Random Acts of Kindness with Dis-Chem

Helping women to rise up

'Hand-up, not a hand-out' is a powerful way of restoring hope in the spirit of giving and receiving.

Xolani Gwala went out on a Random Act of Kindness with Dischem, who have donated R90 000 worth of products and over R35 000 in rent being paid to local charity, Cradle of Hope.

Cradle of Hope applies the hand up' 'Hand-up' approach in their ministry and safe-haven for abused and vulnerable women and children.

Said co-founder, Melodie van Brakel:

We help women with their children get back on their feet. They all have one thing in common, which is to become independent, get beyond their pains and become sustained members of a community.

Melodie van Brakel, Co-founder of Cradle of Hope

Many of the women we help are straight from jail, many of them come from a history of prostitution and many have been raped.

Melodie van Brakel, Co-founder of Cradle of Hope

The Cradle of Hope was founded after married couple Melodie and Albertus van Brakel and close friend, Henry Albertyn, discovered they shared a common goal - to uplift the underprivileged, in particular destitute women and children.

The Cradle of Hope is an independent, social upliftment organisation that strives to assist women and their children who are destitute and in need of psycho-social assistance, child care, comfortable safe housing, nutritious food, trauma debriefing, individual and group counselling and life-skills orientation. They offer self-supporting skills for example needlework classes, jewellery manufacturing and basic computer training

We do not get government funding. We cope with support from the community and work well with the community police forum. A lot of it is a journey of faith.

Melodie van Brakel, Co-founder of Cradle of Hope

Watch Xolani interview Melodie of Cradle of Hope:

Cradle of Hope has various projects they offer

House of Restoration The House of Restoration is a safe-haven for abused and vulnerable women and children, as well as young teenage girls. The ladies and young girls that come to the house have all been the victims of abuse and violence, such as suffering sexual trauma, domestic violence, being ex-prostitutes and drug-addicts etc. These ladies all have one desire and that is to put the past behind them and to get their lives back on track.

Here these ladies can regain their human dignity and selfworth. The House of Restoration is a house that accommodates mothers together with their children, thereby keeping the family together as a unit. Here they are comforted, receive counselling and therapy and are taught various skills, thus eventually enabling them to fend for themselves and their children. After a couple of months they leave the house and become productive members of society. They can assist up to 30 mothers and children as residents of the house at any given time, but also cater for many day-visitors that attend the various upliftment programmes.

At the house there is also an in-house creche for the smaller children. Here these toddlers are entertained with basic pre-school activities whilst their mothers can focus on their healing. The older children attend the neighbouring schools.

Specific programmes that are presented include: Spiritual counselling; Life Coaching – Inner Life Skills and Group Therapy; Trauma Debriefing; Skills development classes (Cooking, Baking, Jewellery making, Fabric painting, Sewing and knitting); HIV / Aids training and support; Legal advice and support etc.

The Cradle: The organisation believes that the only way to break the circle of poverty in future generations is by helping children to obtain a good education. They have acquired the use of an old government building in West Krugersdorp which used to be known as “Lappies and Lalie”. It has been standing empty for many years and has become badly neglected. Cradle of Hope wants to transform this into a high standard nursery school as well as

a homework centre for vulnerable and under-privileged children. Currently there are 42 toddlers at the nursery school – they provide each child with a healthy cooked meal every day.

Art of Hope - “Healing with Art” At the Art of Hope centre, the House of Restoration ladies, as well as ladies from the community come to practise their creative skills, such as jewellery making, fabric painting, sewing and knitting, card making etc. These items are then sold at various coffee shops and market stalls, thereby creating an income for the ladies as well as for The Cradle of Hope.

Charity Shop of The Cradle of Hope The Charity Shop is where the organisation sells all their excess and unrequired donations. This also provides a means of sustainability for the organisation, as they do not receive any funding from the LOTTO or the Government.

Any donations of unused and unwanted items are always welcomed, and can be delivered to the House of Restoration, 37 Dekker Street, West-Krugersdorp, Gauteng.

They can also collect donations within the Gauteng area, providing that the value of the donation does not exceed the costs of the pick-up, as they have have limited transport and funding available.

Elderly Persons in Krugersdorp Since 2007 they have been assisting 30 elderly persons in Krugersdorp with their various needs. They supply them with a food parcel once a month. During winter months they receive blankets and soup etc. They also have the ladies hair done for them, and during summer host a “braai” for them.

Pomfret Community Since 2008 they have been assisting the community of Pomfret in the North West Province. This forgotten settlement has a population of about 4000 souls. They live in appalling conditions of poverty and neglect. They support the orphanage that houses 20 children with food, clothing and various other needs and were instrumental in establishing the nursery school, as well as supporting the 200 children of the nursery school with one meal every day. They provide regular food parcels to the very poor, and the elderly and have assisted the community with the establishment of a soup kitchen for the elderly persons of Pomfret, and provide food items on a regular basis during their outreaches to Pomfret. They have also assisted many of the residents with wheelchairs and crutches etc.

Hope Crisis Centre in Krugersdorp West At the Hope Crisis Centre, we assist many members from the community that find themselves in desperate circumstances. This centre is situated at 87 Jones Street, West-Krugersdorp, and Dr. Jakes Joubert (Th. D.) heads this project.

Dischem offers a hand

Listen to Xolani chatting to Penny Stein of Dis-chem Foundation and Melodie van Brakel, CEO and founder of The Cradle of Hope...


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