Open Foundation SA
Open Foundation SA is a non-governmental organization dedicated to ending the cycle of poverty, hunger, and violence through the provision of basic needs, psychological support, and sustainable skills training.
Our Vision and Mission
Nearly twenty-five years after Apartheid, South Africa remains one of the most inequitable nations in the world based on the Gini Index. According to the World Bank, the wealthiest 10% of the population holds more than 70% of the country’s net wealth while the bottom 60% holds just 7%. This disparity is largely divided along racial lines where 60% of the population of Cape Town lives in townships and informal settlements, many of whom live on less than $5 (R80) a day.
In the townships and informational settlements served by Open Foundation SA, government services and food aid programs are limited, which has led to a hunger crisis. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, a quarter of South African children under the age of five were considered to be nutritionally stunted due to hunger, including in the Western Cape, where 37% of children are living in poverty.
Other concerning issues are the under-funded education and health care systems as well as consistently rising unemployment due to the state of the South African economy as well as the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
With your support, each day Open Foundation SA is on the ground in vulnerable communities combating hunger, providing for basic needs, conducting outreach and counseling support, as well as offering basic skills training to help others reach self-sufficiency.
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
– Desmond Tutu
With your support, each day Open Foundation SA is on the ground in vulnerable communities combating hunger, providing basic needs, conducting outreach and counseling support, and offering basic skills training to help others reach self-sufficiency.
TOGETHER, WE ARE KEEPING HOPE ALIVE in the face of these statistics.
Message from the founder
“Giving is not a duty but a privilege”
Founder, Director of Operations
Emson Nhlanhla Magwaza lives and works in Cape Town. He attended Bible College through the Bible Impact College. After which he studied Local Governance through Mancosa and further obtained a degree in Environmental Management through the University of South Africa.
Emson served as a member of the Living Waters Mission and outreach team as a project coordinator. Here he visited neighboring countries to help bring relief and upliftment under the banner of the Global Leadership Summit.
In February 2019, during his time at the St Giles Mission gym in Durban, he adopted the concept “You have never truly lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
Emson is actively involved in the day to day running of the organisation and implementing long term strategic decisions.
Member, Board of Directors / Director (USA)
Throughout her career, Jessie has led marketing and communication strategy for several high-growth organizations, including NGOs and private global corporations.
From an NGO perspective, she has directed large-scale change and development initiatives for multi-million-dollar organizations focused on addressing the needs of children and families living in crisis and poverty. She also has experience conducting field research on the causes and impact of wealth disparity among vulnerable populations in Cape Town.
Jessie received her undergraduate degree from Loyola Marymount University and holds a masters degree in Executive Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University, as well as an MBA from Brown University in the U.S. and the IE Business School in Madrid, Spain.
She is committed to dismantling the presence of systemic racism and injustice globally as well as the social and economic effects thereof.
Ambassador International Relations /Europe
Immo Böhning studied Engineering and Business administration in Germany and worked in the Micro-mobility sector. During this time he maintained and grew his friendships and work relations with his African partners.
Before joining Open Foundation South Africa’s cause, Immo was involved in several initiatives to promote a better standard of living for African communities. From this he started building ties between communities and research facilities in Germany and Africa.
Immo founded Cycle your Power, a sustainable development project using Cycle your Power stations to create energy in the townships of Cape Town. He also led the implementation of a sustainable charcoal production project in Kigali, Rwanda.
Head of the Food and Beverage Department
Noloyiso finished her tertiary education at different institutions, completing a course in Computer Basics, and obtaining a certificate in Manufacturing Engineering at Magnador. She supports food department operations, while also being actively involved with facilitating the sound systems programs to educate the youth.
For the past 16 years Noloyiso was part of the Life Community Welfare Organization that was functioning under the wings of Life Centre Ministries.
She helps in the food department, while also being actively involved with facilitating the sound systems programs to educate the youth.
Farm & Sustainability Programme Manager
Morven hails all the long way from Zimbabwe. He is a philanthropist who believes in bettering other people’s lives in the community.
Morven is a people’s person who has a strong hospitality background. He has been involved with the organisation from day one handling the food logistics. He currently oversees the farming project in Malmesbury.
With his drive the farm has been sustaining the organization’s running expenses and helping provide ingredients to feed the many vulnerable families in communities in and around Cape Town.
Director, Agriculture Projects (Africa)
Director - International Relations (Europe)
She has joined Open Foundation SA, will bring in the much-needed expertise in child welfare, the needy and the disabled. She has done a lot of community work for most of her life including animal rescue.