Humanity should be your favourite charity… these are words that have been reverberating through my mind after completing the second weekend of the Boeber Run Program
|Friday 25th May saw us visit our guests at the Grand Parade and District Six. Upon visiting the Parade, feeding well over 300 people for the evening, one could not help but be taken back to 9 May 1994 when Nelson Mandela addressed the nation from the steps of City Hall overlooking the Grand Parade: "We have fought for a democratic constitution since the 1880s. Ours has been a quest for a constitution freely adopted by the people of South Africa, reflecting their wishes and their aspirations.|
The struggle for democracy has never been a matter pursued by one race, class, religious community or gender among South Africans. In honouring those who fought to see this day arrive, we honour the best sons and daughters of all our people. We can count amongst them Africans, Coloureds, Whites, Indians, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jews – all of them united by a common vision of a better life for the people of this country.”
At 11pm feeding more than 300 people on that very spot where thousands upon thousands of South Africans gathered to witness history being made… A free South Africa, a NEW South Africa and still a South Africa ridden with poverty.
Later that evening, with the generosity of our Boeber Run Family, we were fortunate enough to make 2 unscheduled stops in addition to our set route, the first at the steps next to Trafalgar High School and the second at District Six. It was here that we were faced with objection to us being there to feed those sleeping on the fields. The claim was that these people have been breaking into the homes and vehicles in the area. After some deliberation, it was agreed that we would go ahead and hand out the last of the food that we had left. It was during this time, that I had a chat with one of the “vagrants” sleeping on the field. Here I learnt another side to the very same story… a story of how this gentleman forgot the times that these “vagrants” stopped the vehicle and home breakins. He called those living in homes in the area, his neighbours and he had to look out for them. Instead, in the middle of the night, he is woken from his sleep by a taser and some men demanding to know where the stolen goods are.
It is very easy to paint every one with the same brush… just ask the Catholic Priest who is the paedophile or the Muslim neighbour who is a terrorist.
Saturday evening, the blessings continue as we rekindled connections with guests at Valahalla Park and Freedom Farm. Two areas we usually get THE WARMEST of greetings. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Nuraan Osman from the IHata Shelter for abused Woman and Children who assisted in a matter that one hears of all too often. A 16 year old girl from an informal settlement was befriended by a 30 year old man who now has this girl living with him! Thankfully social workers are getting involved and the opportunistic preditor is being dealt with accordingly.
Going out in the middle of the night, as a group we are always warned to be careful or told that we are crazy to go into that area. Some may argue that we are tempting fate. I challenge you to try and look at this with a different lense… Alhamdulillah over the last 3 years there has been no incidents and we have been safe because we have treated our guests with dignity and respect.
We find ourselves in an era of blaming others… We blame the political party for the problems of the land – nevermind that as the people we have the right to hold the politicians to account, yet we dont. We live in an era that is easier to believe
what the masses have to say instead of finding out the true story for ourselves, ask any Muslim what they fear most when they hear of a terror attack.
We live in an era where hate is somewhat much easier than compassion. We challenge you to treat people the way you expect to be treated.
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”