Mandela Day Market

On Saturday, 16 July 2016, we at our offices in Windermere to celebrate Mandela Day.  We asked the community to get involved by either donating their good quality second hand clothes, or books, bake something delicious and donate that, volunteer time to sort, set up or sell on the day.  Huge piles of clothes were donated.  We had plenty of baked goods and fudge for those with a sweet tooth. There was coffee, bacon and egg rolls and homemade lemonade to keep people happy and full.  Twelve other regular market stalls were booked to sell their own wares on the day, and there was even a fun photobooth.  A raffle was held where there was a night stay in an executive suite at the Suncoast Towers, including breakfast and a R500 voucher for dinner sponsored by Tsogo Sun, which Bruce Jackson won, much to his delight.  The money raised from the day will be going towards a project we are working on with the municipality to supply a new pre-primary school facility for the children in the Dalton Heights area.  Just under R15,000.00 was raised.  A big thank you goes out to all who supported us on the day.

SACSC give back

On Thursday 2 June 2016, the KZN chapter of the South African Council of Shopping Centres met for their annual networking evening.  As they have done in the past they have asked their members to give something back to charity.  This year they chose to give stationery.  This stationery is currently being distributed to underprivileged schools and pre-primaries in and around Durban.  Thank you for your support and getting involved in making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. Below is a list of what was collected.

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Stationary donation
186 Large stationary packs
21 Small packs
78 college Excercise Books
15 A4 Exam pads
13 A4 counter books
22 A5 Notebooks
6 Reams of A4 paper
19 Small Notebooks
17 Boxes of crayons
18 Boxes of coloured pencils
5 Jumbo colouring-in books
20 Pritt glue sticks
72 Erazers
37 Pencil sharpeners
105 Rulers
277 Pencils
3 A5 exam pads
25 Hilighters
16 Permanent Markers
12 Packs Post-it flags
1 Pack fibre tipped pens
2 Boxes giant gem clips
4 Calculators
3 Boxes paper clips
3 Post it notes
4 Correction tape
1 Maths drawing insturments
2 A5 Flip files
1 A4 Flip file
15 A5 Excercise Books
13 A4 Manuscript Books
6 Scissors
1 Pack A4 Kraft covers
549 Pens
4 Boxes of staples

Night Shelter visitation

Last night (25 February 2016), we joined the Isinkwa SeTheku team in going out to the night shelters to visit with the residents.

Isinkwa SeTheku is a not-for-profit that operates to bring hope to the homeless of our city.  Every Thursday night they meet and divide into teams that go to various shelters and visit the guys on the streets.  They visit the best and the worst of shelters to take food and a listening ear to those in need.  They also do a potjie day once a month to feed the people living on the street.

I had the privilege of going to a very new shelter in Durban called Haven of Hope.  It has only been operating for about 5/6 months but has put some really good things in place that will make it a safe place for people in need to stay.  They have 2 stories – one for males and one for females. Everything is very clean and neat and they have very strict rules around hygiene of  the residents and cleanliness of the building.  Well done to the Family trust that has seen the need and done something about it!

If you are ever at a loss for something to do on a Thursday night, i would recommend joining the Isinkwa SeTheku team in visiting the less fortunate of our city.  They meet at the St Paul’s Anglican Church on Monty Naiker Street at 6:45pm.

Business Breakfast

6 November 2015 saw 70 business people from the Durban area come together in the Luthuli Hall (City Hall) to challenge mindsets around business and giving to the needy of our society.  A collaboration between Nation Builder, Grace aid and ourselves resulted in this business altering breakfast. Francios van Niekerk of the Mertech group was our main speaker. Francios story of how God helped him turn a bankrupt business in to a multimillion rand group of businesses is inspiring to say the least. We also had a panel of local business people, including Nick Nzama, Brad Wills and Leigh-Anne Aitken who added so much value as their stories are based in Durban.  Abonga Nkwelo was our brilliant MC and managed to keep things flowing incredibly well.  Breakfast was yummy and plentiful, thanks to Highway Function Hire.  A BIG thank you to eThekwini Municipality for the use of the Luthuli Hall.  It was a perfect venue and was a beautiful representation of Business, Government and the Social sector working together to see Durban reach its potential.

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Potjie Competition 2015

This Heritage Day on 24 September 2015, the annual We are Durban Potjie Competition was held in association with the Buyisithemba GD Community Development Organisation in KwaMashu, Section D.  The Competition was organized by We are Durban and participants were all volunteers, who graciously gave up their Public Holiday to join us in celebrating our Heritage together.  It was a beautiful sunny day and an incredible success, which we look forward to repeating each year!

 

We had 19 volunteer teams sign up to cook their favourite potjie recipes – even Buyisithemba entered a team and cooked a delicious range of traditional food.  Everyone brought their own ingredients and equipment, and had approximately 3 hours to cook their potjies.  A team of judges, including We are Durban board members and the local Ward Councillors, tasted a portion from each team and decided on the top 3 winning teams.  Teams were given extra points if they catered to the heritage theme – and we had beautiful dishes being served up!

 

Once all our potjies were cooked, the food was shared out with members of the local community who are part of Buyisithemba’s feeding scheme. We fed about 250 people on the day, with plenty food left over for second helpings.  We had plenty of extra pap and rice, as well as extra chicken curry, thanks to generous donations given to We are Durban specifically for the event.

 

Prizes were given to teams in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for the best potjies, and we were privileged to be able to give out such beautiful prizes – engraved wooden spoons, brand new cookbooks donated by Bargain Books in Westwood, lovely embroidered aprons donated by one of our amazing volunteers, and a variety of lovely donated goodies.

 

Buyisithemba were such incredible hosts on the day, treating all of us to entertainment, tea and snacks while we cooked, and a wonderful programme including an introduction to Buyisithemba and the work that they do in the community.  We were honoured to have the local Ward Councilors joined us for the day, as well as UKZN and some of the local youth who entertained us with a traditional dance. Buyisithemba also organized a mobile clinic to be present on the day for any elderly members of the community who required medical care.

 

Thank you so much to our amazing volunteers, sponsors and to Buyisithemba for joining together to make this event a huge success!  It was a truly fantastic way to build relationships with a Non-Profit that are doing phenomenal work in their community.

Loving the Lost Daughters

We are Durban marked Women’s Month this August by partnering with Red Light Anti-Human Trafficking and their Night Lights team.  This event was exclusively a Christian event, due to Red Light being a Christian organization.

 

On 27 August 2015, a group of about 30 volunteers from local churches spent the evening ministering to the women at risk in Windermere, Durban, with the Night Lights team providing training and guidance as to what to expect and how to minister to these women.

 

We went out into the streets in small groups, each with a trained Red Light team leader, and simply spent time chatting to the local women at risk, sharing a hot chocolate, and also lovely pamper goodies that were kindly donated by Unilever.   As the Night Lights team regularly minister to these women, they know many of them and have established relationships in an incredible way.  We were able to have in-depth conversations with many of the women, often getting an opportunity to pray for them.  Mostly, we just enjoyed each other’s company – it was amazing to see how naturally conversation flowed and how eager the ladies were to chat and enjoy the break in their evening.

 

Our volunteers shared how they were amazed by how much joy they experienced, but of course how sad these ladies’ stories are and how so many of them feel they have no other option for supporting themselves and their families financially.  Our event ended off with many volunteers signing up to partner with Red Light in their ongoing ministry.

 

We would like to extend a huge thank you to our volunteers and to Red Light for making this event possible, and for giving up their time to love those who are so often forgotten.

Mandela Day: Warrior Race 2015

This year we had 34 participants join us for the 2015 Warrior Race at Sugar Rush Ballito.  What an awesome event!  Perfect weather, plenty of mud, challenging obstacles, and excellent comradery from mates racing together for a good cause.

We had warriors racing in each of the race categories: Rookie, Commando and Black Ops Elite.  Warriors used the opportunity to raise sponsorships for We are Durban: approximately R11 700 was raised!

We were blessed to be able to give out energy powder sachets and water bottles to our racers, which were kindly donated by NATIVA. Beautifully branded shirts and vests were also donated by Jam Clothing for each of our participants making sure we all looked like a team. We sent everyone home with a tube of face wash donated by Unilever, to help them feel human again after the race.

We’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to all of our sponsors and participants who contributed to this event being a huge success!

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Response to Xenophobic attacks

With the world watching Durban, it was wonderful to be a part of the positive outpouring of love and care for those displaced due to the xenophobic violence in our city.  Thank you to everyone who contributed. In the end we were able to take a large portion of goods to 3 different sets of people.

One group was a Congolese community that went into hiding shortly after the attacks began. The second group was housed a Durban Christian Centre, and were women and children who out of fear left all they had and ran to the church for help.  The third was the refugee camps set up by the Red Cross that have been caring for about 6500 displaced people in 5 different camps across eThekwini.

R 16 500.00 was donated into our bank account with the reference of “Xeno”.  We called Red Cross to find out what was needed in the camps and we also paid a camp a visit and found out from the moms what they needed for their babies. Here is the list of things that went out and what was bought with the money that was donated into our bank account;

 

DETAILS AMOUNT RECEIVED FROM DONATED TO
34 x Nestum 250g R 576,30 Bought from Dischem Toti Isipingo Shelter
10 x Future Life for kids 500g R 307,50 Bought from Dischem Toti Isipingo Shelter
1 x Baby wipes R 57,50 Bought from Dischem Toti Isipingo Shelter
12 x plastic spoons R 25,90 Bought from Dischem Toti Isipingo Shelter
2 x Lactogen 1.8kg R 350,00 Bought from Dischem Toti Isipingo Shelter
10 x Nappies R 1 040,00 Bought from Dischem Toti Isipingo Shelter
7 x baby bottles R 222,65 Bought from Dischem Toti Isipingo Shelter
13 x Infacare 108kg R 2 339,35 Bought from Dischem Toti Isipingo Shelter
366 x toothbrushes R 4 507,90 Bought from Dischem La Luica Red Cross
260 x Bars of 100g soap R 1 299,35 Bought from Pick ‘n Pay Red Cross
326 x Toothpaste R 2 389,93 Bought from Pick ‘n Pay Red Cross
92 x Tooth brushes R 367,54 Bought from Pick ‘n Pay Red Cross
88 x Sanitary pads (10s) R 787,60 Bought from Pick ‘n Pay Red Cross
21 x nappies R 2 184,00 Bought from Dischem La Lucia Red Cross
125 x Family disaster relief buckets City Hope Congolese community
5 x 25kg soya mince Tekwini Foods DCC & Congolese community
5 x 25kg soup Tekwini Foods DCC & Congolese community
5 x 25kg juice mix Tekwini Foods DCC & Congolese community
Groceries (R1 100.00) ZaPOP (Pty) Ltd Isipingo Shelter
Groceries (R2 000.00) Khanyisa Special needs School Red Cross
Clothes and soft toys (R6 000.00) Sarah and Martin Cordner Red Cross
500 x blankets SA Homeloans DCC
416 x Soap (Ponds and Geisha) Unilever Red Cross
72 x Vaseline Unilever Red Cross
768 x Shampoo Unilever Red Cross
50 x Glen tea Unilever Red Cross
36 x Toothpaste Unilever Red Cross
30x Razors Unilever Red Cross

 

THANK YOU!

Bucket Drive Distribution

Each year we assist Olive Tree Church with their annual Bucket Drive to distribute groceries to various organisations and people in need.  This year we made sure that we were uplifting communities in need and not reinforcing dependence and entitlement by focusing on the elderly and child headed households.

We were able to distribute 350 grocery buckets to the following organisations: Inchanga, Bothas Hill, Wangu, Burlington and Umgeni View.  We were also able to fill 100 buckets with invaluable stationary for 4 creches in the Wangu community.

Below is an extract from one of the gentleman who joined us for the distribution, showing that often it’s not about what we give but the relationship of giving that changes our hearts.

 

“I was very moved with this time spent in distributing the buckets to the identified poor households. It was my first time,and I wanted to try and make a small difference to seeing the joy that these buckets would bring to poor households. I knew it would be an emotionally tough experience,and asked God to try and prepare me.

Well,

The first bucket we delivered in Inchanga,it was to a man who was 40 years old,and had been alienated and outcast by his family,as he had AIDS,no access to antiretrivirals. When he opened the door,he stood lifeless having very little or no hope left to live for in his life,and when he realised the people at his door were messengers of GOD to bring joy and care to his life,his lifeless eyes were suddenly awoken,and he was so ALIVE,having HOPE for a joyous Christmas,and honestly,he was so thin,I don’t honestly knew when he last ate,or where his next meal would come from………..seeing this was too much for me emotionally,and I walked away with tears in my eyes,and looked up and asked God why must people suffer so,and counted how rich and blessed my life was

The experience taught me to appreciate that my life is so blessed with what God has so kindly provided for me,and that when I feel life is not treating me fairly,I must appreciate that there are people out in the world with much bigger worse problems.we take for granted our beautiful homes we come home to everyday of our lives,the provisions God has for us with the daily food we are so blessed to receive,and our families who love and care for each other.With God in our lives,we honestly want for nothing!”

Durban Dignity Day – Christmas Party

On the cloudy day of 7 December 2014 in town the winds of change where blowing in the streets around Dr Goonam Street, unsettling the rubbish left over from the night before’s party.
The volunteers from Nkosinati Project, We Are Durban and the GTI group were arriving!

There was a flurry of activity from the start. This will be the best Christmas party these guys have seen yet! (was the mindset for most), mixed with a hint of nerves for the outcome. Cool heads prevailed and everyone pulled together in the most glorious fashion. What a day, what an event, what a great bunch of human beings, to God be the glory!

The main objective of the day was have it titled as a Dignity Day for the homeless and destitute of the surrounding area in town. We hoped to achieve this by the most simple method of loving and serving the people as they came in.

A slow and steady stream trickled in and were soon served with a warm drink or juice and a biscuit. Next the men were treated to a shave and a wash and were offered the use of deodorant and body lotion to freshen up. This exercise brought about great relief and many smiles.

Once the ablutions were done, the people moved upstairs where the men & women were sent to separate rooms to pick out three items of clothing each.
This seemed like a simple idea at the time and due to the excellent prepping by the upstairs volunteers it went along smoothly.

For the grand finale, the good people were sent up to the next floor where they entered into a giant hall fitted with Christmas decorations and dozens of tables all done up as if a passing dignitary was due for lunch.
The 2 to 300 strong army of people were led to their seats where they were greeted by a table set with rolls and fruit for starters, before being served the main course by one of  many volunteer waiters running around ensuring that all had received their fair share of food and drink. All this while Christmas carols were playing in the background.

After much merriment at the tables with a few contented belches, the desserts were then served. Once everyone had received dessert they were lined up at the front of the hall to receive their gift hampers consisting of soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, vaseline and a face cloth. The bunch then sauntered off with full bellies, new outfits and refreshed appearances.

But the dignity in the day was not just found in the shaving, food and clothes. It was found in the serving and love of each volunteer who lent a hand in making the day such a success. The way that everything was prepared and the way that everything was served brought about the feeling that these people who came off the streets weren’t just a number in a line, but someone valued and special and that they had potential.

Well done to all involved.