The MTN Foundation, in partnership with Trialogue, launched the MTN Awards for Social Change in 2019, to encourage and reward good monitoring and evaluation (M&E) practice in the non-profit sector. A total of R1 million prize money was awarded to winning non-profit organisations (NPOs) in each of the three categories, as well as a fourth bonus award winner.
Tears Foundation was the winner in the small NPO category (R300 000)
TEARS Foundation supports survivors of rape and sexual abuse and has an annual turnover of R1 million. The TEARS’ Help-at-your-fingertips programme, which began in 2012, provides support to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse using prompt-based mobile technology. When someone sends a distress message, using *134*7355#, they are geolocated. The person is then sent the locations of the nearest partner facilities that can assist them. In the last financial year, TEARS Foundation spent R1 million on the programme.
TEARS began developing Help-at-your-fingertips. in 2005, based on gender-based violence (GBV) data from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ), the South African Police Service (SAPS), Statistics South Africa, the United Nations and the University of Pretoria’s Student Health Services. Input was also included from NPOs such as the Teddy Bear Foundation, Thuthuzela Care Centres, Shukumisa, Matla A Bana, Lifeline, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group, Families South Africa, Saartjie Baartman Centre, the Christian Social Council and Moshate.
To date, 57 318 survivors have received speedy responses and access to medical assistance, counselling and criminal justice support. Through the programme, 150 SAPS officers have been trained on how to treat GBV survivors with dignity, empathy and confidentiality. TEARS also drives education campaigns across the country and collaborates with various healthcare stakeholders.
Daily activity data is collected and analysed for quality assurance and internal improvements. TEARS is a member of Shukumisa, a coalition of 80 NPOs that contributes to a national database to inform service delivery in the country. The data also contributes to GBV trend reports produced by the DoJ.
“ TEARS Foundation’s Help-at-your-fingertips programme has an in-depth understanding of the problem areas that it is addressing, and the programme is designed to serve a training, advocacy, intervention and citizen monitoring role. Monitoring within the organisation is strong, with activities and outputs actively tracked and the evidence used for programme strengthening. The organisation is also able to track the lower level outcomes (improved access to services), but the higher level outcomes around systemic changes to the justice system are yet to be evaluated in full. As the programme is attempting to address systemic issues, the new thinking around outcome harvesting (as an evaluation method) could be used to determine its contribution to change.”