Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

Milan 2009, Homeless World Cup

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

The A24 Group is delighted to announce that we are now sponsoring the South African football team to play in the Homeless World Cup, Milan 2009. We stepped in to fund the travel costs for the 10-man squad this week when I read that funding by the City of Cape Town had to end because of demands on their budgets in the recession.

The Homeless World Cup, Milan 2009, runs from 6th to 13thSeptember 2009, with 500 players from 48 nations.

An estimated 100 million people worldwide are homeless. Football for homeless people builds self-esteem: it brings purpose and direction to their lives. Homelessness is a terrible waste of good people, usually overtaken by events with which they just can’t cope. I know from personal experience. I was homeless myself for a brief period, and with my three very young children lived in a refuge before starting Ambition in 1996.

South Africa hosted the Homeless World Cup in Cape Town in 2006. The domestic league now involves 100 volunteers and activities in various communities of Cape Town and the Western Cape focusing on education, social support and HIV awareness for street children. The league has grown to involve over 700 players in 55 teams. Some 50 per cent of the players are currently living on the street, a number of them are in drug rehabilitation programmes and others in institutions for street people.

SAHSS (South African Homeless Street Soccer) has successfully used football to foster healthy individual development, teach positive values and life skills, strengthen education, and prevent disease through education (particularly HIV/AIDS).

You can follow the team day by day here on our A24 Group blog http://blog.a24group.co.uk. We’ll be posting details of their progress, results, team and other news. All our divisions will be engaged, including Ambition 24hours and the NS group.

Time to Stop Poaching Skilled Staff from Developing Countries

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Penny Streeter OBE, MD of Ambition 24hours, writes:-

The new points-based immigration system in the UK is more restrictive for agency and employer recruiters – but it does not seek to address the severe problems for developing countries caused by the exodus of its most highly trained nationals.

Countries like South Africa are losing skilled professional staff at an alarming rate. In the country’s medical sector which Ambition 24hours services as a temporary staffing agency – filling some 1,000 positions each week with doctors, nurses and other skilled medics – shortages of permanent staff are directly impacting on the levels of treatment that can be provided in hospitals and primary care.

In South Africa there is an unfilled vacancy rate of 33 per cent for nurses and 53 per cent for doctors. In some busy A&E departments – particularly in rural areas like Limpopo, where it is particularly hard to recruit staff – there is sometimes only a single doctor in attendance, dealing with the medical consequences of endemic violent crime, Aids and other healthcare problems that beset much of southern and central Africa’s service provision.

Ambition 24hours has a branch network of eight offices in South Africa, deploying the operational model that we developed in the UK, where there are 14 branches, to alleviate temporary staffing shortages effectively on a 24-7 basis.  We have a firm policy of not seeking to recruit staff from Africa for the UK: this is because we hear at first hand from doctors and nurses the consequences of this type of activity by staffing agencies and employers from developed countries.

Clearly there should be no discrimination in the UK against doctors and nurses from Africa: the free flow of labour is essential and enables medical specialists to acquire new skills and experience from abroad. Also, with the reach of the internet, employers will continue to recruit across international borders, whether by design or otherwise.

However, it is time that countries in the developed world recognise their responsibilities and the impact that active recruitment programmes have on South Africa and other countries they may target. The UK, USA, Ireland, Canada and Australia need more qualified professionals, but so does Africa.