With COVID-19 comes significant challenges, but in all that doom and gloom there are still stories of those shining lights, those pillars of the community that stand out above the rest and not only give us hope but who also actively help countless others on a daily basis. One such heroine is Debbie Pijoos of God Cares International, who with her tremendous passion and determination looks after those around her.
Our journey with Debbie started 6 years ago when we were more than impressed by her passion and willingness to make a difference in the lives of the Syferfontein Community.
Syferfontein is an informal community on the outskirts of George where approximately 500 families reside. The majority of shacks that form the settlement are each approximately 16 m2 in size. Families consisting of about 6-8 members, or sometimes even more, live in each shack trying to survive and make a living. More than 80% of the people living in Syverfontein are unemployed and have had little or no schooling. There is no running water and residents have to make use of a few communal cold water taps available outside their homes. There is also no sewerage system in place and only a few portable toilets available for the entire community.
These seem like insurmountable odds but Debbie works tirelessly at achieving her organisation’s goals. She works with each person individually to ensure that everyone becomes self-equipped, has identity documents and has access to social grants and proper medical treatment. She is also actively involved in feeding the community and helping them feed themselves through initiatives like e’Pap and the vegetable project where community members grow their own vegetables. Ishishini Lethu and DataDotSA have had the privilege of assisting her with this.
Debbie’s innovative way of addressing challenges has always been an inspiration to us all. She is not the only one as there are many stories just like hers …. stories of these "one in a million" type of people. We salute you and thank you - you make us all want to do better!
Help Debbie help others and make your e’Pap donation. It’s easy! Simply Click Here