses of Team SA.

"We would like to thank our customers, partners, staff and sponsors for their incredible generosity and support, we could not achieve so much with our annual golf days without it," says Otto.

This year's platinum and gold sponsors of the MiWay charity golf day included Global Golf, Transunion, Internet Solutions, Ad Outpost, Blue Label, Europ Assistance, Glasfit, AVIS Rent a Car, Great South Autobody, Tracker, Dimension Data, Danmar Autobody, SMD, Altech Netstar and PWC.