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Our History

The Hermanus Rainbow Trust is a Non-Profit Organisation that was founded by Vivienne Owen in 1997 and registered as a Trust and a Non-Profit Organisation in 1999, in response to the dire conditions in which children were being brought up in the impoverished community of the Zwelihle township in Hermanus – Western Cape.


Over time the Trust expanded into a leading provider of comprehensive “Community and Social Development” services and support in the 4 main poverty stricken communities in the Overstrand.

Vivienne's Vision

Her Vision was to establish an integrated “Community and Social Development” programme (Parenting Worx), in the 4 main areas of the Overstrand, with an overall goal of addressing Poverty, Malnutrition, Hunger, Child Morbidity and “Early Childhood Development”  through providing integrated health, education and social services.

Building the Future

The Trust's initial focus was to improve and develop the conditions of the crèches in impoverished and disadvantaged communities of the Overstrand, so that young children would get the necessary quality of education and a platform to enable them to be fully prepared to compete equally and be successful in life. Three crèches were established in Zwelihle and as there was no Grade R facility in the Overstrand a Grade R Educare Centre was created in Zwelihle and currently supports over 100 kids. The Centre has had achieved excellent results each year through the dedication of our Grade R teachers and our ECD management specialist.

Community and Social Development Service sand Support

The Trust’s scope and objectives widened over time and at the end of 2011, it had over 100 staff, focused on providing comprehensive support and services in the areas of health, education, social development and welfare. These services were provided to disadvantaged communities from 4 Centres in the Overstrand, covering over 250kms from Betty’s Bay to Buffelsjag with an estimated population of over 50,000 people.

The HRT Programmes

There were 7 programmes operating out of 3 internal divisions, Health, Social and Education, each managed and controlled by a competent and experienced manager.

The Health Programmes included 3 complimentary programmes - “Home-based Care”, HIV Support and Counselling, “Children’s Health”.

  • The impact of these services was significant with an average monthly “Home-based Care” patient caseload of 440, including HIV/ARV, cancer, chronic diseases, elderly and TB patients, with over 1,000 TB screenings a month.
  • The HIV Counselling Programme achieved an average of 1250 sessions a month and distributed over 30,000 condoms.
  • During 2011 the Children’s Health Programme provided support to 60 crèches in the Overstrand with 2017 children assessed with over 200 receiving services and 8 referred to other services.

The Social Programmes included 3 main programmes – “Parenting Worx”, “Children’s Circle of Support” and the “Sponsor a Child” Programme.

  • Parenting Worx – rebuilds family structures, provides parenting and lifestyle skills and a comprehensive “Early Childhood Development” programme in partnership with Stellenbosch University.  The programme had 7s families participate with 25 in the core group, each of which had a baby / toddler benefitting from the ECD training and practical sessions.
  • Children’s Circle of Support focuses on orphans and vulnerable children providing over 250 meals a day, after school activities, uniforms, clothes and psycho-social and counselling support. 162 children were counselled during 2011.
  • Sponsor a Child assists disadvantaged children to attend crèches and to prepare them for school and life in general. In 2011, 84 children were sponsored and attended the HRT Crèches.

The Education Program focused on establishing and managing Grade R Educare centres.

The results from the 3 Educare Centres in Zwelihle in 2011 were very good with 109 children graduating to primary schools with a good basic platform and life skills.

The NPO Funding Crises

During the latter part of 2011 it became apparent that a global economic recession was inevitable, which soon engulfed South Africa with repercussions for everyone. Unfortunately the NPO sector was exceptionally hard hit as shown in the results of the survey conducted by Greater Good SA and its partners, during 2012.

The “Non-Profit Job Losses and Service Cuts” survey revealed the following:

  • that 80% of NPO respondents (695) had experienced significant funding cuts in the last year
  • 2 in 5 had up to 50% funding cuts and some were forced to close down completely
  • 64% were forced to reduce services to beneficiaries  (often with devastating consequences)
  • 43% had to retrench staff – resulting in 7,612 retrenchments
  • The National Lotteries cut back funding to NPO’s by 44%, Corporates by 39% and individual donors by 37%


The Hermanus Rainbow Trust was not spared and the Board of Trustee's was forced to retrench 64 of its Health division in March 2012, but fortunately were able to negotiate a “take over” by another NPO in the Overstrand.

A New Era – HRT the “Social Enterprise”  (2012 -2015)

The funding crises forced the HRT Board of Trustees and the Management Team to urgently reassess its mission and its funding strategies. This resulted in a “Sustainability Strategy” being developed and implemented, with a dedicated primary focus on “Community and Social Development" services and support that will be provided to the 4 main impoverished communities of the Overstrand Municipality. It was decided that the “Sustainability Strategy” would be initiated by transitioning to a “Social Enterprise”, over the next 3 years, focusing on the 4 existing “Social Purpose” programmes which will be funded, over time, by business activities, in line with Global trends.  This will reduce the dependence on "grant funding”.

The “Social Enterprise” funding model has emerged as the most popular and effecting funding model and has been extensively adopted in the USA, UK, Australia and else-where, Also known as “Profit for Purpose” or “Triple Bottom Line”, which deals with “economic”, “social” and “environmental” activities.

“A Social Enterprise’s primary objective is to address social problems through a financially sustainable business model where surpluses (profits) are reinvested in "Social Purpose" programmes.

Our Vision

"Sustainability Strategy"

« April 2017 »
Contact Us

Hermanus Rainbow Trust

Tel 028 316 4325 
Fax 028 316 4125
Address 73 Main Road, Sandbaai, Hermanus
TRUST IT385/99
NPO 006-519
PBO 18/11/13/1054

GG Logo

The Hermanus Rainbow Trust has Support Centres in Zwelihle, Kleinmond, Stanford, Gansbaai and Buffelsjag.

Overstrand map

The HRT "Social Enterprise"

The Hermanus Rainbow Trust has developed a "sustainability strategy" to limit the challenges of getting "grant funding" from government, funding agencies and business in these difficult economic times. The strategy is built around the establishment of a "Social Enterprise" in line with global trends.


Non-Profit Organisations - The Current Funding Model is NOT Sustainable

Why ? What are the alternatives ?

The Hermanus Rainbow Trust, like many other NPO’s / NGO’s, is threatened by the current "grant funding" models in South Africa, where most NPO’s are totally dependent on "grant funding from Government, Funding Agencies, Business, Individual Donors, Sponsors and fund raising events.

Please help us help those in NEED !