Living Social Justice

A blog about responding to poverty and injustice, everyday and in all sorts of ways

Archive for the tag “Heideveld”

A Day of Fun & Family-Building

Common Good intern Emily Oppenheimer shares her experience of  the Arise Family Fun Day, which took place on Saturday, 2 March.

A Common Good volunteer lends her hand to face painting

A Common Good volunteer lends her hand to face painting

Standing in the midst of gravel and sand in an old parking lot for the Arise Family Fun Day, I felt momentarily paralyzed by all the excitement. I was lost in the middle of food stalls and bouncing castles, until I felt a small hand squeeze mine. I looked down to see a little girl with big brown eyes that peaked through the butterfly painted across her face. I smiled and received one in return.

Arise is an organization that promotes adoption, but on that day in that moment I realized I was the one being adopted. This little girl decided to invite me into her world and see things from her view. Sometimes it takes getting on your knees, but mostly it starts with a connection. When smiles were exchanged and I realized sharing God’s love really is that simple.


More face painting in action

The Arise Family Fun Day is a day dedicated to the community of Heideveld. Families are invited to come and stock up on food, clothing, books, and other necessities. At this Fun Day over R12,000 was raised for Arise. All proceeds will ensure the children of Heideveld have the opportunity to attend camps centered on Christian education.

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When Helping Hurts

By Nathalie Koenig

When Helping Hurts is an often quoted and incredibly helpful book written by Steve Corbett and Mike Fikkert, but the first thing that comes to mind when I think of that phrase, after that book, is a grass-burn on a little boy’s shoulder. It was acquired after a rough little tumble off one of those terrifying merry-go-rounds they have in kid’s playgrounds. They are TERRIFYING – not so much for the kids, but for those watching them! Especially these kids… Their playground acrobatics have every parent casting rather seething side-glances at me – not only because I let the kids swing too high (There was an episode on Mythbusters that said the swings will NOT go all the way around), but because I’m letting them give their kids ideas.

I met ‘these kids’ in 2008 at a school in Heideveld, in Cape Town’s ‘eastern suburbs’, where I began volunteering at a literacy and numeracy support programme through an organisation that works there. Living in the eastern suburbs means that these five children are being brought up in very different circumstances to those I was accustomed to as a kid. Their daily realities include gangsterism, drug abuse, and broken families. A far cry from the Gummi Bears and Ninja Turtles that defined mine.  Getting to know them and their families meant that I was able to build relationships with them despite these differences, and begin to share some of the things that I love with these children – and have a whole lot of fun in the process.

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