Despite being born blind, Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Arendse (53) has never felt disadvantaged by her lack of eyesight. Instead, she has used every opportunity to educate herself and give back to her community in many different ways. When she isn’t supporting and helping those around her, she works as a switchboard operator at Paarl Hospital and fills the role of single mother to her son. Journey of empowerment Elizabeth’s journey of empowerment started as a young [...]
In the community of Mbekweni on the outskirts of Paarl, a small food garden is thriving in Selina Khonjwayi’s backyard. She is 68 years old and is the proud owner of a garden that she has been trained to manage and maintain herself with the help of grey water. Poor health leading to unemployment Her journey hasn’t always been easy though. Selina had to retire a few years ago due to poor health. Along with suffering [...]
#RealHeroes Christiaan's Story. Christiaan was only six years old when he witnessed his father being shot and killed right in front of his eyes. He was severely traumatised by the incident and became an angry and rebellious boy. When Christiaan’s mother decided to get married again, he was furious, and refused to accept this new relationship. But as time went on, he saw that his mother was happy and he grew fonder of his stepdad. [...]
#RealHeroes Series MTHETHELELI’S STORY Mthetheleli (MT) was one of six children, all struggling to live on their mother’s income. His parents did not share the same values, and the tension made life difficult. The children suffered, and became undisciplined. Their community was constantly at war, forcing them to continually seek refuge. MT and his siblings scattered in their own direction. His mother pleaded with him to make the right choices, and not end up in [...]
#RealHeroes Series Leen's Story (as told by Elra from Ma's vir Wellington): "Leen is a kind and beautiful young lady who was born with a mental disability. In order to get more stimulation and development, she was invited to join the Avodah programme at Ma’s vir Wellington. I enjoyed working with Leen, but I started to notice that she was always bringing objects very close to her face to figure out what they were. I soon realised that she was [...]
Ronald Frans is a remarkable man and a true example of how one individual can make a significant impact. Born a leader, supported by the community and empowered by partnerships. Modest beginnings Raised by his grandparents, Ronald grew up as the eldest of six children in the small coastal town of Mossel Bay. They all lived together in scheme houses that were given to them by the government whilst most of his friends stayed in [...]
#RealHeroes Series Morgan's Story: “It was during my final school year that my cousin was stabbed in the back with a knife and left paralysed. He moved in with us. My mother and I had to take care of him full-time. It was hectic, but I managed to finish matric. I didn’t know what to do after school. I signed up for so many courses trying to find my place in the world, but never [...]
Mandla Bula, an ex-offender and now a messenger of hope, was born in the township of Khayelitsha outside Cape Town. His life took a turn from gangsterism, drugs and violence to becoming a carrier of light and night manager at a guest house in Franschhoek.