On Saturday 9 February, Privateproperty.co.za descended en masse on Midmar Dam, in KwaZulu-Natal, to support its 12 swimmers in the Midmar Mile race. The swimmers, with the support of the company, between them raised more than R50 000, which will be used to purchase wheelchairs for underprivileged disabled children.
Justin Clarke, Privateproperty.co.za CEO, who is himself a paraplegic, swam the mile twice – once in the disabled race and the second time with his team. He says: “So often we are called on to help people in need and it is difficult to find causes that matter, where our donations can be leveraged to achieve something that really makes a difference. Millions of rands are raised every year for charities and NGOs to try to meet this almost insatiable demand. But there are those who are forgotten. They are forgotten because they are really at the bottom of the food chain. I am talking about people from poor communities who live with serious disabilities. People whose voices are just too weak to be heard amongst loud demands from so many.”
Privateproperty.co.za will work with the Extra Mile organisation, in association with an NPO called Khethiwe, to distribute the wheelchairs. Khethiwe’s emphasis is on empowering the families of these children to help them to the best of their ability. The organisation has over 100 children on its books and sees around 60 children each month. These children do not pay for this support and the organisation is dependent on fundraising to sustain its work.
Khethiwe’s founder, Glenys, recounts this story, which really puts her efforts into perspective: “A new mother came to my rehabilitation group today with her 16-year-old son, Siyabonga. To get there she had walked about three kilometres carrying Siyabonga on her back. It was only when I took them home afterwards that I realised how far she had travelled with him – a tall but very thin teen. I have never seen such a tall child being carried on a mother’s back. This is why I do what I do, so that things don’t get to this stage. It was devastating! Thank you so very much for your efforts in helping this cause. It helps to give us the strength to carry on.”
Privateproperty.co.za’s Midmar Mile fundraising effort is not the only initiative the company has planned for year. A recent internal survey showed that staff are passionate about participating in, mostly sports, events to raise for children’s charities. This result is in line with the company’s long-standing support of LIV village, a first-of-its-kind project that provides holistic residential care for vulnerable children with the core vision to “rescue a child, restore a life, raise a leader, and release a star”.