Non-profit in for big win

2018-01-23 06:00
Paul Talliard.

Paul Talliard.

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Founder of Hands of Honour, Paul Talliard from Steenberg, is in the running for a big win as his organisation is one of five finalists in the 2018 Chivas Venture competition.

The contestants are each competing to win a share of $1m, and the chance of a lifetime to represent South Africa in Chivas Regal’s Venture final to be held in 2018.

Talliard founded Hands of Honour in Sonata Street, Steenberg, five years ago after recovering from drug addiction, with a vision to better his community and uplift its ­residents.

“In 2012, I entered the soup kitchen weighing only 55kg and battling a drug problem. Many of the men standing alongside me in the soup kitchen queue had skills and I wanted to do something that would restore their dignity. Some didn’t want to listen, but others did. I managed to change my life with the assistance and advice offered by the Engedi Christian Church soup kitchen staff. I’m proud to say that I managed to turn my life around through Hands of Honour,” he says.

Hands of Honour aims to be a major force for the greater good in communities by creating employment opportunities, whether through upcycling or carpentry or other means. “We realised that people were throwing away things that could be used, so we decided to specialise in upcycling. We have created mobile ‘Angel Classrooms’ on wheels for under-resourced schools. Everything we do is with the community in mind, and to fulfil a need,” says Talliard.

Talliard says he is happy with the journey that he has travelled with Hands of Honour.

“It has been five years of hard work and getting such recognition really means a lot. When we went up to Johannesburg you wouldn’t believe the acknowledgement and the support we got. It really shows that our work has had a huge impact. It’s a pity that back at home we do not receive much support as far as premises are concerned. Even getting support from the local government is really difficult. We are trying to find space to run the organisation. I haven’t had space in my house for a very long time – it is even difficult to sleep in my house because we are using it for some of the organisation’s things. We do get good support from the general public in Steenberg and for that we are really grateful,” he says.

The organisation has been widely recognised as playing an active role in creating a safer community through the work that it does. Talliard hopes that the Chivas Venture award, if he wins it, will enable him to provide more employment and bring more hope for people living in poverty on the Cape Flats.

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