People who inspire me: Kim Feinberg

TT - Kim 50th
Kim Feinberg

I was introduced to Kim Feinberg about 6 years ago when the corporate I worked for had sponsored one of the 94.7 Highveld Christmas Wishlist wishes. If I recall correctly, it was Simon Parkinson from Primedia that got me into a meeting with Kim and The Tomorrow Trust.

We had the opportunity to grant a wish but, in line with our sustainable and empowering views, we knew we had to do more beyond a simple donation and once-off annual contribution to a cause.  The challenge with so many of these initiatives is that, while people and companies want to do good and help others – resources are not unlimited.  Further, many times corporates are not equipped to provide the ongoing support that is required to be effective.  I mean, corporates are businesses with definitive goals and outcomes to meet.

Enter The Tomorrow Trust. The Trust took over the management and administration, support and ongoing care for my company’s 4 disadvantaged learners who we had pledged long term educational support for.

From our very first meeting I just knew that Kim was the type of person who could reduce anyone to tears in a matter of seconds.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had a meeting with her where she herself has not gone teary-eyed when talking about one of her projects or “kids”.

Why does she inspire me?

  • She is consistently passionate and committed to making a very real difference in shaping the Education outcomes for South Africa
  • She has taken an idea and made it work nationally, integrating the solution into all aspects of the basic needs of our country (South Africa).
  • She is a genuine person – the real deal – who tirelessly defends the integrity of The Tomorrow Trust to ensure it does not become a superficial talking head in the clutter of good causes out there.
  • She gives a damn. About herself, her work, her team, her family and her friends.
  • She is the kind of person that I know, if given the resources, really will change the world. Time is of no consequence.

In 2012, The Tomorrow Trust volunteered their assistance with The Twitter Blanket Drive to provide much needed validation of the many charities and beneficiaries of #TBDZA.  The Trust also assisted with the auditing of the cash donations received through the blanket drive to the nominated organisations.

This is Kim’s Story:

I was born in Springs and brought up in JHB. I am the youngest of 3 girls. I had a childhood filled with loss and trauma through both death and divorces. My family had challenges that then escalated and manifested in an emotional manner as well as financial challenges. My dreams were in the Arts – mainly dance and acting. I attended the Johannesburg school for Art Ballet and Music. I received a full scholarship to Lee Strasburg acting school in LA where I attended for 3 years.

TT - Kim modelling
Kim, 30 years ago, on a modelling shoot

Once returning home I married my childhood sweetheart and had 2 children leaving the Arts behind as I moved into a space of motherhood.

In 1990 I made a conscious choice to help making the world a better place for my children and many others.

Since then I have focused on human rights and education in order to impact as many lives in a positive manner as possible.

I decided to get actively involved in making a difference to as many children as possible teaching about what can happen if rights are not upheld as well as the fact that you can do whatever you set your mind to do. When being faced with a glaring issue I cannot simply pretend that it is not there – I have to make a plan. This is how I started and this is my driving force to impact it.

I asked Kim why she chose to focus on Education:

Education can never be taken from you in any way – it develops, grows and stimulates. It is the one avenue that can truly give you tools to get off charity and become self reliant. Through this you can do anything. By educating many of the other noble causes are dealt with. This is however holistic education not simply academic education.

The state of education is dismal in South Africa! The quality has been compromised by the need to number crunch! It is not about how many children pass grade 12 but rather how many of these children pass with the ability and pass rate that will take them into the next level. It is about how many of our children and youth are prepared for the “real” world after school. Do they have the ability to stand on their feet with morals values and the ability to have critical thinking? THIS IS EDUCATION!

Kim at celebrating her 50th birthday with her son and daughter
Kim at celebrating her 50th birthday with her son and daughter

I asked Kim what she has learnt over the years through her good work:

Life is a journey – there is no right nor wrong in the choices we make. We try do the best we can at that moment in time. I have no regrets. I look at my choices and my life and take from it lessons to grow and learn about myself constantly. I hope to do this for the rest of my days on earth. I hope to become more conscious and more aware filling my life and others with life and the ability to know that we ourselves create our lives through the choices we make. Our attitude is what guides and underpins everything that we do.

My soul purpose is to access and reach potential that resides in us all. This is the avenue for us all to see our individual uniqueness. By accessing our potential this allows us to live fulfilled lives!

I would change nothing at all – it is what is.

You can read up more about the work that The Tomorrow Trust does here: TT Abbreviated Information_2012 (PDF) or on their website

If you like the work that the Trust does, you can support them by donating towards their ongoing national projects in education (Grade R – Grade 12, plus tertiary).

An easy way to evaluate your contribution in making a difference is to Support A Child:

TT - Support a child

In addition to the obviously needed cash donations required to run the multitude of programs, you are more than welcome to assist in the following ways too:

  • Expertise and workshops from Corporates
  • Tutors for our Holiday Schools Programme
  • School premises for our Holiday Schools Programme
  • Computers, memory sticks, and printers
  • Stationery and other school supplies
  • Mini vans or buses for transporting the children
  • Textbooks
TT - Kim and Spielberg
Kim with Steven Spielberg & the senator of Philadelphia at the Annual Gala Dinner in August 2011

Kim is also the head of Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation in Africa. Shoah foundations are organisations that are formed to further the remembrance of the Holocaust of World War II. In 1994, Steven Spielberg founded the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation (now called USC Shoah Foundation Institute), a nonprofit organization established to record testimonies in video format of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust.


One Reply to “People who inspire me: Kim Feinberg”

  1. Thank you Melanie for this beautiful article. I am so humbled by your reaction and do hope that i am able to make a difference to many more lives in the future – it is indeed what makes me breathe daily.
    i feel blessed to do what I do and to have people such as yourself who support this essential work.
    may you and yours have a blessed holiday season xxx

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