Charity Broadens Your Horizons

Charity Broadens Your Horizons

Helping people is a real vocation. This activity can bring big pleasure. Charity occupies an important place in the life of  Vanda Gagiano, the president of the South African Women's Agricultural Union in Free State.

This organization has a variety of projects aimed at helping  those who need it. For example, in the framework of one of these projects the organization collected 2,000 liters of long-term milk and then distributed it to children and to squatter camps, the informal settlements in rural area. According to Vanda Gagiano, the organization works out numerous projects like this one. For example, members of the Women's Agricultural Union collect footwear for teenagers and clothes and napkins for babies. This initiative is called Let Us Support.


"Every woman has an old bag full of things she doesn't use anymore. I offered members of my organization to collect such bags and give them to those who need it. We collected thousands of such bags with clothes, shower products and other things and gave them to police stations in Free State", she said.

Thus by appealing to police women could get such a bag as aid.

The world has many people who can't pay tuition fee for the education of their children. That is why Vanda personally communicates with big companies that give her money to pay tuition fees for many children.


Helping disabled people is also an important direction of work in the organization.

"Once in the framework of charity project each member of our organization donated money which we collected and then gave to an organization that trains guide dogs for blind people. Thanks to these money, we provided 12 blind people with guide dogs", said Vanda Gagiano.

However, according to the president of the Women's Agricultural Union, you don't always need money to do good things. In South Africa while buying bread every person gets a tie that keeps bag with it inside closed. Those who collected many ties can change them for a wheelchair.  Vanda called her colleagues for collecting those ties in order to get wheelchairs and donate them to disabled people.


"All our work is voluntary, labour of each woman is filled with love for people. Moreover, every person can take part in our projects and make his donation. The world has many rich and educated people, but there are also poor people who need our care. Knowing that you can change lives of other people brings inner satisfaction", she said.

Vanda Gagiano is sure that charity is not only the way of giving people something of yourself but also a way of self-development and enlarging your scope.

"In our life we are living in the circle of people of the same type as we are. Charity allows us to understand that life is not only the circle of people, events and ideas we got used to.  Unfortunately, poverty takes place in the whole world. In South Africa the level of unemployment and poverty is too high. Many people can't afford having education, food and clothes and making their lives more comfortable. People who don't take part in charity can't understand it. They exist in their world they got accustomed to. Charity is like traveling. Without visiting other countries you think the world is what you got used to see every day. So, the main goal of travelling is broadening one's horizons", said Vanda Gagiano.

According to her, people with active public life taking part in charity must have desire to communicate, to change other people's lives and to inspire their colleagues.

Her presidency is to end very soon, but Vanda Gagiano decided to move forward with new ideas and socially valuable projects. By the way, she is sure that changing the world for the better should certainly involve empowering women.

"To change the lives of women is the same as to change the life of a family, of the society, of the whole planet. Women also want to make our world better. Everything starts with them. In my opinion, we must share ideas, develop them together, and, the main thing, put them into practice. We must not only talk but act", she commented.

Many achievements and success for women are possible if men provide them with love and support. Vanda Gagiano has a wonderful husband. They have been together for more than 40 years. She always understands and helps her.

"First of all, I am a good wife and mother. This is very important for me. Many things in the work I do are not paid. I do them because of my love for people. But my husband supports me with his love and money. He has his own job, but when I must attend an important meeting, here he is, in a good suit, ready to go with me and support me. I am sure that nobody in South Africa has such a husband. He is unique", said Vanda.


Vanda Gagiano noted she wanted to be a role model for the younger generation and all people around her.

"I think, people should always be in a good mood. Although we face many difficulties, let's stay positive and keep on moving forward with our hands joined together. One must believe and work hard.  Nothing is achieved without hard work. Follow your dream and never leave it", she added. 

Viktoria Yezhova, news agency of the Eurasian Women's Community 

Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov