Serving Sinakekele is one of the many organic lights that shine from the heart of Street Scene. We began the initiative for a small international group that wanted a volunteer experience whilst visiting Durbs. So we created one for them. Word spread. It appeared Durbanite’s were chomping at the bit to get involved in something like this themselves. To be awesome, and do good. And well you know us, we love this city of ours and its amazing humans and simply couldn’t let such a request go unsatisfied. So a couple weeks later we hosted what turned out to be the first Serving Sinakekele project which ran under the hashtag #ServingSinakekele.
But let’s back up a bit, you may be asking what the heck Serving Sinakekele is and what are these people on about? Well Sinakekele is a home for abandoned babies located outside Verulam, KwaZulu Natal. They do amazing and selfless work for some really special little humans. The serving part is about doing, about putting yourself second and someone else first. You can find out more about Sinakekele and the phenomenal work they do by visiting their website: http://sinakekele.
Anyway the project was supposed to be a one time thing but with the hype from our first group of volunteers it quickly became apparent that peoples thirst to do good was not nearly satiated and they wanted to know when the next outreach was and how they could get involved. So the Street Scene team sat down and really gave this idea some thought. In the end we decided that this could be something more sustainable and that we could take on bigger projects by staging several visits. That’s really when the whole ‘Serving’ campaign was born in earnest. We decided that we would take on one organisation every 6 months starting with Sinakekele and visit them 3 times during that period (once every 2 months). Then we would select another organisation and start the ‘Serving’ cycle over again.
Our involvement with each ‘Serving’ is through hands on initiatives, builds and upgrades as well exposure for the organisation and assistance with internal affairs and logistics where we can and moreover where they require. Looking back at the first ‘Serving’ project at Sinakekele which we completed in December 2015 it really far exceeded our expectations of what we could achieve and were blown away by peoples commitment to the idea. There has not only resulted in a tremendous change at Sinakekele Children’s Home but also within the volunteers themselves. Throughout 2015 we have found that ‘Serving’ is more than reaching out to NPO/NGO’s but also welcoming our locals to be immersed in new cultures and groups of people just around the corner. This turned out to be a spotlight more than a spark, and an initiative that has what it takes to be long lasting and holistic. To be frank, we just cant freaking wait to get stuck into the next project.
Without any big corporate sponsors or rich donors we managed to raise and invest over R69 000 into the home. This was used to expand their veggie garden, build a greenhouse, a jungle gym and tree-house, repaint the main house and outbuildings, revamp and decorate rooms for the caregivers, create a boma area for their volunteers and a bunch more. Through the exposure caused by the events, they now have a newly designed logo, a website under construction and a monthly food supply worth R4000p/m courtesy of Nutritional Foods Pty Ltd. And we’ve also established ongoing involvement by collaborating on a long term volunteer package where ‘Serving’ travelers can find a home base with Sinakekele Home in their volunteer cottage. It’s just all awesome really and we couldn’t be happier or prouder of our fellow Durbanites who jumped on board and really made this happen.
We’d like to extend a special thanks to all our volunteers, to Love Coffee and Eat your Home for the food donations to feed our volunteers, to Wardkiss hardware for the discounts, to It’s Not Made in China for the liquid hydration and Ian Lewis and other volunteers for the toy donations and of course to this city for inspiring us and others to do more.