Busy hands help uplift residents

2017-05-16 06:02
Children in their classroom on wheels.

Children in their classroom on wheels.

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A Steenberg resident has found hope and the true meaning of life in helping others, especially children.

The former drug addict founded Hands of Honour five years ago to uplift fellow ­residents.

Despite his rocky past, Paul Talliard has been recognised as a change maker in his community and has received various accolades from the Western Cape government.

“In 2012, I entered a soup kitchen weighing only 55kg and battling a drug addiction. I managed to turn my life around, and shortly after I started Hands of Honour.”

His organisation is aimed at addressing the root causes of two major problems: “In South Africa 60% of children under the age of four have zero access to early child development programmes and 66% of men under the age of 35 are unemployed”.

Through Hands of Honour, 30 informal settlement areas have received early learning centres, dozens of men have transformed their lives through meaningful employment and 16 previously misused spaces have been made productive.

The Hands of Honour team manufactures and delivers “angel classrooms on wheels” to learning facilities around the Cape.

“Our shelves hold books for schools that cannot afford to buy any,” says Talliard.

So far, the initiative has impacted over 4500 learners across Cape Town.

They have a workshop in Sonata Street.

The NGO also facilitates an upcycling programme, which has provided stable employment to dozens of men.

The programme relies on donated goods that are repaired or refurbished and sold on Gumtree.

Claire Cobbledick, Gumtree’ marketing head, says: “The site opened up a donations section on the site just over two years ago as more and more of our customers were posting ads asking for help. Since then, the section has thrived and a lot of good has been done.”

Money generated from this activity goes back into developing Hands of Honour.

“When donation times are tough, we rely heavily on the sale of our upcycled goods on Gumtree,” says Talliard.

The funds are spent on wages for 12 full and part-time jobs, and anything left over is directed towards the next project.

V For more information about Hands of Honour, call Paul Talliard on 021 824 1404.

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