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Emalahleni is a town 100km outside of Johannesburg, South
On a Tuesday afternoon, in the Protea hotel up the road from where the children’s home is going to be built, we took the first steps to launching our project to the business community of eMalahleni.
The atmosphere was warm & inviting, the food lovely & the music that of African children singing softly in the background. We had invited dignitaries, corporates & friends. There was a buzz in the air.. a hint of something exciting about to happen.
I will remember the day as one of the highlights of 2017. To say I dislike being in the public eye or even worse speaking in public is an understatement. However, I have come to realise that it’s a hurdle I willingly take on, if for a cause close to my heart. In this case I had committed to a 20 minute speech – I’m sure it was the longest speech of my life! And yet I count it as a highlight because there are very few causes more deserving than this one.
When the video started playing and I heard my voice telling the story of Pepe, a story I knew intimately, one I had been privileged to be part of, I started tearing up. I slipped out the back, laughing at my naivety.
Two influential ladies from our community and myself were the speakers at the event. Sandra van der Walt did a beautiful job in encouraging businesses to get involved in helping to improve the state of social welfare in eMalahleni. Cheryl Nelson spoke on behalf of the Department of Health & Social services and highlighted the need for such a home in the community. And I shared the other side of Pepe’s story together with more details on how the home will be built & run.
Just like that and it was over.. or so I thought!
People were moved by our vision, they were challenged by our call for help, they were impressed & they are excited. Business men have been phoning & committing to our cause. They have been doing some research, some even checking account balances.
We’re excited to see what lies ahead because the event may be over now but it’s just the beginning for this home!