Synergos in South Africa

Synergos works for systemic change in South Africa by strengthening collaborative leadership, partnerships and institutions that promote equitable access to basic human rights and services. Synergos places a particular emphasis on the wellbeing of children and youth and on growing the social investment sector.

Our goal is to make a major contribution to the reduction of poverty by working with our partners increase impact, go to scale, and implement solutions that are sustainable.

Synergos does this in South Africa by:

Leadership and Innovation Network for Collaboration in the Children’s Sector - LINC

LINC, launched in 2007, seeks to improve services to vulnerable children in South Africa. The LINC network is a fellowship of close to 100 strategic leaders in the children’s sector - from government, business, civil society and donor agencies - who are all committed to better serving children. Together their organisations reach about 11 million children.

Before LINC, network members were not connected, often worked in parallel or even at cross-purposes, and did not have support to enhance their leadership skills to be more effective in doing their work. LINC provides professional development, fosters greater collaboration and supports innovative changes that can be brought to scale to include the education, health and well being of children.

Through its ongoing work with the network, Synergos expects to be supporting systems changing work at the provincial and national level.

Synergos RSA Board Members
Mr. Patrick Parring (Chair)
Ms. Wendy Appelbaum
Ms. Peggy Dulany (Global Chair)
Ms. Anne Emmett
Mr. Len le Roux (Secretary, Senior Director Southern Africa)

Synergos Regional Advisors and Global Board Members from Africa
Ms. Bience Gawanas
Ms. Rose Mazula
Mr. Abdul Magid Osman
Ms. Hadeel Ibrahim

Social Connectedness

A hidden dimension of poverty that greatly affects children who lose parents or live in poverty is the sense of isolation and lack of meaningful social connections. Studies show this impedes their learning, health and capacity to function successfully as members of society.

Synergos, in partnership with Kim Samuel, and in collaboration with Oxford University’s Poverty and Human Development Initiative, Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF) and the Foundation for Community Development (FDC) in Mozambique, is working to overcome isolation and deepen social connectedness for children and youth in Southern Africa.

The focus of this effort is community research on indigenous knowledge and care systems; education and training for those who most impact children and youth (families, communities, schools, and child care professionals); community-based models to prevent, identify, and address isolation; and informing and influencing public policy impacting this problem.

This work is made possible thanks to funding from the Samuel Family Foundation.

Promoting Strategic Philanthropy

The Global Philanthropists Circle (GPC) is a dynamic network of leading philanthropic families and individuals from across the world committed to fighting global poverty and social injustice. Founded in 2001 by Peggy Dulany, Synergos’ Global Chair, and her father, David Rockefeller, the GPC increases the impact of members’ philanthropy and allows them to become more effective social investors by offering opportunities for learning and collaboration. The Circle includes a growing contingent of members in Southern Africa who seek to promote philanthropy based on models of African and global philanthropy.

Synergos also works to strengthen collaboration and promote a culture of giving and social change philanthropy in South Africa with a particular interest in emerging (NextGen) philanthropists, foundations and trusts, corporate social engagement and new forms of social investment. Broadening and deepening philanthropy in the region includes engaging models of indigenous philanthropy and the African diaspora and linking youth giving as a key vehicle to youth partnering in the African development agenda.

Synergos Senior Fellows Programme

The Synergos Senior Fellows network is comprised of distinguished civil society leaders from all over the world who are committed to collaborative efforts that address the underlying causes of poverty and inequity. Launched in 1999, the Senior Fellows programme provides these extraordinary leaders a worldwide learning, service and action network.

The Senior Fellows network contributes to leadership skills development through peer-to-peer learning and service; global and regional networking, convening and collaboration and knowledge creation and dissemination. Synergos’ group of 43 African Senior Fellows convene to discuss, design and implement interventions that address the systemic causes of poverty and promote sustainable social change. In South Africa there is a sizeable cohort of Fellows that are leading civil society in the areas of education, land restitution and reform, philanthropy, social development and social entrepreneurship.