Mission margate: Trio raise R150 000 in 70-day charity safari

2011-11-07 00:00

A SWEDISH fundraising team called Hallo Africa drove through 14 countries in two continents to hand over R150 000 it had raised for The Place of Restoration child and youth care centre in Margate.

The three, brothers Mattias Dagman and Michael Andersson and Dagman’s father in-law, Philip Svensson, spent the last year-and-a-half raising funds in Sweden for the centre.

Dagman said that they had been planning an adventure to Africa for almost six years.

“We have an aunt who came to Africa as a missionary in 1948, so we have a historical tie to this place and we always wanted to visit.”

They heard from their churches in Sweden about the Place of Restoration.

“We thought we should have some meaning to our adventure so we decided to combine the adventure with fundraising. It is the first time we have done something like this,” Dagman said.

The journey from Europe to Africa took 70 days. They camped in a tent or stayed at bed-and-breakfasts along the way.

They said their arrival has not quite sunk in yet.

“The most interesting part was that people look so different. They can just be on either side of the border and look so different. But everybody we met was very friendly and Africa is beautiful,” said Dagman. “We had a blog going so all the way we kept updating it. People at home and here and all our other followers knew exactly where we were.”

The trio will holiday in Cape Town for two weeks and then fly back to Sweden. The truck they drove will be taken back by ship. The centre is a temporary safe care facility for Give a Child a Family, based in Margate. The organisation places abandoned, abused or orphaned children in safe and secure families as an alternative to long-term care in an institution.

Said Elize Coetzee, director for resource development, “It is now accepted worldwide that institutional care is not beneficial to the social and emotional development of a child. Children placed in institutions are also alienated from their communities and cultural heritage.”

At the Place of Restoration, while waiting for placement, children are provided with holistic care that includes preventative and curative healthcare, therapy and counselling, early childhood development and remedial education. For more information visit the website at www.gcf.org.za or call Maria Hufner at 039 317 2761 to arrange a visit.

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