working for the unemployed


school-or-prison-hallwayFor months and months, Voorspoed Primary School has been plagued by break ins petty thieves stealing everything from all the computer cabling, to copper pipes and even the coloured pencils in the pre school classrooms! Principal Jennifer Lodewyks never loses faith “Sometimes our schools look more like jails that schools” she says. “We have to put bars over the windows, fencing covering the corridors, gates over the doors. But they come at night and over the weekends. I was at a loss until Link of Love stepped in to help us fund Mr Nicholas Williams to help with the security problem at our school”.

mr-nicholas-williams-1Mr Williams, more commonly known as “Oupa” is, I discover, a human angel, who just happens to live opposite the school! He too is tired of the break ins and has volunteered to guard the school, together with Rudi Arendse from Friday evening to Monday morning, every single weekend. He beams proudly at me “úSince we started, there has been no more trouble!”

Oupa is passionate about making a contribution, about making a difference in the place he finds himself. His background is fascinating, having grown up on a farm in Paarl, with virtually no formal education, one of 17 children. He was no 11 and his mom left at 4.30am daily to travel to the Gants Factory in Somerset West, returning at 7.30pm, Monday to Friday. No matter how challenging things were, she never moaned to her children about her lot in life!

Oupa knows all about how tough life can be. “But we had so much love in our family” he says. “I never saw myself as less educated or less privileged. I felt special and loved”.

Today Oupa and his wife have not only parented 4 of their own children, but they are fostering a young boy, who arrived aged 7 months and is now in Grade 1 at Voorspoed Primary. Oupa is clearly loved at the school and contributes way more than being a weekend security presence! His advice to the world is simple “Share what you have as much as you can”. When asked what his dreams are, he looked me straight in the eye and said “I like to keep my mind clear of future thoughts, so I can live fully for today!”

What a delight for us to be able to donate some workdays to this special man, via Link of Love. Oupa, you are a true hero and a precious asset to Voorspoed Primary!