Residents watch as water gushes from a borehole drilled by the relief organisation "Gift of the Givers" at a hospital in drought-stricken Middelburg near Graaff-Reinet. File picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters
Life saving disaster intervention, crisis management, upholding and restoring human dignity, instilling hope, creating opportunity, empowerment, self sustainability, care of plant, animal and the environment are but some of the essential principles that have evolved during Gift of the Givers twenty seven years of existence.

The year 2020 is upon us. The mere verbalising of it sounds positive, encouraging and spiritual. Converting those positive sentiments into meaningful outcomes requires insightful reflection and a willingness to act. From a Gift of the Givers perspective strengthening logistics, in house human development, expanding volunteer disaster specialists teams, upgrading specialised medical, search and rescue equipment, continuing with drought intervention both in the form of borehole drilling (whilst ensuring stability of aquifers), water tankers, fodder delivery, supporting farmer's wives and farm workers with sustainable projects for economic development and survival are key to meet current challenges.

Expanding our school sanitation programme in the form of constructing "dignified" toilets, modifying our Jumpstart entrepreneur programme for learners, dealing with unparalleled increase in hunger through the provision of quality nutrition both at schools and at tertiary institutions is paramount. Intervening in health related matters through the ongoing funding of "weekend catch up surgery", provision of medical supplies and equipment, infrastructure development, and intervening with medical volunteer teams to support some of the tens of thousands patients, waiting patiently, in faith, that society will come to their rescue to improve quality of health and life expectancy are all part of the 2020 plan. 

Bee rehabilitation, rhino healing, counselling services, wheelchair distribution, supporting the SAPS youth empowerment projects in drug infested areas and a myriad other projects are the hallmark of Gift of the Givers diverse interventions in doing what we do best. Our assistance to families of the thirty or so South Africans trapped or missing in foreign lands and the hostage negotiations for seven individuals of various nationalities continues. 

Our success is directly dependent on the generosity of corporates, professionals, high networth individuals, those who have included us in their last will and testament, the public in general, government and the media. Communication with the public is key. Our new look website (long overdue) goes live in January. Our content on social media is voluminous in the interest both of transparency and highlighting the plight of the most disenfranchised communities in our world.

We look forward to an inspiring, prosperous 2020 for South Africa, Africa and the world and for all of us individually and collectively. May the Almighty bless us with beautiful rain in areas that need it most and a world where ego and greed is annihilated and replaced by caring, generous souls and elected officials that put society before self. We record our deep gratitude and appreciation for the never ending prayers, warm words, "forward" of our content, media coverage, contributions in cash and kind, wise counsel and assistance in anyway whatsoever. It is this positive encouragement that drives us to continue the Gift of Giving, your giving, in your name.

* Gift of the Givers is a South African disaster relief non-profit organisation. It was established by Dr Imtiaz Sooliman to offer disaster relief and response, together with other humanitarian work worldwide.