Every created thing has a beginning. Whether its the conception of a child, a new car rolling off the assembly line or an idea(Inception, anyone). For the DUKKS Foundation it was the inauguration of the Solar PV installation at Christian Healing Ministries’ facility in Manenberg, Cape Town, South Africa. The journey to the launch wasn’t one that was paved with simplicity. It was fueled by tears and heartache but more importantly hope.
The story of Christian Healing Ministries isn’t an unfamiliar one. The proverbial non profit organisation sets out to better a community to only be hit sooner or later by financial difficulties. Its an all too familiar story and one that doesn’t bear repeating. Based in Manenberg, under the stewardship of Sidwell & Noeleen Southgate, Christian Healing Ministries has served their local community through a feeding scheme, youth cycling program, drug abuse & marriage counselling among others. However, running these things needs resources and Sidwell & Noeleen were being faced with increasingly high utility bills. The solution: install an alternative power source.
Enter the DUKKS Foundation. Through the generous support of donors the DUKKS Foundation was able to source a Solar PV Installation for them.
Stepping into the facilities in Manenberg I wasn’t sure what to expect. The character of a place isn’t always defined by the place itself but rather by the people who live there. This place brimmed with character.
A specific quietness and gentleness that seemed to ebb and flow from the local residents. A deep seated humility that had perhaps been grafted in through years of hardship.
The first person I interact with is an elderly lady, Jean Southgate, mother to Sidwell. Seated next to her a much younger girl, Danielle, of about 18 years of age and one of the church youth. Both with a story to tell. Both with more mileage in terms of life experience than I have.
As the event starts, Joerg Schilling, Chair and Founding member of the DUKKS Foundation, retells the tragic events that led to the formation of the DUKKS Foundation. Soon after him Noeleen takes center stage and shares with the attendees what Christian Healing Ministries is all about.
Lastly, Sidwell takes the floor and is almost immediately overcome with emotion. His heart laid bare before all of us. What might have seemed like a tiny gesture of goodwill sinks in as a blessing of unfathomable magnitude.
While far from achieving true financial freedom to pursue their goals of community betterment, the investment from the DUKKS Foundation and its donors will go a long way in helping them achieve that dream. For the DUKKS Foundation, this was but a small milestone. Small but significant and hopefully one of many more to come.
Keli (DUKKS Foundation, S.M.A)
& Jean Southgate
(DUKKS Foundation, Chair)
Noeleen & Sidwell Southgate
(Christian Healing Ministries)