Brighton Holistics Community Project – South Africa
Brighton Holistics Community Project has been working within the South African community of Hartbeespoort, North West Province, which is about an hour and twenty minutes from Johannesburg since 2017.
You may ask why Brighton Holistics would want to work in South Africa? That is quite easy to answer. It’s where half of the family are from, and we still have family living there. South Africa holds a very special place in our hearts, not only because of the family but, it is a magical and beautiful country full of diversity and culture.
Like most countries, it has its problems. These are mainly poverty, corruption and racism across all spectrums. Sadly the gap between those that ‘Have’ and those that ‘Have not’ is often vast, leaving people with very little possibility of getting out of the situation they face. These are the people that need the most help and support.
Our aim is to work within the different community groups to help train and support local people, regardless of colour or creed, so that they have the tools to make a change in their lives. I was once speaking to a man who said poverty isn’t about having no money or positions, poverty is when you have no choices. Some people worry about what t-shirt to wear, but if you only have one then there is no choice, the same with regards to food, housing, education etc. This has really resonated with me for a long time.
Brighton Holistics was hoping to be able to train people in Complementary Therapy so that people have the skills to get a job. Sadly at the current time, this is not going to be possible as our accrediting body just want too much money and are being very unhelpful. This has put us behind, but we will not be defeated; it’s going to take a long time to sort out as we have to cut through the red tape and bureaucracy, but we will get there in time.
We are currently working with Lakeland Development Community Centre, which is run by a lovely lady called Annette. Annette has set up a sewing group which currently has six ladies all learning sewing, beading, knitting and crocheting. These skill they are leaning are already helping with everyday living and helping to produce clothes, cushion covers, table cloths, bean bags and much more, which the ladies are selling within the local community. We are also working with a local community church group who is distributing clothes too hard to reach community groups.
Alongside the Lakeland Community Centre and the community church are also working with a fantastic organisation called the WAS foundation. The WAS foundation is a truly inspirational organisation set up on the 27th of October 2009 by Esmarelda van Zyl, rescuing animals from local townships and re-homing them into loving approved homes. In 2011 Esmarelda won the Nedbank’s Hero of the Year Award and was donated R10 000, which she promptly decided to give back to those who helped her in achieving the award, the community! That was also when Coronation Park was discovered, a white township in Kurgersdorp. Soon it was not only about helping abandoned animals. Esmarelda decided to give a voice to the people who could not speak for themselves; our starving community! The vision of the WAS foundations is to uplift and provide hope to impoverished communities so that they can become self-sustainable. They achieve the vision while treating each family within these communities with dignity and respect. For further information, please go to the website www.wasfoundation.co.za.
We asked our amazing learners here at Brighton Holistics if they had any winter clothes they didn’t need, and they didn’t let us down, by the time winter (June to September) arrives in South Africa we will have sent over 100kg of clothes to be distributed into the many local deprived areas. I was recently asked by one of the learners, “Does it ever get cold in South Africa?” and the answer yes, very. It can go from 22 degrees during the day, to minus 5 at night.
Items already taken out to South Africa for the community projects
- 4 large suitcases of fabric, wool and sewing equipment. Given to the Lakeland Development Community Centre.
- 2 large suitcases of clothes and shoes. Given to the Local community church.
- 5 large suitcases of clothes. Given to the Lakeland Development Community
- 1 sewing machine donated by Mercedes from Cath Kidston. Given to the Lakeland Development Community Centre.
- 2 additional sewing machines
We have 13 large bin bags of clothes and 12 bags of fabric, wool etc. still to take out to South Africa.
If you feel that you would like to help us with this work by making a contribution, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or drop us an email. Please click here to make contact