Mother’s Day spoiling

Saturday, 14 May 2016, we decided to pay a visit to two TAFTA homes (the John Dunne house in Wentworth and Kingdom Hall in town) and Salvation Army’s Montpilier retirement Home. With mother’s day having happened the week before we wanted to celebrate some of the mothers of Durban whose family could not visit them last week for whatever reason.  We have such treasures in our aged community in terms of their wisdom and understanding of life and we wanted to show them we value them.

The team met up at 113 Florida Rd from 8am to make up 100 posies of flowers for the ladies at John Dunne House and Salvation Army.  The ladies at Kingdom Hall received gifts from Milady’s, which were very kindly sponsored. The 40 volunteers were split into 3 teams which went to the three different venues.

At Salvation Army we were welcomed by 40 elderly people who were keen for conversation and a tasty treat.  It was great to have the opportunity to go into their rooms and see their facilities.  We hope to be able to help them more in the future.

When our team arrived at TAFTA Central there were 45 ladies all eagerly awaiting our arrival and welcomed us with a warm round of applause.

We handed out the gifts and cake, chatted and laughed over a cuppa tea. New bonds and friendships were made as we swapped stories and got to know one another.

Our time flew by, and before we knew it, it was time to leave.

The volunteers received many warm hugs and words of appreciation as the ladies left carrying their gifts.

Many of the volunteers were so deeply moved by the experience that they decided that they wanted to return in the not too distant future and are looking at a number of options of how they can get involved.

Thank you to our organisers Sarah Geddie and Sandie Rogerson, we really appreciate you.

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.

Jumble Gym no. 2

On the 30th January, a dedicated team of volunteers met at a crèche in Newlands East that partners with Key of Hope, to build a jungle gym. Most of the team had participated in a Jungle Gym build at the end of October 2015 so had a good idea of what to expect. Knowing they would take a jumble of wood and turn it into a work of art.

The day turned out to be a real scorcher with high humidity and we were wet with perspiration before we had even begun.

There were no plans to follow, just fertile imaginations. Fortunately the ground was a lot softer than the previous build so we had a few holes dug in no time. Two of the Dads brought their children along for the experience and they chipped in wherever they could. At this gym build we had access to electricity which helped a great deal when it came to cutting the various bits of timber to size, there was no need to use our blunt hand saws.

At the previous build our pièce de résistance was a ships wheel that the children could play with. Although this gym had a scramble net, monkey bars and swings, we felt that something extra was needed to finish it off.

After racking our brains for a while we decided that in view of the fact that the children at this crèche were tiny tots a sand pit would be appreciated. The problem was that we didn’t have any sand suitable for the children to play in.

While the team got to work building the enclosure for the sandpit, two volunteers were dispatched in a bakkie to find suitable sand.

Just after lunch the team completed the project but there was still no sand, after a few failed attempts to contact the sand men, and on completion of a photo shoot, most of the volunteers decided to call it a day and left.

Within the next 10minutes the sand men arrived with a bakkie load of sand.

 

The following day I went back to visit the crèche, I could see the sand pit had been well used.The crèche teacher informed me that the local children had had a wonderful time playing in the sand pit and on the jungle gym after we had left.

A big thank you to Embury College for the donation and to all our amazing volunteers who gave up their Saturday and toiled in the blazing heat to put smiles on the faces of many children.

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Dignity Drive

A big thank you to all who supported our dignity drive.  We received over 350 bags back which were distributed largely on two days in December.  The first was an early morning drop off on the 8th of December.  We met together loaded our cars and went to the streets searching for people in need.  It was wonderful watching in your rearview mirror as people opened up their bags – we saw big smiles, dancing and the occasional person trying to chase us down to say thank you.  Of course there were a few that were ungrateful and rude, but that doesn’t make us stop giving.  It just reminded us that when we receive that its not always because we asked or deserve good things  its just because the giver wants to give.

The second drop off happened at the Methodist feeding Scheme in Greyville. Up to 300 people come daily to the scheme to get a meal and on Thursday 10 December they received more thank what they came for.  Big smiles and dancing was seen again – and plenty of attempts to get a second bag.  Here we had a chance to chat with the people receiving the donations and even explain some of the products.  We expected questions on what the waterless hand cleanser was (an obvious luxury item)! When we explained it they men were thrilled! But the one thing that saddened me was the question of what is shampoo? this to me is not a luxury. this is something i don’t think twice about whether i should buy it or not – its a given!  A lesson in just how privileged we are… Dwight D. Eisenhower said “A people that values privileges above principles soon loses both”.  Let’s continue this year to be a people who give, who love the marginalised and care for those less fortunate and we will see Durban the way it was meant to be.

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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Strong Women of Tomorrow

Today we were fortunate enough to assist one young lady who benefits from the organisation called “Strong Women of Tomorrow” based in the Kwanuswa area.

Strong Women of Tomorrow is a registered NPO (138-661 NPO) that aids underprivileged girls to become value adding citizens of our society.  They operate in the Kwanyuswa area of eThekwini. Currently they aid 84 high school and 43 primary school students. Beauty who volunteers for the organisation approached We are Durban as 2 of their girls were unable to buy/get matric dance dresses.  Something a girl looks forward to their whole school career was going to be a huge disappointment for these 2 special ladies.  The request was put out on our Facebook page and offers poured in.  Thank you to everyone who offered!

Sposabella Bridal Boutique offered the girls a shopping experience. So Friday, 6 November 2015, we took 2 precious girls shopping.  Sadly, because one of the girls was so small she could not find a dress, but the other was in heaven!  She found the perfect dress for herself and stood in front of the mirror swishing about and admiring herself.  Thank you to Sposabella for making this girl’s dreams come true!

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Amashova 2015

This year’s Amashova saw fewer people donning the We are Durban jerseys due to the change in age limits by the organisers.  Due to safety reasons the Amashova organisers increased the age limit from 8 years old to 10 – which was really a good call!  This year we had 39 cyclists ride in the 3 different distances in the We are Durban colours.  The goal was to raise R160,000 this year in order to make 2 dreams a reality.  One was to provide a fully equipped containerised kitchen to a feeding scheme in KwaMashu, we had previously been given a quote of R60,000.00 for this.  The second was to provide a certified course in NPO Management to 30 NPO heads in the Durban area.

We sadly did not reach our dual goal, but the 39 people did an incredible job of raising R66217,7. We will be finalising the order of the kitchen shortly.  As soon as we have pictures of the kitchen we will post them for you…  Thank you cyclists for your commitment and effort!  A special mention must be made of Carmen de Lange who raised in excess of R10,000.00 on her own!  She has won a prize from Holomatrix.  Our other kind sponsors for the event which helped our team reach the end were; Future Life, Nature Zone Fitness Water and Blistex.  Thank you so much!



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Jungle Gym Assembly for Ukukhanya Creche

We are Durban was recently donated a Jungle Gym by Embury College in Windermere, and we were able to pass this on to the Key of Hope Non-Profit Organisation. Key of Hope nominated the Ukukhanya Crèche in Newlands East as the recipient. We arranged for the disassembled Jungle Gym to be transported to the crèche, with a team of amazing volunteers to carry out the assembly on Saturday, 24th of October.

Jungle Gym - Before

On arrival in Newlands East we were confronted with what could be called, at best, a Jumble Gym and at worst, a pile of fire wood!

Although we had an idea of what the finished product should look like, we soon discovered that a few key structural components were missing, which made building the gym to its original design impossible.  Our team of volunteers took the decision to build the Jungle Gym using our collective imaginations – never say die! The ground was as tough as nails, resulting in one new pick handle being broken in two.

Testing of the new gym

After much blood sweat and tears, the holes were dug and we commenced with the building of a Jungle Gym with no clear picture of the end result in mind. However, everyone participated with great enthusiasm and the Jungle Gym soon started to take shape.

About six hours later the gym was completed and we invited the local children, who had been watching the building process with a keen interest, to try it out.  The children ran to the gym squealing in delight – it was a very heart warming moment for all the volunteers.  Needless to say, the kids (and our volunteers) spent a good while enjoying the fun gym that they had made!

Thank you so much to Embury College for this donation, and to our team of PHENOMENAL volunteers who gave up their Saturday to give the kids a fun place to play every day – you guys are amazing!

The A Team!

 

Quattro – Triad – We are Durban Golf Day

The Quattro – Triad – We are Durban Golf Day was held at Kloof Country Club on Friday 16 October 2015.  The event was organized by We are Durban in aid of the Triad Special Needs School in Pinetown, with Quattro Finance as the main sponsor.

The Golf Day format was a Fourball Alliance, and we had a full field with 33 fourball teams joining us for the day.  Kloof Country Club graciously hosted us, with no green fees charged at all, and they were instrumental in organisation of the event, both leading up to and on the day.  Quattro consultants purchased the majority of our fourballs, and also sponsored three of the tee-boxes, giving out drinks to our thirsty golfers.  Our amazing sponsors on the course included Polo Pony Engen, Rawson Properties, Long & Associates, Durban Central Panel Beaters, Unocor Construction, Westville Locksmiths, Jaguar Land Rover Hillcrest, Toyota Hillcrest and Rohlig Grindrod Logistics. Triad organized a fun hole as well, where golfers played the hole using crutches or wearing an eye-patch, and they also set up the amazing gym equipment that was purchased from funds raised in the 2014 Golf Day.

We enjoyed a great lunch at the Halfway House, and a delicious lamb spit braai dinner organised by the Club and Gail Pederson, with the funds for the lamb spit donated by Westville Locksmiths.  After dinner and a fun chipping competition, prize giving was held with everyone standing a chance to win something – either through a fourball or individual prize, a fantastic raffle, the chipping competition, or various chance games played in prize giving.

The event was an incredible success, and has raised just over R110 000 (before expenses) for the Triad Special Needs School in Pinetown.  We were absolutely blown away by the generosity of our players and sponsors leading up to and during the event, which meant that we were able to raise so much more than we were anticipating.   We received a number of cash donations for the fundraiser, from Polyurethane Industrial Solutions, Quattro Life, Quattro Accounts, Oceanic Seagull Maritime and Rebcon Engineering.

We received some amazing prizes as donations from our sponsors, including FutureLife, VUM, Pick n Pay, Spar, Unilever, Telkom, Engen Polo Pony, Seacliff Estates, Caladdi B&B, Living Creations, Waxy O’Connors, Rohlig Grindrod Logistics, Audi, Makaranga Garden Lodge, Manoli’s Munchies, Q4 Prawns, Katiwe Necklaces, Comair, Protea Hotel, Esperanza Spa, Kim Wessels, Durban Central Panel Beaters, Lauren Galloway Photography, Victoria Verbaan and a number of anonymous donors.

The funds raised will be used for renovations required to provide additional classrooms facilities at the Triad School, which are much needed as the school is often not able to accommodate more children due to a lack of space and facilities.

Thank you to all of our players, sponsors and donors for your incredible generosity and contribution to this event, which will make a lasting difference in this phenomenal school.  A special thanks goes to Kloof Country Club for hosting us at no cost, to Quattro for playing a large role in organisation and sponsorship of the event, and to Michelle Seaton from the Triad School, who organised so many details of the day including sponsorships and prizes.  We are Durban is proud to have been involved in this fantastic fundraiser!

 

 

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.