31 October 2019
George Municipality celebrated World Homeless Day
World Homeless Day is an annual event on the 10th of October and George Municipality celebrated the event by enriching people living on the street’s lives with motivational talks, entertainment and food.
The concept of 'World Homeless Day' emerged from online discussions between people working to respond to homelessness from various parts of the world.
The Inaugural World Homeless Day was marked on the 10th of October 2010.
The purpose of World Homeless Day is to draw attention to homeless people’s needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness, while taking advantage of the stage an ‘international day’ provides.
Mr Phenyo Leopang, a person that previously lived on the streets, was a motivational speaker for the day. Leopang lost his job and soon found himself not being able to pay his rent. He had problems with his family and soon he ended up on the streets. He moved to George. “I knew no-one in George and after research, I found there was a night shelter. When you live on the streets the most important things are to have a meal and to have a bed to sleep in. “I’ve heard about the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and started a job by sweeping streets. That’s how I started to know George. Today a few years later I’m and aspiring businessman. I could never have imagined it,” Leopang said.
He said his mother has a saying, ask… the worst thing that can happen to you is to get a no, but guess what you are still alive. He said there are people that wants to help people living on the streets, there is no shame in asking. Leopang said there is also times when you will have to help and maybe work for nothing. He said he is so proud of his mother, who learned skills by volunteering, and today she uses those skills in her own consultancy firm.
Cllr Sean Snyman, Portfolio Councillor for Social Development, Libraries and Sport shared his own personal story about living on the streets and said living on the streets is a vicious cycle. He said people’s mindsets have a lot to do with it. “Please reach out to your family, fix family bridges, it is the closest solution to your situation,” Snyman said. He said social development and many other stakeholders will change the situations of people living on the streets, even if it is, one person at a time.
Shane Fredericks entertained the crowd with his singing.
For further details and information regarding people living on the streets, you may make contact with Estelle Fredericks on 044 802 2000.
IMG 3765: The People living on the street local board and other dignitaries celebrating World Homeless day are in front from left, Const. Rachel Hendricks (George Police), Sr Loretta Roelofse (Department of Health), Jonathan Gelderbloem (Youth for Christ), Solomon Blaauw (dignitary), Estelle Fredericks (Community Development: George Municipality), Sophia Fanelo: (Manager: Community Development) and Marisa Lamprecht (Correctional Services). At the back are Cllr Vincentius Muller, Ward Councillor for Ward 17 and member of the Social Development portfolio committee, Julie Stoffels (Jaicos NGO), Melissa Markgraff (Social Development), Shane Fredericks (musical entertainer at the event), Theodore-Duwayne (dignitary), Cllr Sean Snyman (Ward Councillor for Ward 19 and Portfolio Councillor for Social Development, Libraries and Sport).Last published 31 October 2019