The Rural Development Support Program (RDSP) is a registered Non-Profit Organisation and Public Benefit Organisation based in Cape Town, South Africa, with a satellite office in Bhisho in the Eastern Cape.

Established in 1992 by social activists Jane De Sousa and Rosanne Shields, RDSP today still has a highly qualified and experienced, resilient and committed all-female staff compliment and an operational model that is lean and efficient.

We actively support the protection of human rights, with an emphasis on the rights of women, poverty alleviation equality and the prevention of Gender Based Violence. As one of the few experienced NGOs solely working directly with and in rural communities, RDSP has pioneered, tested and refined a range of support services designed by championing community participation, to contribute to the strengthening of rural infrastructure and address human rights and gender issues.

Beneficiaries of our services are small groups of dedicated change agents who manage and lead Community Based Organisations (CBOs) in response to their communities’ social needs.  Our main goal is to strengthen civil society within rural areas and to assist in fostering and sustaining community leadership for the collective benefit of these communities.

Our development support is focused on strengthening this core group of community change agents (and their vehicles of change namely CBOs, Parishes and Community Support Groups), through ongoing skills training and mentorship, organisational development, exposure and networking.

We work primarily with rural Community Based Organisations (CBOs), Parishes and community groups in three main areas:

  • Rural Organisation Development (Capacity Building) Programme

    Rural CBOs receiving individually designed training and mentoring from RDSP have increased organisational effectiveness enabling them to improve their impact in communities.

  • Rural Youth Workers and Leaders Development Programme

    Youth workers and leaders in rural communities participating in RDSP’s programme develop the emotional maturity they require to realise their potential, work effectively with youth, and be change agents in their communities.

  • Rural Substance Abuse Programme

    Rural community groups receiving comprehensive training and mentoring in the field of substance abuse from RDSP implement services to assist those affected by substance abuse in their communities.

  • Rural Gender Based Violence (GBV) Programme

    Rural community group members participating in RDSP’s programme develop their personal understanding of GBV, strengthen their inter-personal skills and assist those affected by GBV in their communities.

Our funded programs are delivered free of charge to the beneficiary organisations in the greater Northern Cape and the Eastern and Western Cape Provinces. Through our vast network of partner agencies and government service providers, we are able to facilitate development projects and offer consulting services in all nine provinces at very competitive rates.

Support Rural Communities – Donate Today!

RDSPs work is funded on a project-by-project basis, and we are grateful for the ongoing support over the years from our local and international donors. We also generate revenue by providing consulting and facilitated training services to the NGO, Local Government Sector and Parishes. 

As rural communities face increasing levels of poverty, violence and substance abuse, want to be able to help those in need even if they are not beneficiaries of a funded project. For this reason we’ve created the RDSP Sustainability Fund, which enables us to continue support of CBOs that need help. This fund is not dependent on donor’s funding cycles or focus areas, and is therefore in constant need of donations.  As almost no donors fund organisational costs, we need your support to grow our RDSP Sustainability Fund

As a registered Public Benefit Organisation, any donation to RDSP is recognised by SARS as a legitimate income tax deductions. Simply mail us your details once you’ve made a donation, together with the proof of payment or Snapscan transaction reference, and we will send you your Section 18A Certificate for submission with your next tax return.