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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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.


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.

Derivco – Musawenkhosi ECD Centre painting

A very big thanks to the team from Derivco who decided that instead of going quad-biking for their teambuild they wanted to do something of value for the community.

Last year we had a number of big storms lash the Durban area and one of the places affected was a little Early Childhood development in Inanda where two of its walls collapsed.  The school teachers contacted We are Durban earlier this year to find out if we could help in any way. With the help of various volunteers we have done a complete makeover of the building.  An upgraded facility has been completed, thanks to Derivco who painted the building a sunny yellow.

Musawenkhosi facilitates the education and care of 46 children from the community under the age of 6.  The children’s parents pay R100/m for their little ones to be there from 6am -4pm.  Previously the building leaked like a sieve as it was a really old wattle and daub building.  Thanks to people in Durban who gave of their time and talents, these children have a lovely, safe environment to be nurtured in.

A big THANK YOU to the team from Derivco for the effort you put in.

Nivea – Burlington CV project

A small team of 6 ladies from Nivea have impacted over 60 families in the Burlington community by simply giving up 4 hours of their time to care! The group met at a community hall inside the Burlington township on Wednesday 11th December with their laptops charged and their enthusiasm evident. They were greeted by about 20 eager females seated and waiting for an opportunity to have their CV’s drawn up by the Nivea team, and then a constant stream of others filtering in for the next few hours.

Ishmael from the Nkosinathi Project (based at the Denis Hurley Centre) in the CBD joined us for the morning and gave the group a quick introduction to the importance of CV’s, the “do’s” and “don’ts” for your CV. He also covered the interview process and the importance of being professional and punctural.  The Nivea team in the meantime were setting up in the front of the hall. When Ishmael was finished it was the Nivea’s time to shine and sat down one-on-one with a community member to write up their personal CV. Each lady sat with 5-10 people throughout the day and then rest of the people were able to manually complete a questionnaire so that their CV can be drawn up for them.

In total 60 people (on the dot) were helped in the end and will each be given 5 copies of their CV next week when we return to the community. On top of this their CV’s are being uploaded onto the eThekwini opportunities database and submitted to the Jump Start programme which could result in work at Mr Price, and Spar locally. So we are holding thumbs that a few people will be recruited through this channel. More importantly though each member will now have a CV that they can take out for their own personal job hunt. This might sound simple but just earlier this year there was a company who had advertised 50 positions in the area but due to no one having CV’s not a single person from Burlington was hired.

With this project we are hoping to give people a fighting chance to succeed and all it took was some ink, paper and a bit of love and patience!

Heritage Day Potjie Kos Competition 2014

For Heritage Day this year we couldn’t think of a better time to hold our annual Potjie Kos Competition and so we sent out invitations for people to put together a team, buy the ingredients and join us for a cultural experience in the valley of Bothas Hill.

Fifteen teams joined us for the morning, bringing the total number of participants to almost 100 people. The atmosphere was electric and there was loads of socializing while sussing out the opposition potjies. The weather seemed a little overcast to begin with but it ended up being a scorcher of a day and this added to the fun.

Russell Chill from the venue The White House gave a brief introduction to the organisation and the work that they do there. The venue was originally only a community centre but due to the needs in the area they now have brought in wheel chairs, hospital beds and carers and have transformed it into a care centre for the elderly and abandoned.  With the food from the 15 teams we were able to bless 100 of the local community with a delicious meal as well as a product hamper each from Unilever.

We were given some lovely prizes from Bevurn Marketing and Brand X promotional clothing and so the competition was rife, but in the end it was a tie between Glee Projects and the Potjie Master Chefs.

Well done to all the teams for such a great effort and for all your enthusiasm throughout the day, we hope to see you all again next year to see who the Potjie Competition winners for 2015 will be!

Mandela day

This year’s Mandela day we decided to partner with a nonprofit Christian organisation called iCare. Their aim is to create a meaningful and sustainable solution for the street children of Durban through awareness programs, rehabilitation, shelters and skills creation. Each day during the week they have about 20 children come to the centre for food, showers and clean clothing as well as games, sport and educational programmes.

On Mandela day however their schedule changed dramatically. They were met by the staff from Duromed who were busy preparing an amazing breakfast of scrambled egg, bacon, tomato and bread rolls. The children came in and showered before being served this delicious treat which really got the day off to a great start.

Together with the VUM staff we then split the children into four groups, and engaged with them in an interactive activity called city mapping. City mapping was a drawing exercise which was meant to show/inform us where the kids spend most of their time. With VUM staff asking the kids to draw Durban as they see it, they were asked to draw their safest place, favourite place, worst or most dangerous place etc.  The end results revealed some interesting points beside their obvious love for soccer and the beach. It also revealed their fear of metro and the police who often round them up in the vans and drop them off in far places as far as even Stanger. iCare have their own social workers who try to reintegrate these children with their families but I think this exercise was appreciated by the children because it gave them a voice, even if it was just for 67minutes.

We were fortunate to have an amazing bunch of volunteers who then led the kids in some  fun and games. Activities such as balloon popping, hoola hoop catchers, blind folded mime game and the sellotape game amongst others.

While the kids were busy with their city mapping and games there were some hard working volunteers who became carpenters for the day. They sanded and stained the wooden staircase in the hall as an additional blessing to the iCare group. They managed to do 99% of the work but with time restraint had to come back to the following week to complete it but its now finished and it is looking great.

In the afternoon we all gathered outside where Velocity had prepared a braai for lunch. Everyone from the iCare staff, the kids as well as the volunteers sat outside to share in this amazing feast which ended off an amazing day.

iCare has responded with comments of gratitude, informing us on how they had such a great experience that day and especially how the kids loved it. It was such a privilege and honor to serve that Organisation and those children.

Warrior Race 2014

26th July 2014 Holla Trails Ballito

We are Durban teamed up with Soldiers of God  to compete in the Warrior Challenge to raise funds and awareness for Khulani Children’s Shelter in Park Hill, Durban.

The 2014 Warrior Challenge was held at Holler trails Ballito, on the 26th of July. It’s an adventure race that has 3 different levels and plenty of muddy obstacles to overcome.

The Khulani’s Children Shelter was established to provide a place of safety for orphans & abused and abandoned children in the North Durban area, children who have different obstacles to climb. Children are placed at the shelter by state welfare departments and the SAPS. The facility is currently registered to provide accommodation for 12 children between the ages of 8 and 16 (although no child is turned away).

The day of the Race was a bit chilly, 1000’s of people where there, +/- 909 teams entered and +/- 4100 individuals took part in the Challenge, but 11 of these teams had more than just a race as their drive/motivation for entering the competition. We had teams such as The Epic Shrooms, Yshuldweclimbit, Team ARB, #Arewethereyet, Team Ripped, Meat wagon, Gun Runner, Wandaful UTI, The Avengers, We didn’t think this through, and Ooohimunfits.

These amazing warrior kings and warrior queens tackled the obstacles and overcame them; they got soaked in mud, ran, and climbed up steep banks of sand. They were freezing cold, sore, batted and bruised in the end but all felt a sense of pride and achievement.

Here are a few stories from the Soldiers who partook;

“I have done this race before last year 2013; before the race began I was feeling excitement with some serious nervous tension in the air. After the race! Buggered, sore, Cold and waiting for the cramp to set in. My main motivation for doing the race or finishing it was the kids from Khulani who are facing serious obstacles (my warrior obstacles look insignificant to what the Orphans have to face). Knowing we can make a difference to their precious little lives motivated me to finish the race. Would I absolutely do this again next year?  Well doing this race was all about supporting Khulani’s underprivileged, and I feel funny enough sad that we just really don’t do enough for causes such as Khulani. I just wish I had arrange an outing for these kids to have come and watched, to have been apart, to have been inspired by what we did by overcoming obstacles of a physical nature and to show them that they too can have strength to overcome any adversity/ obstacle they are faced with and most importantly to know that true happiness is through Jesus Christ!!!!”      ~ Keith Chelin from Team Ripped

“This was a first for me, afterwards I felt Elated, but pretty sore.  The camaraderie within our little team was brilliant too. I did it to help to get pledges toward the Khulani Childrens’ Shelter, and also as a personal challenge to myself. I probably won’t do it next year.  My upper body strength is just not there anymore, and I think I’m too old for this sort of challenge (only physically, hey J)

I believe in the star-fish principal, and that everyone just needs to do a little in their personal capacity, to make BIG changes.  I have always had a heart for the underprivileged, and did a lot of work in this vein whilst living in Swaziland, where funding is non-existing for projects for widows, orphans, the disabled, etc.  I don’t necessarily need to see the end result; I only need to trust in the organization that I KNOW for sure to be putting the money where it is needed.”                   

 ~ Kathy Hughes  from Epic Shrooms

Those are just a few stories of the experiences of the many great men and women who for the sake of making a difference in more than just their own lives but in the lives of the children from Khulani’s As well, took on the challenge. This is how together we can make Durban a better place for all.

We are Durban would like to thank all you warriors who fought and pushed boundaries to make a difference in the lives of Children who are less privileged like the kids from Khulani, A particularly special thanks to Keith Chelin for being the driver of this campaign, SOLDIERS OF GOD, It’s been a great privileged to have you inspire many to take part in this challenge and witnessing your heart on this has given many inspiration.

Annual Youth Day Beach Event

Pirates Beach Saturday 28th June 2014

This was our biggest beach day event yet with almost 250 children and volunteers joining us for the morning.  Although the rain was teasing it thankfully stayed away and we were blessed with the perfect weather for the kids to run around and play.

This year we had children from Operation Bobbi Bear, Khulani Children’s Home and Molweni Community Centre and so because of the increased numbers we had Volunteers running 10 game stations across the beach and twenty teams with volunteers taking them from one station to the next.

We were very fortunate to have a number of sponsors come on board, such as CheckSave who donated t-shirts for the volunteers, peaks for the children and then a juice, yoghurt, chips, ruler, apple, orange and banana for the lunch packs. KFC also very kindly donated a piece of chicken to add to each lunch pack as well.  Holomatrix supplied a wrist band for each child’s safety and team marking and Aquelle had flavoured waters on the beach while the children were playing. Another non profit organisation called Volunteer You also joined us and together with Pirates Lifesaving club they were able to offer a number of staff and some invaluable assistance.

It was a long morning of hard work for all the volunteers but it was exceptionally rewarding seeing the smiles on the children’s faces as they ran around on the beach. As always this event wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the generous time, love and patience given by each and every one of the volunteers, and so we extend a very special Thank You to all who made this day possible!

Fulton Matric Dance Preparation

It all started when a Durban company was Nek nominated and asked for our help with some suggested projects.  One that really touched our hearts was for the Matrics of Fulton School for the deaf.   These are really special children that have struggled to overcome a challenge that most of us couldn’t dream of.  Most of us have fond memories of our Matric dance.  We remember all the preparations we went through and the excitement, but for some of the kids, the dress, shoes, and jewelry were a challenge as they did not know where the answer would come from.

The company chose not to use the suggestion so We are Durban took on the challenge, gathering formal dresses, purchasing shoes and jewelry to fit out the girls beautifully.  On Friday, 28 February, we had a fun tea break with the girls where they had a chance to “shop” for whatever they needed to have a magical night at their dance.  Their dance is later in March and we look forward to supplying a makeup artist to finish off the experience of being special, inside and out.

Thank you to all you ladies in Durban who gave your special dresses for the project.