Over the years, entrepreneur and Atlas Finance founder Jack Halfon has given his time, energy, and resources to a vast array of charitable causes in Johannesburg, South Africa, and beyond. The Harare, Zimbabwe-native arrived in South Africa as a young man, determined to make something of the modest 300 rand in his pocket. By the early 1990s, Jack had established Atlas Finance in his new hometown of Johannesburg and quickly turned his company into one of the top microlenders in the country. Microloans are small loans that are issued by individuals rather than banks or credit unions. These loans can be issued by a single individual or aggregated across a number of individuals who each contribute a portion to the total amount. With more than two million loans issued to date, 170-plus branches nationwide, and a staff that exceeds 1,300 lending and customer support professionals, Jack and Atlas Finance are able to help millions of South Africans meet short-term debt obligations quickly and with flexible repayment terms.
In tandem with his work in microfinance, Jack Halfon provides some of South Africa’s poorest communities with the tools not only to survive, but to live sustainable lives. To this end, Jack and Atlas Finance have supported Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa, a leading source of free, nutritious meals for infants and children who reside in underserved regions across the country. In 2011 and 2012 alone, Atlas Finance donated more than 120,000 meals through Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa and have changed and shaped the lives of thousands of families for the better. In addition to Stop Hunger Now, Jack and his company have been longtime partners with the Chabad House Johannesburg and their Miracle Mile Trust program. Through this non-profit organization, Jack was able to work with their Grow Your Life project where they were able to build a new library and feed children of the impoverished Malatjlie settlement. Last but not least, Jack joined students of King David School Linksfield to prepare meals for children at the Phuthaditjhaba Community Centre in Alexandra, donated citrus trees to public schools in Soweto and Krugersdorp, and recently gave food, clothing, and other necessities to Kraaipan Youth Foundation and Warm the World.
Among his proudest achievements, Jack Halfon published Faces and Places, a photographic journey into the world’s diverse cultures and living environments. For Jack, he sees photography as his primary passion and finds his inspiration both in well-traveled and remote areas of the globe. With more than three decades, Jack found his metier while he was a young man on vacation in the United States. After purchasing his first camera, Jack became infatuated with the hobby and eventually took his passion to Johannesburg. Back in Johannesburg, Jack was able to join an amateur photography club and quickly learned the techniques and artistry of black and white photography. As his talent and interest evolved, Jack expanded his practice to incorporate digital photography, which today enables him to show the world and its inhabitants its rich, vivid detail. Today, Jack Halfon’s Faces and Places 234-page hardcover book takes readers to places beyond familiar and less-traveled, offering a unique perspective in the process. His goal is to tell a story of the world and for the viewers to hear, feel, and see their true story of selves.
If you are looking to purchase a copy, you can buy the book here: jackhalfon.com. All proceeds of Faces and Places go towards charity. Remember, we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. Make your impact today and begin telling their story.