House of Hope for all

2019-05-14 06:01
What the House of Hope will look like.

What the House of Hope will look like.

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Denis Goldberg House of Hope will soon be taking shape following a sod-turning event recently.

The event was celebrated with the Hout Bay Museum’s 40th anniversary.

The House of Hope will be sharing the same premises with the museum.

The fundraising for the first phase is done and they have R3m in the bag to commence and finish the first phase. The building will start soon and is expected to be finished by the end of this year. The House of Hope is a long dream of Denis Goldberg (85), one of the surviving Rivonia trialists, who is also a Hout Bay resident.

Goldberg has always been passionate about art, children and the youth. The management of the house says this building is celebrating his life and all the things that Goldberg cared for, but most importantly a way for him to be in touch with the things that he missed while he was incarcerated.

House of Hope manager Debbie Budlender says Goldberg missed a lot of his childhood and children. “He was in a grey cell for 22 years. After he was released he started collecting art. As a result, his home is covered in artwork and paintings he collected. Most of this artwork is of the workers who gave us food such as the fishermen and farmers. It is a personal collection,” she says.

The House of Hope will have an art gallery, which will showcase the special collection by Goldberg. It will also be used to exhibit items of Goldberg’s life. The other part will be his collections and paints, and will also be a space for local artists from Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu to showcase their work.

Budlender says Goldberg once said when he dies they should just sell his collection. “We said no, this is what he loved and we had to set up the house that will always tell a story of what he wanted and what he enjoyed. The space will be for everyone. There will be training for locals,” says Budlender, adding that Goldberg was all about social cohesion and this is a space that other non-profit organisations can come and use.

“We are not here to replace other organisations but saying let us work together. We will host holiday programmes, training and we will support other organisations as much as we can,” she says.

After phase one is completed they will be looking at phase two which will have an auditorium. “There is no auditorium in the area and the province is happy about this project. Phase two will need about R20 million and we will have to put in a lot of work.”

Goldberg has stage four lung cancer, and Budlender says for him to be able to see and be there at the sod-turning event was everything. “We have been fortunate, he has lived longer than what people predicted. He is a strong man. He has fought for us and now he is fighting for his life. This is his dream and we hope that he will be able to see the building go up and people making use of it,” she adds.

Goldberg says the house is a fulfilment of his dreams and this space is for all the people to come together, know each other and build a society that is non-racial and democratic. He adds that for him to be able to attend the sod-turning event was really a momentous occasion. “This is a very exciting time for me. We have come a long way with the Western Cape Government, the City of Cape Town and the Museum. Instead of just being a dream of mine, the House of Hope is finally becoming a reality,” he says.

Goldberg also emphasised that this is the place where non-profit organisations will come together and work together

Budlender concludes by saying for her to be part of this project is a privilege. “I have always known about Denis, but only met him last year. For me, it’s a great opportunity. I have enormous respect and admiration for him and what he did for this country.”

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