Hidden away between dunes and bushes, along a remote street on the outskirts of Cape Town’s notorious townships lies 7de Laan. This small collection of shacks houses no more than 200 adults and children. Despite living a stone’s throw away from the beautiful ocean they suffer from extreme poverty. Most of them came here years ago, when they lost everything due to alcohol and drug abuse, difficult family circumstances or gang violence. Some just could not cope in their previous social life and had to escape. Many of these problems still rule strong in 7de Laan, and numerous other problems too. Nevertheless a strong sense of community has formed among these like-minded individuals, who are so proud of their “Laan”.
HOSA has only been involved in this small community full of suffering and yet a lot of character since June 2014. After the first contact and the tragic passing of an infant our local team organised a fundraiser in Germany, to which there was an overwhelming response. We were able to supply each of the 60 households with food, blankets, plastic sheets for their roofs and rain clothes for the children. Thanks to amazing helpers it was possible to pray for each and every family and some meaningful conversations were had.
Since then a lot has happened in 7de Laan! Through Marco’s full-time and René’s, Sandra’s and Justine’s part-time involvement in 7de Laan a lot of relationships could be established with the residents of 7de Laan. People come to them with their problems and are glad to receive an open ear, encouragement, advice and prayer, without being judged or becoming the topic of the next neighbourhood gossip. There has been an especially beautiful, mutual trust that has grown with the leaders of 7de Laan, which makes our collaboration for 7de Laan sustainable and relevant to the needs of the people.
Even the flow of donations has not seemed to stop since the above mentioned first encounter! Our local team was able to organize a one of a kind Christmas feast and many other holidays, like Easter, were celebrated in style. In partnership with different organisations and trusts, HOSA was able to build an urgently needed soup kitchen which now feeds the kids a warm meal five days a week. Additionally, we have been able to start building and equipping a multi-purpose hall in June 2015. And on the 1st of November 2015 the preschool and multi-purpose hall called Hope Community Centre was opened with a joyful celebration. We have opened the doors of Hope School in February 2016 and offer the children of 7de Laan and surrounding communities an excellent education to prepare them for their academic future. Outside of school times the hall is used for seminars, computer training, homework help and counselling to offer life changing help for the youth and adults of the community. A brand new Volkswagen van was part of those donations and it is a useful tool for HOSA to be used for volunteers, teams, transport for the children and adults and trips to outings and appointments and all other projects we are involved in.
These, however, are not the only developments that we are believing for. It is our aim and passion to see a lasting change in the lives of the people in 7de Laan. Many wounded hearts have to be healed and hope needs to be taken hold of. But we are completely convinced that God has an enormous plan for each individual in 7de Laan and that this place will soon be unrecognizable – from the outside and the inside!