11th November 2020
Dear Dramatic Need community, followers and supporters, It is with a heavy heart that I am writing to tell you that, effective from 31st December this year, the Dramatic Need board of trustees has decided to close the charity permanently. By its very nature, the financial security of a non-profit entity such as Dramatic Need is always precarious. The world is politically and economically a different place from what it was when Dramatic Need was founded in 2007. An increasingly difficult fundraising environment coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic has placed all of our funding revenues under unsupportable strain. As a charity, our survival has depended on a very strict funding cycle based on creative fundraisers as well as a limited number of grant-giving trusts. As a charity operating overseas from our place of registration we are not eligible for UK government assistance. In this, we are not alone. We had carefully planned, for May of this year, a large-scale fine arts fundraiser and podcast to be launched simultaneously. However, the global pandemic has made the hosting of theatrical or fine arts fundraisers all but impossible and as South Africa and Europe face further possible lockdowns, it seems that we are unable to form any reliable fundraising plans. Our financial reserves will run out at the end of this year and, after lengthy discussions, and given such an uncertain future, not only in fundraising and the arts, but in terms of our on-the-ground operations, the decision has been made to give our team as much notice as possible so that they, and we, can support our students through this change as best as possible. As such, we will finish our final student programming on December 4th of this year, 13 years and 5 months after we first opened our doors. Our arts equipment inventory and vehicles will be shared between two local charities with whom we have been working for several years. After almost 14 years running Dramatic Need this is a very sad letter for me to have to write, but I am immensely proud of what we achieved, from the three art centres we built, to the 46 schools we supported annually, to the eight years of daily after-school arts workshops and the 40,000+ Rwandan and South African children that came through our doors over the years to take part in our volunteer programmes and workshops. I know what we did changed many young lives irrevocably for the better, and I would like to thank you all for the considerable part you played in making it happen.
Image 1: Friday Boys Visual Art Club, June 2012 Image 2: Drawing Workshop with Lucy Jane Turpin, September 2019 Image 3: The Piet Patsa Community Art Centre, July 2011 Thank you. Kea Leboha Amber Sainsbury Chief Executive Officer