Shoebox project with Isibane Development Initiative in Khayelitsha
Today is the 28th of December what means that the christmas holidays are definitely over. We hope that all of you enjoyed free time and some more quiet days with family and friends. The new year is almost here and comes with some serious new year’s resolutions. At the same time we are looking back on what we have achieved the last year and how our company has grown and developed. Especially the last month of December was a special one to us because we had the chance to support the NGO Isibane Development Initiative, located in Khayelitsha, with doing their annual shoe box project.
The partnerhsip between Once Travel and Isibane Development Initiative started beginning of October. Mzulungile, one of Isibane DI’s founders visited us in our office on Loop Street in Cape Town’s city center. He told us that it is the third year for them to plan and conduct the shoe box project. The aim of the project is to collect donations, in form of money and items and to fill over 100 shoe boxes with gifts for less fortunate kids in Khayelitsha.
Khayelitsha, which means new home, is the biggest township in Cape Town and the second biggest in the whole country. The daily life of most of its inhabitants is ruled by crime, poverty and violence. The most affected in this scenario: the innocent ones, the children. This was the reason why Mzu and his friends decided to show the kids the beautiful side of christmas, the celebration of love, joy and peace. In 2016 they started to collect donations for the first time and already managed to pack 50 shoeboxes, filled with treats, clothes and toys but also with sanitary items, books and pencils etc. In 2017 they doubled the amount to 100 boxes and this year there were 120 boxes. The aim for the following years is to grow bigger.
As a company with a huge network of travellers we have decided to share their project on our social media channels and in our property in Cape Town, to help receiving as many donations as possible. Along with this, we joined them in Khayelitsha for the realisation of the project. So it happened that we suddenly found ourselves talking in the biggest radio of Khayelitsha, Zibonele FM with over 200.000 listeners daily. We talked about our vision for the project and what christmas means to us.
The next few days we went back to Mzu’s house in Khayelitsha to join the Isibane DI crew for the filling and wrapping of the boxes. Within a few days we somehow managed to turn the mountain of boxes into an organized structure, including a list with names and addresses of the children who will receive gifts, to avoid chaos on the planned date of distribution. The NGO decided to deliver the presents to the most underpriveledged kids in the area.
The following Saturday we started delivering all of the 120 boxes we had help pack to kids in Khayelitsha. It was a really emotional but definitely beautiful day for all of us. But because pictures say more than words, see for yourself: