Cape Town - A 26-year-old Lentegeur man hopes to raise R1 million through hiking on Table Mountain, in a bid to help build a community orphanage.
Rudy van Dieman, who has partnered with Colorado-based organisation Angels South Africa, hosts hikes for the community up Table Mountain using the Platteklip Gorge route, and his goal is to achieve 365 summits up Table Mountain this year.
Van Dieman, who started his venture on the first day of the year, is currently on his 27th day. The funds are being raised through a crowdfunding campaign, which currently stands close to R4 000.
Van Dieman said he was inspired by the need to bring about positive change in his crime-ridden area of Mitchells Plain.
“I am trying to bring about a change in the mentality of people in my area, that what happens every day in our area is not normal. We have normalised things that are abnormal.
A good role model is needed when situations in a community are challenging for children, and the only way out is through gangsterism and drugs.
“I have been doing this alone and since I have come out to people to inform them of the initiative, I have had them joining me for hikes, and it is heartwarming to see that my journey is inspiring others,” he said.
Angel SA founder Farieda Moses, who is a safety and foster parent for the Department of Social Development, said that for many years she’s had children coming in and out of safety homes.
“There are many children in the system, with few homes to accommodate them and, as a result, we have decided on this initiative. Some of the children get placed in safety homes from birth until they are 18 years old, and are moved from house to house.
“So I want to create stability in their lives, to have a place called home until they are out of the system. There are three to four known orphanages and the rest are safe houses that can only take up to five or six children at a time. The orphanage will ensure that more children are housed,” said Moses.
Moses, who has been working with vulnerable children for 15 years, said that for six months she lived at an orphanage to get an “in-house experience on how to run an orphanage and handle children”.