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The Body of Christ in action

The Body of Christ in action

We believe we are called to have a visible Christian presence in the city centre.

The Body of Christ in action

The Body of Christ in action

We believe we are called to be of service to those in need and ease their distress and to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves .

Servant Evangelism

Servant evangelism

Deeds of love + words of love + the perfect timing of God = the focus of these outreaches

Valuable to Jesus

Valuable to Jesus campaign

We believe that God wants to end all forms of sexual abuse, prostitution and pornography, through focused prayers and compelled action.

Prostitution: Restoration

Prostitution: Restoration

We have a number of initiatives aimed at calling women out of prostitution.

Outreach ministry

Outreach ministry to the destitute and desperate

Ophelp Projekte are not job creation activities. They are a bundle of rehabilitation programmes for people who are not yet able to act productively and responsibly.

Stories of living hope

Stories of living hope

Stories of Living Hope is a collection of stories of women who have come out of the lifestyle of prostitution as well as children of the women, who have put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour and experienced His transforming life in theirs.
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Jesus Saves

Jesus Saves

This project provides an effective mechanism to use the very problem of vagrancy to address its causes and undo its consequences and a job rehabilitation programme for broken, destitute or desperate persons, reshaping them into stable workers.
Read more

Breakfast-on-the-go and our next birthday celebrations

Valuable to Jesus CampaignEarly morning on the 11th of May a group of us gathered in the inner city of Cape Town to surprise people with the love of Christ. We were prepared with breakfast parcels consisting of muffins, fruit juices, peanuts and other treats. We trusted the Lord for Divine appointments and in His nature He didn’t disappoint us.

A huge thank you to all for making this possible.

Our next 50th Birthday Celebration will be on the 16th of June (Youth Day) at 10:00. We are going to celebrate the Valuable to Jesus Campaign by having a workshop for the of making knitted dolls at our Headquarters in Parow, De Tyger. You don’t have to be a knitter to participate, we are also going to make hearts for our high school presentations. Children are welcome.

Another date to remember is the 17th of July. We are hosting a Soup Evening with testimonies of Straatwerk. It is important that you RSVP before the 7th of July.

For more information contact Lisa at 021 930 8055 or

Valuable to Jesus Campaign

Valuable To JesusStraatwerk's Valuable to Jesus-package is comprehensive and contains all you (or your congregation) will need to launch the VTJ campaign without delay. It comprises three DVD;s and on CD:

  • The Vision DVD (22 min) explains, in practical terms, the face and heart of the campaign.
  • The Introduction DVD (5 min) is a handy tool to use when you want to introduce the campaign (such as during a worship service).
  • The Resource CD includes the school presentations, prayers and other materials to launch the campaign.
  • The Presentation DVD is an example of a school presentation.

The package can be ordered from Straatwerk for R100, which includes domestic posting fees.

For further information, please contact us at, or call us at 021 930 8055.

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Another language

More often than not, Jesus spoke without words. He communicated some of the deepest truths about God in non-verbal body language.

Take for example His strange birth story that we reflect on at this time of year, or His death on Golgotha that spoke loud and clear but with nonverbal interference. In fact, the loudest, most radical language that has ever been heard, felt, seen and experienced in human history was found in Bethlehem and Golgotha – completely wordless.

The most powerful way Jesus spoke was through his mere presence. His Immanuel name: “God is with us”.

It is at this time of year that we look back on 2015. It is impossible to remember all that you said to others, or they to you. We do, however, remember with much more clarity those experiences of being cared for, or caring for our fellow man, or the miracle moments that changed our hearts and lives forever.

This year at Straatwerk we remembered the 50-year history of God’s provision and care. What stood out above all else were the testimonies of changed lives.

In all our outreaches here at Straatwerk, we first and foremost want to touch people’s hearts. Ours is a heart-to-heart, not a head-to-head approach. We constantly saw how effective that approach is when practical love, like sharing the warm cinnamon sugar pancakes we used during some of our outreaches, spoke so much louder than words.

Whether you have been involved with Straatwerk for a year, or 50 years, be assured that your presence, prayers and support truly make a difference.

May you have a very blessed Christ-filled Christmas.

Greetings from Fourie and everyone at Straatwerk.

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Action Immanuel 2015

This year’s Action Immanuel theme is: Dream the impossible dream… (this was already part of Straatwerk’s 50th birthday celebrations).

Our 2015 programme will more or less look like this:

Thursday, 17 December
Christmas party for the children of Zoë Trust Kids’ Club (4-7 years).

Friday 18 December
A late night service evangelism outreach from 21:30-02:00 in the inner city of Cape Town, Green Point and Sea Point.

Saturday 19 December
Dangerous Women gathering – this is a get together of women who have decided to follow God. Most of the women come from broken backgrounds and we have had the wonderful privilege of walking with them through the ups and downs of life.

Sunday 20 December
An early morning cleaning shift that starts at 07:00 where we will be picking up papers, bottles and other trash from the
previous night’s parties that was held in the city. Breakfast-onthe-go packages will be given out to show God’s love in a practical

Monday 21 December
A lunch-time thanksgiving service with participants of Ophelp Projekte at St Andrew’s Church in Green Point. Cool-drinks,
muffins and hot dogs will be provided.

Tuesday 22 December
Night outreach in Voortrekker Road, Parow.

Wednesday 23 December
Another creative outreach…

Thursday 24 December
Christmas Eve outreach in the inner city of Cape Town.

Christmas day 25 December
Late morning outreach to people who roam around on Voortrekker Road, Parow.


  • willing hands;
  • financial contributions;
  • toiletries (soap, face cloths, towels, toothpaste, toothbrushes, roll-on deodorant, etc.) – our supply are depleted at the end of the year;
  • second-hand clothes for men (especially sizes 28-34), kids and teenagers; women’s clothes are also welcome in all sizes;
  • stationery (coloured pencils, crayons, pens, pencils, erasers, colouring books, pencil bags, scissors, etc.);
  • cell phones in working condition;
  • coffee, tea, sugar, long life milk for visiting groups on Friday nights;
  • non-perishable goods;
  • lollipops, chips, cool-drinks, packets of peanuts, sweets, cookies, etc. for outreaches and the Christmas party;
  • sponsor a hot dog for the participants of Ophelp Projekte who will attend the thanksgiving service, at R15 per hotdog;
  • sponsor a breakfast-on-the-go package at R15 each; and
  • two-litre ice-cream containers.
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Night life outreaches after 50 years – my experience

Hannes van der Merwe

“Nightlife. It sounds so strange: Night and life. Is it not sun and light that brings life? Yet there is life that awakens on the streets of the city that only happens after dark. Is it night life or possibly night death? Our heavenly Father sends His Church, us, to offer these people new life in Him.” (Written by the late Reverend Pietie Victor to a small group who started the night outreaches 50 years ago.)

What does it look 50 years later? Come and walk the streets with us again and experience how we still reach out to those who live the night life of Cape Town.

That was the invitation.
Since I haven’t been on a night outreach in a number of years, this invitation stirred a curiosity in me and motivated me to be there for this special occasion.

The night
I was appointed as the leader for a group of former “Straatwerkers” and that in itself was already an interesting experience. We left to go on outreach, on the same mission, filled with memories of rich former experiences we had in the past. We even went to visit the old “Koffiekamer” in Breë Street. It’s hard to find the words to describe this experience.

The city and its activities were completely different to how it was in the old days. The way in which we reached out also shifted. In the old days the team was divided into two, and the starting point was clear: “Can we talk to you about the Lord Jesus?” And in those days, just as Oom Pietie taught us, we “threw the net as wide as possible” by trying to approach every one we encountered to see where it would lead.

Now we were a small group, dressed in brightly coloured bibs that had JESUS SAVES clearly printed on it. Armed with refuge bags in our hands, we walked along, picking up trash and looking for an opportunity to start a conversation with someone.

We didn’t approach everyone. Everyone on the team took initiative, acted on their own conviction and in their own way.

There were quite a few conversations that night. There were even people who approached us, which rarely happened in the old days.

I was a bit uncomfortable about what I had to say now when I approached someone, because I chose to not use the old way of trying to start conversations in this new environment. The experience, as always, was that it doesn’t look or feel very impressive to you and one can only trust God to make these moments count. It is only God who can make our words come alive to those who are hearing them.

Then a young man came walking along, alone in a secluded part of the city. I tried a different approach: “Where are you going?”

He answered: “I’m just on my way home”.

What do I say now?

I tried again. “Have you ever thought about following Jesus?”

He replied: “There was a time where I accepted Jesus and followed him”.


He continued: “But now I am on drugs…” I could see the helplessness in his eyes. (Strange – this experience 50 years later: the same need, the same urgency to reach out!)

Excited, I replied: “Just earlier tonight we listened to testimonies, and two of them specifically said they experienced being liberated from drugs after making a genuine commitment to God and asking Him to help!”

He didn’t reply.

I continued: “This is also possible for you”.

He still didn’t say anything, and as far as I can remember, that was also our exchange.

In my heart and with hope, I saw him going where he knows there are people who love God. What he did and experienced in reality though, only God knows.

We ended our small team’s outreach with prayers and we pleaded with God to use what had happened that evening.

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Hello, my name is Faisal…

“I am one of seven children all from different fathers, but we do have the same mother. We are only six now after my brother was shot and killed on Christmas Day in 2013. It was a very hectic, confusing story. My baby brother is very cute, and my mother says he is her blessing.

“My biggest dream is to be a 28 and to get my prison tattoos. I am already practicing how to run and jump on roofs. You have to be able to do that if you want to be a good gangster.

“I don’t always understand what people are whispering about me behind my back. But I have heard things like split personality, possessed by the devil, gruesome and even that a demon was living inside me. All those words sound very serious, but I am just Faisal.

“Sometimes I am naughty and other times I want to be a baby, then I suck my thumb. I change very quickly from being naughty to being a baby. I really don’t know how that happens. Maybe I have super powers, like the heroes we see in the poppestukkiess. I don’t always know which one I am, and sometimes I don’t even know what I’m doing. My dad says I know but I don’t. I suppose I am two people, and that’s that.

“In the afternoons I need to go to madrassa, but sometimes I hide from my dad when he comes to get me, because I rather want to go to the Kids’ Club. I know I get on the aunties nerves who teach us from the Bible, but it’s nice to be there. Sometimes I manage to not get kicked out of class. It’s when I suck my thumb. If I don’t suck my thumb things fall apart.

“I am ten years old and have been smoking since I was seven. You know, the funny thing is that I just can’t stop. It seems that if I start something, I have to keep it going. But it seems to be like that with all the wrong stuff. There are some things that I do with the girls and with my friends that I also can’t stop. And when I start watching blue movies, I also can’t stop. I don’t like to be on my own, so I always invite everyone to come with and then I teach them about what I see in the movies and in books.

Sometimes we watch together, and then we make ougat with each other. It seems like the others can stop when they choose, but I just can’t. I can’t even stop swearing, and everybody says that my swearing is terrible.

“I like guns and shooting. And knives. Just the other day they stabbed a young kid so bad in the arm that it was just hanging there, bleeding badly. I think it might have been about drugs. One day, my grandpa came running out of the house, waving his gun in the air. There were a lot of children, because it was during Kids’ Club time. Everybody started screaming and then ran into auntie Lewena’s house. I liked seeing how scared everyone was. I wasn’t scared at all. The police came and threw a man into a van. I started swearing at him through the little window at the back of the van.

“My grandma and grandpa are already dead. My grandpa used to train the klopse and my grandma was a shoplifter. She always brought us brand name shoes and clothes. I used to laugh at all the other children who had broken shoes and torn clothes.

“Everybody says my grandma got saved before she died. I don’t know what that means, but everybody seemed to be happy about it.

“The other night the Junky Funky Kids tried to shoot my dad at the station. Luckily he wasn’t killed. He yells and swears at me a lot, but he’s still my dad and at least he takes care of us. He makes sure things run smoothly at the taxi rank and he sells luxuries. He also has a car.

“I don’t know if my dreams will come true, but the gangsters like me and they don’t mind if I listen to them talking when they meet.

“I’m starting to think that I really am two people and I suck my thumb less. Maybe I am becoming one person. An Eight.”

“Something happened yesterday… my dad was shot at the station. There were eleven shots and a lot of them were in his head. They say he is dead and my sister says it’s true. But I am going to go see if I can’t shake him awake. If he doesn’t wake up I am going to hang myself. ”

28 – a prison gang
Madrassa – Muslim school for children
Blue movies – pornographic movies
Make ougat – sodomise someone
Junky Funky Kids – the name of a gang
Klopse – minstrels/coons
Luxuries – sweets. chocolates, etc.
Eight – shortend version of the 28s

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Breakfast-on-the-go and our next birthday celebration

Early in the morning of 11 May a group of us gathered in the inner city of Cape Town to surprise people with the love of Christ. We were prepared with breakfast parcels consisting of muffins, fruit juices, peanuts and other treats.

We trusted the Lord for divine appointments and, true to His nature, He didn’t disappoint us.

A huge thank you to all for making this possible.

Our next 50 birthday celebration will be a soup evening on 17th of  July combined with testimonies from Straatwerk.

It is important that you RSVP before 7 July.

For more information, contact Lisa at 021 930 8055 or send an email to

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Oupa (96) is back at work

Hannes van der Merwe

It’s been almost a year since Oupa (Leonard Ethelbert) became so weak after medical complications and a time in hospital, that he no longer had the strength to get up early to work shifts at Ophelp Projekte. That meant he became quite lonely at the Straatwerk house in Woodstock and had to keep himself busy.

(He regularly went for walks, and true to himself, would often walk quite far.) Every now and again Oupa would talk about “going back to work”. As things went, it really was just a dream, and I, as well as the others in the house, dreamt along with him. But Oupa got up and went back to work – at the Mowbray Depot. For three weeks now, he gets up early, goes to work, does his shift and comes back home – all on his own. He is 96 years old.

Due to this, our management team gave him “honarary status as Jesus Save Daily First Teamer”. A member of this team is paid R40 per shift. Oupa is highly impressed with this because it’s much more than he expected. (Unbeknown to him, the pay rate increased in his absence!)

Two stories from this time:
Oupa uses the mini bus taxi to work and back. This costs him R6 per trip. One morning he gave the “gaurdjie*” R7 and, as he was getting off, he expected his R1 change. Instead, the “gaurdjie” just gave him a 20 cent coin. Sharp as ever, Oupa noticed this and pointed out the mistake. But the gaurdjie just said it’s a coin and is worth something, and continued to yell at the driver to drive off. The exploitation of Oupa’s vulnerability was evident (our community knows this too well), and he felt this deeply as he is not only physically vulnerable, but financially as well.

Another time, on another taxi, he gave R7 again, and once again when it was time for the change to come, the gaurdjie asked “What change?” With his quick wit, Oupa confronted him, pointing out that a fellow passenger had passed the fare on: “Ask this lady, I did give you a R5 and a R2″. The answer (again the exploitation): “Never mind Oupa, what can an old man like you do with R1?” But Oupa retorted: “Not so! Rather, what can a young man like you do with R1?”. Fellow passengers started laughing out loud at his very wise response – so much so that the R1 quickly got handed over.

*This person sees to it that everyone in the taxi pays for the ride and decides who sits where to ensure that the maximum passengers are transported.

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Sylvia finds God … and her calling

The testimony of Sylvia Ramasani, as transcribed from the radio progamme 20/20 Visie on Tygerberg 104fm. This programme was broadcast on 10 June 2015.

Sylvia originates from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and stayed in Cape Town for 16 years. At the end of May she went back to her home country with the hope of being reunited with her family. Sylvia discovered that the Lord has given her a special gift to look after babies.

Our aim with this programme was to answer the question that many people struggle with:
Can women involved in prostitution really change? “I came with my boyfriend to Cape Town but then he left and I was on my own. My friend from the Congo was living in Sea Point and said that I must come and live by him. He was keeping women in the house and selling drugs. Beautiful ladies were staying in the house, more beautiful than me. I helped in the house. They went out in the night and came home with money. They bless me with money. I started to smoke cigarettes. I washed their clothes and cooked and cleaned for them. I loved them as I loved myself.

“Then I started to do drugs. At first I didn’t feel anything. I felt nothing in my body. Over years and years it destroyed all of my body. My family wasn’t involved in prostitution and drugs. I started selling my body to buy drugs and to have somewhere to stay. I got involved with a drug dealer. It wasn’t a man it was a woman from Cameroon. She gave me a place to stay, buy me clothes, me I worked for money for her. From those times I didn’t feel happy. I thought maybe there was a God calling me. For five years I just felt that something was lost in my body. I saw that people who were selling drugs were driving nice cars, wearing nice clothes and I had nothing. My life was only in the drugs.

“God was calling me. People from God came to me on the street, walking the road, encouraging the ladies and they prayed for you. They would ask you: ‘Are you happy with this life that you have? Do you want to leave this lifestyle?’ They didn’t force us to come to God.

“Sometimes I ran away when the car stopped for me. But mostly I listened. Many times I asked them for prayer. Sometimes I saw them talking to another lady on the corner and then I disappear.

“Life became more sore in my heart. I can make money, that money is not really for myself. Money for selling my body but I had to share it with someone else. I was not happy for my life. “Many men would stop for you. They will give you money, but sometimes they ask: “You a tall, beautiful and intelligent lady.

You are a nice lady. Why are you standing here selling your body?’ “I was tired. I was feeling no more. Suffering with no family around and just selling my body all the time. Money I earn on the street for other people. You see no profit in this business. Easy come easy go money.

“Then I then went to the Methodist church in Brooklyn. I met Pastor Duke and he gave me at test. He told me that no person can love me like Jesus, and God loves me and Jesus, he died for my sin. He said that if I believe in that and give my life to God, God will change me. And it was the truth. The second day I came back to pastor Duke for help. Pastor Duke helped me too much.

“He sent me to the Ark rehabilitation, a Christian place. You go the Bible school, discipleship school. For six months I had to humble myself and gave my life to the Lord. During that time the Holy Spirit was touching my life. People around me didn’t understand that I was so very happy. That happy now make me to love God. I’m not working but I eat. God is good.

“Five years ago I gave my life to God. It was not easy. You only see the benefit later. The way I’m feeling now, I’m walking with God. I love God. God did change my life.

“He gave me a spiritual mama. It was not easy to stay there. She was teaching us the way of the Christian life. You can’t wear this clothes, you can’t do this and you can’t do that, but from that time I didn’t understand but when I surrendered myself to God himself, and God did change me. And God healed.

I don’t walk with the fear, I’m not scared of the darkness life because I was not born to be a prostitute. I experienced a lot of pain but now it was over. I can encouragement those who are still in the darkness.”

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Hello, my name is Zins…

“Everyone calls me Zins, but my real name is actually Zinovia Angelina Abrahams, and I received a certificate for ballroom dancing when I was only five years old. I still jump and dance wherever I want to be. Some of the other kids and I sometimes sing along and throw our bodies around until it freaks out the aunties at the Kids’ Club. Then we laugh because they are so stervy.

“I am the smallest in the netball team and my frocks are always too big. I don’t care, because the teams that play against us think that I am very small, and then I surprise them, because I am the fastest in our team. We play most of our netball games on Sundays in the park, and most of the time my father causes some sort of a scandal at the netball court. He talks far too much when he is drunk and then everybody laughs at him. I try to stay far away from where he is, because it is embarrassing in front of all the people.

“I was one of the first kids at the Kids’ Club and still remember the Hot Chocolate Church on Thursday nights. I went in my pyjamas and always arrived there with a hand full of five bobs, because I was good with the gambling machine at the auntie’s
games room around the corner. First gamble and then church. The gambling machines are not there anymore, so the five bobs are scarce.

“I always want to know everything about everyone. I want to know what the teenage girls talk about on Tuesday nights at the Monique group. One night I was eavesdropping and I heard them talk about boobs and bras and boys, and I was as quiet as a mouse. I knew that this information will one day come in handy, so I filed it in my brain. I wish I was two years older so that I can sit inside with the other girls. In winter my toes freeze while I have to stand outside listening to them.

“I have a special gift. I can make myself invisible and that is how I hear and see everything. The grownups think they have secrets … hahaha … Invisible Zonnie knows everything.

“My picture is fixed on the door of Auntie Tish’s storeroom at Straatwerk where she works when she is not at our Badsberg Close home. The photo has been there for many years and to me I still look the same. I am not really growing much. Maybe one day I will not have boobs and bras.

“I like it at Auntie Lisa’s house at Straatwerk. We go there every Christmas and then we swim, jump on the jumping castles and slide on the slippy slide. And we get face paint and run potato races. And we get gifts. I always get nice stuff and I think I am the aunties’ favourite child.

“People say I am clever, because my mother is very clever. My school marks are always good. My brother is also very clever and he is in high school. He does not go to Heideveld Secondary School. He is too clever for that gangster school. My brother and I are both in the Coons. He plays trumpet and I play the cymbals. New Year’s Day is a wonderful day.

“I also have another brother and a baby brother. Actually he is not a baby anymore, because he knows how to let the air out of the tyres of the cars parked in the yard. I really wonder who taught him that. I think he is also clever, because he understands things very quickly and remembers how to do things.

“We stay in the back of Mamma Joan’s yard. We all call her mamma, but she is actually my great grandmother. Our house was built with vibrecrete and the new Kids’ Club class is next to our house. It was exciting to see how the class was built en how boeta Armien had to measure and cut to fit it in the small space that was available.

“We also have pigeon cages in our yard. Racing pigeons. I wonder how it works, because people take bets and win money, almost like gambling. And with the gambling machine not being around the corner any longer, I will have to make another plan. It is a pity that I cannot listen to what is being said at the “pigeon” meetings. They just speak a little too soft. I am sent to the shop quite often to buy bread and milk and loose cigarettes and sometimes the people give me five bob for my trouble.

“When I’m bored and don’t know what to do with myself, I walk around in the neighbourhood and look for people so that I can eavesdrop. If I want something, I will persist until I get what I want. It is probably also one of my gifts. I never give up and I can be invisible.

“Everybody who stays in Heideveld, says it is a junk place. I say it is because they have forgotten how to dance and jump with joy.”

stervy – strict; five bob – 50 cents

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Easter outreaches

1 April, afternoon: Join the children of the Kid’s Club in Heidveld for a community outreach*.
2 April, evening: Servant evangelism outreach in Voortrekker Road.
3 April, morning: Breakfast-on-the-go outreach*.
3 Apil evening/early morning hours: Servant evangelism outreach on the streets of Cape Town


  • marshmallow easter eggs;
  • sponsor a bracelet at R10 each (they are used in the outreaches);
  • hot cross buns for Good Friday’s breakfast-on-the-go outreach; and
  • eggs for Good Friday’s breakfast-on-the-go.



17 May, early morning: Cleaning the streets in the inner city of Cape Town combined with a servant evangelism outreach. This outreach is early enough that you will be on time for your church service, especially if your church is in the inner city*.


  • sponsor a muffin at R3 each.



16 June, full day: Work stations to knit and stitch dolls and make hearts at Straatwerk’s headquarters for the Valuable to Jesus campaign*. Why don’t you duplicate this event for Youth Day in your own area? Let us know!


  • wool ; and
  • stuffing.


17 July, evening: Soup evening with testimonies from the different ministry areas of Straatwerk.


14 August, Eevening/early morning hours: Servant evangelism outreaches on the streets of Cape Town, together with the 350th anniversary of the Groote Kerk.


  • sponsor a bottle of mineral water at R5 each; and
  • sponsor a packet of peanuts at R3.



18 September, evening/early morning hours: Servant evangelism outreach together with volunteers from the past 50 years.

20 September, morning: Thanksgiving service at the Wynberg Dutch Reformed Church. * Child friendly

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We salute you, Dumisani

A beautiful example of what can happen through Straatwerk’s Ophelp Projekte …

According to our archives, Dumisani Bonga joined the Ophelp Projekte activities on 22 November 2006 as one of the many regular participants, making use of the activities on offer. He was polite and well behaved and did what was required of him. Soon the management team noticed his diligence and commitment.

His hard work paid off when, on 02 September 2008, he was first selected into the “First Team” (a team selected from candidates
who show, by their example, a willingness to co-operate).

On 23 September 2008 Dumisani was promoted to the A-Team (a team that requires phisical strength for their tasks). Dumisani persevered with his good attitude, proving himself over and over to be be a trustworthy Ophelp Projekte participant, so much so that he became part of the management team.

Eventually, on 29 September 2011, Dumisani became one of the few Ophelp participants to be given the opportunity to join the CCID road maintenance team as an apprentice and served in this team until 31 January 2015 when his contract was, sadly, not renewed.

The most beautiful part of Dumisani’s story is that he did not let the termination of his contract set him back. Instead, he viewed it as an opportunity to enrol for further professional training.

We salute Dumisani for this, and pray God’s blessing on his future endeavours.

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