17191603_1329290397114494_5506158347567674270_oEvery Friday afternoon at FunDza our staff members experience a different kind of work and learning environment. Since February this year we started a staff learning session on a Friday afternoon where we watch an interesting video and have a discussion about the issues the video raises and how these relate to our work, our communities and our lives.

This has not only impacted on our work ethics, but it has also helped to bring us together as a group and share personal learning and growth experiences. Happy people are more productive and tend to perform with greater enthusiasm.

After watching a series of videos that resulted in a discussion about inequality in our country at its most basic level – the need for food and shelter – we decided that we didn’t want to just talk about issues but we wanted to do something about them too.

So, as a staff we decided to pool some of our own money to buy food and groceries for The Haven Homeless Shelter in Kalk Bay.

That meant that we didn’t watch our videos on Friday 10 March but we rather did the grocery shop and then embarked on a different kind of learning all together… Thulisa and I were the lucky ones who went to The Haven in Kalk Bay to deliver the goods and find out more about what they do.

The Haven Homeless Shelter is an amazing initiative that assists homeless people to get to a point where they are no longer “homeless”. Their vision is that “No-one should have to live on our streets”, which means that The Haven interview potential guests before they really become clients. As an organisation they must ensure that somebody really wants their help before being taken in. In this respect it is not your typical homeless shelter, as it goes beyond just providing food for the homeless people.

Upon arriving at the shelter I was greeted with warm smiles of ladies doing some ironing. I was led inside the shelter and given a tour of the place. It was clean and it reminded me of school camps, with the bunk beds and showers. They also had a small bookshelf filled with reads so that The Haven’s clients can have something to read. The shelter only accommodates men, due to its small size and the privacy issues related to trying to accommodate both men and women.

I met William and Rushaan who work at the shelter. They gave me some very insightful information about the shelter and also good stories of homeless people who have managed to turn their lives around, including the story of one person who is now a millionaire!

It’s amazing what people can do if they are given the opportunity. Having just one person believe in you can make a difference. We salute The Haven for their great work with the homeless community here on our doorstep in Muizenberg and its surrounds. And, we take inspiration from their dedication – and hope that we too can provide our Fanz readers and writers with similar hope and believe that anything is possible and can be achieved.

If you’d like to find out more about The Haven visit: www.haven.org.za or call 021 788 5820.