The Helpers

Always look for the helpers. In times of hard, in times of challenge, in times of tragedy, they appear.

I have always held my grandmother, Ruth, in very high regard. She built this Cavern, poured her heart and soul into creating a business, gave up so much to make it work and she was remarkable. An iconic woman in the 1950s. But, we must acknowledge that she achieved so much because of the helpers too. When tragedy struck and the love of her life died after 13 short years of marriage, she had people that stepped in and helped. She got great building advice, her electrics were sorted by visiting guests, and engineering friends assisted too. She was propped up by her Hlolela Old Girls Club, and her team supported her in growing her business too.

In reality little is achieved by 1. One can be the driving force, sometime the inspiration but ultimately, we need each other to really make significant strides in what we do.

Just like Ruth and her generation, we have helpers that pop into our lives too. It is well known that I am very dubious about volunteers… often, offers of help are accompanied by added work and stress so I can be a bit off! But when we carefully assess our needs and find a fit, the steps in growing and making progress are enormous.

Royal Drakensberg School, the Khanyisela Project and BabyBoost have grown into substantial organisations that have the power to transform our community. Many visitors have lent a hand and so many more have contributed to their success.

I remember Terry Dunmore, from Retford in the UK, in the very early days offering to get involved and help with the “Bread Fund”. In no time this developed into providing a bowl of fortified porridge to our preschools and now it serves about 750 children daily. It was Daph & Dave that gave up 2 years of their lives to help build and renovate schools and it was a meeting in the lounge with Dr Marysia Nash that led to a much more intentional approach to improving teaching practice in the area. Buildings have been built, peaks have been sponsored and hikers have pledged thousands to keep this all going.

What a lot of helpers.

Most recently Katherine, a visiting guest with 2 little ones, read our story and sent an email. One thing led to another and this past week she spent time guiding us through the process of building our Theory of Change. Hours of grappling, minutes of uncertainty and even moments of sadness, but incredible growth and an opportunity for our team to get on the same page. A chance to look at what we do – my wordy, what a lot! And, a time to decide where we are headed…

And then, a reflection on how do we continue to do this… I remember a friend of my parents once cautioning me – Megan what you have started cannot end… gulp!

So apparently Tuesday is Giving Tuesday. It follows the chaos of Black Friday and is a global initiative.

What about being a helper too?

Our vision – Transforming rural communities through quality education initiatives

Sound like something you’d like to support? We need you. We could certainly do with the help!

To support the Khanyisela Project & BabyBoost –

Account Name: The Northern Drakensberg Khanyisela Project
Swift Code: FIRNZAJJ
Bank: First National Bank
Branch Code: 250655
Account No: 6270 0256 565
Reference: Your Mobile Number

To support Royal Drakensberg School –

Account Name: Royal Drakensberg Primary School Society
Swift Code: FIRNZAJJ
Bank: First National Bank
Branch: Bergville
Branch Code: 22 06 25
Account Number: 621 2535 5893
Reference: Your Mobile Number

The Helpers

And, we’ll give a little too. Each person that donates R250 will go into a draw to win 3 nights at The Cavern in a superior suite, including all meals, teas and guided morning hikes. Because, giving always feels good!

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