Restoring Hands is a nonprofit organization in the Cape Flats run by locals. Its projects and operations rely solely on donations, and 100% of the funds is invested in projects that develop the community. Yebo Life had the opportunity to sit down with Restoring Hands’ founder Edwin Du Plooy and find out more about one of their biggest projects—The Stationary Project.
What is The Stationary Project?
In 2015 God spoke to me and told me to make a list of 100 children and to ensure that they had the stationary (notebooks) and shoes needed to go to school. Initially, I didn’t know why God asked me to do this, so I started talking to parents in the area and asking them questions.
- How are your kids doing in school?
- Do they go to school regularly?
- Who buys their school shoes and uniform?
Why is there a need for a project like this?
Parents in the Cape Flats struggle to afford basic school needs for their children, and as a result, children don't regularly attend classes. They feel unworthy and embarrassed—like they don't fit in or belong at school.
How many kids are being impacted by the project?
In 2016 Restoring Hands provided writing utensils, backpacks, notebooks, and school shoes to 100 children. In 2017 this number increased to 280 primary and high school students, and in addition to shoes and supplies, each child also received a school tracksuit. We're aiming to reach 400 students in 2018.
Word of The Stationary Project has spread. Now, not only children from Lavender Hill benefit from the program, but students from surrounding areas, including Cafda, Retreat, Grassy Park, and Strandfontein, are receiving supplies for their school year.
Have you heard any feedback from the parents or schools?
Through this simple act of obedience—compiling a list—I've witnessed phenomenal changes. I meet with the children's schools and monitors their report cards and attendance. Absenteeism has declined since the project began—from an average of 30 days absent per year to an average of five!
God has shown His love for these students and their education. They now wake up in the morning excited to go to school. The more the kids are in school, the less they're on the streets and exposed to the dangers of gangsterism and drugs.
Do you plan to do other projects like this in the future?
I'm trusting God for tertiary funding for students who eventually graduate high school. My plan is to walk alongside and support them throughout their education—even into their college years. Angie and I want to enable young people to rise up and sew back into their own communities.
I believe that future projects will also see increased involvement from local businesses—through the manufacturing of school supplies, shoes, and uniforms. In turn, residents of the Cape Flats will benefit from job creation and a stimulated economy.
If you'd like to give toward The Stationary Project or toward another Restoring Hands project, please email Catherine Krabbe at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.