So, for the last few weeks mr. H and myself have been bantering thoughts on how the infosec industry is broken, and how stuff needs to be done differently. I’m more of the point of view that things are not as bad as they seem, while some others have different opinions. This weekend, I got to experience first hand, how broken some things in life really are, and how a big difference a small group of people can make.
In our spare time we enjoy the outdoor life that South Africa provides us, and were part of the largest 4×4 forum in the country. One of the members of the forum posted a thread about two months ago, after he and his wife visited the Abraham Kriel, home how broken stuff there is. Not digital packets being broken, or people doing things wrong (we will get to that though), but just how really fscked things are there. The children of different ages live in different buildings on the premises, and they’re not allowed to use the facilities of the other buildings, including simple things like the jungle gyms etc. Uys from StofPad 4×4 decided something has to be done, and got the ball rolling. A simple post, with the aim of raising R5000 – R10 000 along with a simple prayer to God to help improve the lives of the children went out. He raised R52 000! Next, he needed volunteers to help make things happen. This weekend, we fixed the broken stuff…we did things differently. Here is the story in photos.
Sunset as we arrive on site (we had the use of the lapa area to camp and use as a base of operations).
Around 20 vehicles pitched up camp, while about the same number drove through for the day on Saturday to come and help.
These gift packets contained the simplest items, toothpaste, deo, a bag of sweets etc, but it was something that each child got for themselves. Not to share, each one of the 180 children got one.
Various teams set about building new jungle gyms for the kids to play on. The goal of the weekend was that each and every ‘house’ had their own jungle gym, allowing each and every child, no matter how young or old, to enjoy the same benefits.
I was on the crew that got the task of refurbishing one of the old jungle gyms. This was a hard enough task as the rotted sections of wood needed to be removed, the rusted bolts grinded down and then everything replaced with new sections. To some degree we realised this is more difficult than building from scratch, as we had to work within the confines of an existing structure.
That smile says it all..
For lunch my other half got a sponsorship from two Pick ‘n Pays for 30kg of boerewors and rolls, and then bought the kids 25L of ice cream out of our pockets along with cooldrink to give them a nice little lunch. This was only a taster as mr. “Bos Toe!” was cooking a potjie of note for them!
After lunch on Saturday the projects continued, with various small side-projects also happening. No-one had a chance to sit and do nothing.
Life sized chess board being built for the kids. Another sponsored project from various businesses.
The kids were each given their present, and mr. “Bos Toe!” started dishing up his potjie. A simple lamb, potato etc dish over rice. There was enough for seconds, and the kids all had a full tummy!
The school prepared a present for the forum, in the form of cards from each house. Once everything had calmed down Uys (the guy in the pic receiving it) read the cards to us. It’s strange to see big burly grown men, who just a few hours ago were wielding saws and hammers etc with tears in their eyes.
Sunday morning we continued the work, and myself and the other half left around 2pm. As we slowly drove through the grounds it was amazing to see the children playing on objects we had a hand in building. It was a good feeling, building something new, and fixing something that is truly broken.
So why do this? The one caretaker lady told us the tale of a 10yr old boy. He went home to his parents for the weekend, and returned bruised with some burn wounds on his legs etc. When they asked him what happened he said he played with hot irons or something. Eventually they got the story out of him, and he showed them his chest. He had a burn from a iron (the type you use on your clothes) with the pointy bit right under his sternum! I mean, who is their mind does that to a child? Should we as a society not focus more on fixing that, than argue about how digital packets are broken? Its a terrible comparison, I know, but it does put life in perspective..