Bakkies Botha now part of the Haka team

One of these days, the world will see a new face when the Haka is performed. This is of course the Tassie Haka of Solidarity Helping Hand’s Skooltassie (School Bag) project. The well-known rugby player Bakkies Botha is going to act as ambassador for the project. This new role of the formidable Botha reveals a much softer side that has not always been apparent on the rugby field.

Botha has just appeared in his last professional rugby match, having been a feared player on the rugby field for 15 years. Botha’s size and power have made him a challenging opponent who often landed in trouble. Nevertheless, he has been a sports star admired by young and old.

As part of the campaign, Botha will teach a group of grade ones how to perform a truly South African form of the New Zeeland Haka. The purpose of the Tassie-Haka is to create awareness of the distress among our grade one learners across the country. This new, softer role is one the big rugby player is keenly looking forward to.

“I am so excited because from today I will be supporting Solidarity Helping Hand’s Tassie project for next year,” said Botha. “More than 4 700 school bags will be donated to needy grade ones and the total value of the project is about R1,8 million.”

As usual, every school bag will contain all the necessary stationery, but this year there will be some additional items. The contents of the bag should contribute to the realisation of their “One day when I am an adult” dream. To find out what should go into the school bags, Helping Hand approached a number of grade one teachers.

Helping Hand conducted a survey among more than 200 schools who will receive bags in 2016. It has become clear that perceptual and motor skills are the two most important learning problems for grade one learners. To improve their motor skills, Helping Hand has included Unifix blocks and a puzzle. In this way, children’s perceptual skills will be improved by writing on the white board which is also included in the bag.

You can help ensuring that these children’s “One day when I am an adult” dream come true. SMS the word “Tassie” to 38969 to donate R10 which can contribute to filling a school bag with stationery.


Father Christmas is on the way

Christmas lights are being switched on all over, but many members in our community will not be possible to celebrate Christmas. To ensure that every household in the Jeffreys Bay area will be able to put delicious Christmas dinner on the table, Solidarity Helping Hand is hosting a special motorcycle breakfast run to raise funds.

Young and old will have the opportunity to be part of the motorcycle breakfast run on 13 December. We will depart from the Wild Fig Farm Restaurant at 10:00. R60 per person will be charged and the money will be used for children’s scholastic needs. Helping Hand’s registered families will receive the food donations for Christmas.

“With the food we collect, we hope to be able to provide for a Christmas meal on a table where it otherwise would not have been possible,” said Marcelle van Schalkwyk, chairperson of the Jeffreys Bay Helping Hand branch.

Solidarity Helping Hand is a national non-profit organisation that focuses on the prevention, alleviation and termination of poverty. For more information or to join the branch, please contact Van Schalkwyk on 083 650 858.

Take a stand against human trafficking

Many South Africans believe slavery is a thing of the past, but the reality is that when it comes to human trafficking, South Africa counts among the top ten countries in Africa. Strong measures are needed to stem the tide. On 5 December Solidarity Helping Hand is offering a practical course to inform the public on human trafficking and how to protect yourself and your dear ones against it. Well-known author Elanie Kruger and actor Hykie Berg will be the guest speakers at the event.

Kruger is the author of Van skoolbank tot bordeelbed, a moving story of her experience as a 16-year-old girl who had been sold to a brothel by a family member. There she had endured eight months of hell as a sex slave. Kruger partners with Berg to create awareness for the reality of human trafficking in South Africa.

“Human trafficking is not only a threat to women. Every person is a possible target for forced manual labour, organ poaching or even for drug trafficking. Women and children are particularly at risk because they are seen as second class citizens in the South African society,” said Kruger.

The one day course will be presented at Laerskool Tygerpoort in Silver Lakes on 5 December. One of the aims of the course is to inform people about the dangers of drugs, how to protect your child and yourself against human trafficking and how to recognise child abuse. Useful guides will be made available and a finger luncheon will be offered.

Buy your ticket straight away and help stem the tide of human trafficking in Pretoria. Tickets are R200 and are available from Elize Bezuidenhout on 012 644 4390, or send an e-mail to [email protected]


Helping Hand tackles grade-ones’ prime learning problems

Once more it is that time of the year when pre-schoolers start thinking about their “One day, when I’m grown-up” dreams – and all those dreams’ related challenges. And, once more, Solidarity Helping Hand is ready to provide needy kids with schoolbags. These bags contain items that will smooth out the kids’ most severe learning problems, to prevent them from falling behind.

Helping Hand believes that poverty can be wiped out by investing in training; this process is started with the hope generated among grade-ones when they accept the necessary school things. The excitement in their little faces when they begin exploring their new schoolbags is incredible!

Each schoolbag will contain all the required stationery, as usual, but this year we’ve slipped in a few extras. The schoolbag and its contents should go toward realising the kids’ dream of “One day, when I’m grown-up”. To help us decide what to put into the bags, Helping Hand asked some grade-one teachers for advice.

Helping Hand conducted a survey among more than 200 schools scheduled to receive schoolbags in 2016. It became evident that perceptual and motor skills were two major learning obstacles for grade-ones. Helping Hand then added Unifix blocks and a jigsaw puzzle to the schoolbag contents to stimulate the kids’ motor skills. In addition, their perceptual skills will be improved by getting them to write on the whiteboard, also included in the schoolbag.

Almost 4 800 schoolbags will be donated to needy grade-ones, and the total value of the project is some R1,8 million. Please help to ensure the realisation of these children’s dream of “One day, when I’m grown-up”. SMS the word “Tassie” to 38969 in order to donate R10 toward filling up a schoolbag with stationery.

Helping Hand establishes Disaster Area Study Fund for farmers

The worst drought in 55 years have brought the county’s farmers to their knees and after statements made by government, state assistance seems unlikely. Therefore, Helping Hand decided to establish a disaster area study fund to assist farmers. It has already appropriated R100 000 for the fund.

Ms Nomvula Mokonyane, Minister of Water and Sanitation, said that she did not want to provide drought relief to farmers and that they would have to learn to adapt. Her comments have been severely criticised in agricultural circles.

According to the South African Weather Service, this has also been the driest season since the nineties. As the case was then, the drought is the result of the El Niño phenomenon. Not only are farmers not able to plant crops; they also do not have enough water and fodder for their livestock.

“Farmers are generous people,” said Helping Hand Chief Executive Dr Danie Brink. “During the strike in Rustenburg the farmers were the first to provide assistance. Now it is our turn to help them by depositing money into the Disaster Area Study Fund.”

Helping Hand encourages the public to make a contribution to the fund to provide relief for farmers who want to enrol their children for further studies. Brink also said that the situation affecting our farmers was reaching alarming proportions.