The Restoring Hope Association, a non-profit organisation in Retreat, is among seven global winners in the Billion Acts Award, Changing the World One Act at a time.
The Billion Acts of Peace is an initiative of the Peace Jam Foundation, a global movement led by 14 Nobel Peace prize winners and youth around the world with the ambitious goal of creating One Billion Acts of Peace.
Dale Hendricks, co-founder and director of Restoring Hope Association, says it was absolutely “mind-blowing” to be chosen and recognised.
“As an organisation we did not expect to win this award due to the magnitude and significance of this award.
“Restoring Hope and the work we do was recognised and chosen for this award from more than 10 million other acts of peace and organizations worldwide. This is just mind-blowing.
“It just shows once again that no matter how big or small, if you are truly passionate and driven to make a positive change and see growth and development within our communities, kids and youth anything is possible.
“We are overwhelmed with joy and emotions and proud to represent our city and country on a global stage. This means a lot to everyone involved and gives us hope and motivation to continue to be the change and light to others who needs it.”
Restoring Hope was nominated by several members of both the Cape Flats as well as the global Peace Jam community and is one of seven winners which includes the Philippines, Mexico, India, England and the United States of America (USA).
“Our mission for Restoring Hope is to work alongside local communities to empower the youth, the people and the community itself to reach their full potential in different aspects of their lives with a particular focus on the youth.
“We aim to do this through the use of resources that are accessible to them as well as with the assistance of established organizations and the community, to restore hope in these previously disadvantaged communities.”
The organisation was established by a group of young passionate adults in 2015 after recognising the “lack of positive activities” and initiatives within local communities.
“One of the sustainable programmes that we facilitate is a feeding kitchen in the community of Southfield, Cafda Village and Lotus River.
“We feed about 1 500 vulnerable and struggling children and residents weekly and our kitchen runs from Mon-Friday from 14:00-15:00.”
Their programmes include a blanket and clothing drive for the homeless and outreach volunteer programmes such as orphanage and old age home visits.
“We’ve hosted a fun day at Leliebloem House alongside Score where we had a Live DJ performing, a five-a-side soccer tournament, and many other games.
“We have also hosted a pamper day at Douglas Murray Old Age home, where we offered the elderly manicures, pedicures, haircuts and hairstyling.”
Once every three months, the organisation appeals to the public and other organisations and individuals to generously donate blankets, food and even clothing to the blanket drive to be handed to the homeless.
“The Food and Blanket drive not only alleviates short-term hunger and warmth but it also enhances the quality of life under the circumstances the less fortunate are living in.”
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers, partners, role-players, donors and everyone who’s always been supporting us over the years. Without your support none of this would be possible,” said Hendricks.