The Macias Restis foundation is a charitable institution founded in memory of my late father. He loved Africa and its people, and considered South Africa to be his adopted home. My family and I could think of no more a fitting way to honour his memory than by helping children, the most vulnerable and deserving members of our communities, through the good works of the foundation bearing his name.

Following my father’s death in 2004, my family and I considered establishing our own institutions to fulfil our mission of protecting the wellbeing of children, particularly those affected by HIV/Aids. As part of our research, my sister Katia, my brother Victor and I approached His Excellency Mr Jannie Momberg, then the South African Ambassador to Greece. We quickly established that the Ambassador shared our vision for the foundation. Upon his retirement from public service, Jannie Momberg agreed to serve as a trustee of the MRCT, and with his assistance and guidance, we quickly concluded that we could best achieve our mission by providing financial and practical support to existing programs rather than by establishing our own program. We thus embarked on the task of identifying a core group of local charities in South Africa. What these charities share in common is an established track record for aiding underprivileged children, mainly orphans, in a loving and yet efficient manner. We can see first-hand the difference our efforts are making.

The MRCT benefitted greatly from Jannie Momberg’s wisdom and experience. He visited the charities on a weekly basis and personally recorded their needs and changes. We all benefited from his wisdom and pragmatism. Although Jannie passed away in 2011, his work with the MRCT is being carried on by his widow, Trienie Momberg, who shares in his vision and dedication to bettering the lives of underprivileged children.

I hope you will share our vision and be inspired to make a difference for the children involved in the four programmes.

Claudia Restis