Restoring Hope in South Africa
Guest Post- Monserrat Irazoqui
One of the greatest things we can do with our time on Earth is help someone live a better life. A life that is free of oppression, hatred, injustice and full of hope, opportunities, and support. It is definitely a hard deed but a possible one. The work that Dale Hendricks and his Restoring Hope Association team do in the region of Cape Flats in Cape Town, South Africa is a great example of that.
Communities in the Cape Flats suffer from oppression, inequality and blatant discrimination as a result of Apartheid and this has limited their access to educational and vocational opportunities. As a consequence, families in the Cape Flats also experience a great deal of poverty and are exposed to gang activity, substance abuse, unemployment, a breakdown in family structures, crime, and violence.
Restoring Hope Association is a non-profit organization run by 5 individuals that aims to promote the development of communities through service provision, income generating projects as well as strengthen overall communication and collaboration within the community. Some of the community development projects that they run are:
- Blanket and clothing drives for the homeless
- Outreach volunteer programmes (such as orphanage and old age home visits)
- Community clean-ups
- Sporting initiatives (such as soccer tournaments)
- Motivational speaking at schools
- Mentorship programme
- Gardening projects
- Recycling projects
One of the amazing people behind this organization is Dale. He is a 31-year-old South African native who is a fitness trainer, entrepreneur, and self-published author with an intense passion to make a difference in the world. He considers himself just a guy that wants to better himself and others on a daily basis.
Dale and a group of his friends noticed that they all faced the same issues even though they lived in different districts in Cape Town. One day they were discussing this and decided to be the change they wanted to see in their communities. They didn’t have experience or formal training on running an organization or have funding readily available to do so, but decided to go for it and founded Restoring Hope.
Ever since they started activities in 2015, they have continuously gotten more support and people involved creating a huge positive impact in their community. They have 50 volunteers currently working with them and have partnered with different local and international organizations, such as PeaceJam.
All these years at Restoring Hope have given Dale a great deal of beautiful memories, but, there is one that stands out for him: the Matric Ball Competition.
The Matric Ball is similar to the American high school prom and Restoring Hope holds an annual competition for those who don't have the means to be party-ready to attend the ball. Local designers, car companies, makeup and hair stylists, photographers, and more pool in their talents to make that day extra special for the winner.
Dale's favorite part is seeing the winner’s and their families’ faces when they surprise them at home and seeing how all the community gathers together for this.
Look at this amazing pictures to see it for yourself: Matric Ball
They have really exciting plans for the future such as a food relief program for 200 people, a sustainable community garden for children, and “The Center of Hope” learning center.
After all these years working to create a better world, he shares with us these powerful tips.
Dale’s advice for those who want to be a peacemaker is:
It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you want to make a change and you believe in something: just go for it. You know in your heart that you can do it. You know what you are capable of. Don’t be afraid to get involved and be yourself.
Dale’s advice for those interested in starting their own social project, initiative, or non-profit organization is:
You don’t need any money to make a change. You don’t need any funding to start anything. You just need your passion, your heart, and your pure intentions. So, go out there and be the change you want to see.
To order Dale’s affirmation journal go here: https://bit.ly/shopDaleAffirmationJournal
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