The story of a Philanthropist, a Rural School and the International Police Association.
As mentioned in the article in last month's Mail regarding the long walk for technology: "The creation of RAM in Montagu in 2011 has snowballed into an extraordinary collaboration between a Country Hotel; a Philanthropist; a Rural School and the International Police Association." This is the story!
It was an absolute pleasure and labour of love to follow the latest collaboration of NPO RAM (Rescue Among Many) from the minute the Long Walk started at N1 City Shopping Centre in Cape Town on 20 May where four brave men received a send-off in style with various artists that performed with the likes of Pedro Kruger.
The walkers walked from Cape Town, with fundraising events at rest stops in Paarl, Worcester and Robertson, all the way to the birthplace of RAM, The Montagu Country Hotel. Serving participating police officers used their annual leave to complete this epic pilgrimage.
With interest we followed these men on facebook. They walked with heart and dedication, come cold or sunshine and even saved a hurt and lonely dog in Du Toitskloof (watch this space for the follow up story about Rammie - another recipient of the generosity of these wonderful people.)
So big was my excitement when I could meet the brave team, that include Carol Bruton, a philanthropist who was moved by the humbleness and gratitude of the underprivileged people of Montagu she encountered when she visited. And the brave walkers: Warrant Officer Jan Jacobs, the initiator of this walk and Herman Burger, retired Warrant Officer from the Goodwood Police Station , as well as Jakkie van Litsenborgh en Alfie van Litsenborgh representing The International Police Association (IPA), a body that concerns itself with universal human rights.
A grant total of more than 200km walked for charity is something to be celebrated, and that is what RAM, IPA and various local role players did on Monday, 29 May. The walk started very early (before sunrise) from Ashton to complete the last stretch to arrive 9:00 at the Montagu Country Hotel where Happy Birthday wishes for RAM's 6th Birthday and a great "warming up" dance from the RAD ambassadors welcomed the men and RAM representatives.
Then the last, but most important part of the Walk for Technology followed, ending at Ashbury Primary School, the entire school waiting outside to welcome the walkers and visitors. Loud cheers and proud moments will stay with me forever.
Six laptops and big boxes filled with Buccaneer shoes were handed over to Ashbury Primary School with the promise of at least two more laptops to follow. This gift of technology will indeed expand the opportunities for all these learners, thanks to these dedicated people with big hearts.
The next stop for the day was at Huis Uitvlucht, where the collaborators enjoyed lunch with the lovely people that welcomed each and every one of us with big smiles and open arms. They are also very excited about the new library prepared at Huis Uitvlucht and even more books donated to fill the shelves. The preparation and opening of this new library is another heart-warming story to tell - which we will share with you next month.
Where do you even start to say thank you for everyone that collaborated to make this possible: those who walked the extra mile, literally and those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes and those who supported in the smallest possible way?
Montagu and Ashton friends were very generous to host, feed and entertain the RAM and IPA representatives on the weekend when they took a well-deserved rest. A big thank you goes out to Mimosa Lodge for accommodation, Mulligan's Irish Pub and Grill for dinner, drinks and entertainment ("thank you James and James for making Saturday night very memorable", says Carol), Platform 62 for a delicious Sunday lunch and all the helpers from various organisations - Montagu-Ashton Tourism, Olin Kiewietz and Change Agents South Africa, University of Western Cape Community Engagement Unit, RAD Foundation, Sharon Hunlun, Huis Uitvlucht, Montagu SAPS and helpful individuals.
Story by the Montagu Mail ~ firstname.lastname@example.org