The growth into the Future Families happened organically over a period of 15 years.
It started in the mid 1990’s when as the HIV/AIDS project of Child Welfare Tshwane (CWT). The HIV/ AIDS project then embarked on a Foster Care programme for abandoned HIV+ babies. This was in response to an emerging need within the communities that CWT served. The goal of these projects was to improve the quality of life and provide a dignified death to these children.
In 2001 it became apparent that it was not only babies but entire families which were affected by HIV/AIDS and from this the Ford Care support Group was established for HIV+ persons. The focus of the support group was to provide emotional and logistical support to families in order to prolong the life expectancy of the members, reasoning that each month that these parents lived longer was a month more gifted to them to be part of and to raise their children.
The scale and the depth of the pandemic deepened and the HIV/AIDS project soon found the need completely outstripped the available resources and traditional social work responses of statutory intervention. A community level response was needed. In 2003 the Mothusi HIV/AIDS education project was launched as prevention/ early intervention strategy and grew to reach more than 50 000 beneficiaries annually.
In 2005 the HIV/AIDS project received funding to develop a community mobilisation model to care for orphaned and vulnerable children. Between 2005 and 2010 the HIV/ AIDS project expanded to include the Mamelodi, Eersterust, Sunnyside and Olievenhoutbosch communities in the Tshwane Municipal district.
The project gained local recognition and extensive support from PEPFAR (Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS relief) and USAID as a flagship project for the region. The project grew too large to remain within Child Welfare Tshwane and the decision was made to release Future Families as an independent NGO on the 1st of October 2010.
In 2014 we became a partner with UNHCR and received our first funding to render a Social Assistance programme to Refugees and Asylum seekers in Pretoria. In 2015 this was expanded to Musina – our first rural office, a real milestone for Future Families and in 2017 we opened a social assistance office in the Johannesburg city centre. Through these offices we reach out the refugees and asylum seekers hidden in rural communities.
Our main focus is to mobilise communities to provide safety networks for orphans and vulnerable children and their families through a structure managed by professional social workers and a network of trained care workers.
In 2016 we became a partner with NACOSA, through the Global Fund to implement services to survivors of Inter partner violence and Sexual and Gender based violence.
From 2017 onwards it became clear that to be relevant our services had to expand to include economic strengthening. We were fortunate to be chosen as the USAID partner for randomized control trial measuring the impact of economic strengthening and HIV/AIDS prevention. This has positioned us to have well trained cadre of staff and experience in this new emerging field.
In 2018 we secured a partnership with SABCOHA and Soul City Institute to render economic strengthening activities to young women and girls in Tshwane. This was a one-year contract. In 2018 we formed a joint venture with Beulah Africa (NPC) and were successful in receiving a contract to run the CWP of the South African government contract in the North West province. In October 2018 we once became a partner with USAID for a 5-year contract to work with orphans and children made vulnerable through HIV/AIDS. This program has the aim of creating families where the children are healthy, stable, safe and schooled.
During the Covid-19 Pandemic we were fortunate to receive relief funding through the ELMA Philanthropies to assist refugees and asylum seekers who were badly affected through the nationwide lockdown.
In October 2020 we were selected as a partner to FHI 360, funded through Pepfar to implement part of the DREAMS programme in the City of Joburg and Ekhureleni.
In April 2021 we were selected to be a sub-recipient in the new and exciting Social Impact Bond through the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) in the Moretele area.
The influx of projects over the last 2 years had led our Executive team to reconsider our future and how Future Families can play a meaningful roll in positives changes. We are updating our strategic objectives and theory of change to future-proof the organization.
Future Families turned 10 on 1 October 2020 and we went on a rebranding exercise.