Photo by [Dreams Time]
God’s Garage Foundation was started when COVID prevented charity organisations from helping people in need.
Luane De Villiers, the founder of the God’s Garage Foundation, said she noticed people could not receive relief from these charity organisations. During this time, the need increased as the demand for food and support increased.
She took the initiative and began helping from her home, which over time, evolved into an organisation she is immensely passionate about and proud of.
De Villiers said, “I didn’t realise the full implication of how COVID really hurt people and really debilitated them economically. So, there was such a need.”
The organisation is made up of 14 people who are passionate about helping communities and looking for solutions to issues they are facing.
What Are the Challenges in the Country?
What sets God’s Garage Foundation apart from other charity organisations is that they believe in sustainability and empowering impoverished communities in need.
De Villiers said one of the main challenges she observed was hunger. Many people cannot afford basic necessities due to the rise in food prices, which is unattainable for the average person.
With that being said, her organisation is involved in many projects which aim to empower people by teaching impoverished communities how to farm sustainably .
She came into contact with people who knew about sustainable farming in a nearby area. From there, she managed to arrange with rural farmers in Hammanskraal to visit them and learn new farming skills.
From then on, the farmers have been growing their own produce. So much so that they have even partnered with a local school to provide them with vegetables from their harvests.
“What I’ve noticed now in the farmers in Hammanskraal is that when we go out to visit them, they’re proud. They’re no longer sitting under the trees waiting. They’re now doing, and they want to show you [their progress].”
De Villiers said communities are not asking for handouts. What they are asking for is assistance to help themselves.
Advice for People Who Want to Help Their Communities
What drives De Villiers is the belief that one person can make a difference in collaboration with others.
Apart from donations, De Villiers said time is the most significant gift you can give people in impoverished communities.
And even though the work is challenging and strenuous, the rewards are worth the effort. Seeing the smiles on children’s faces when receiving gifts and the love and kisses from older community members makes her love her work in those communities so much more.
She advises people who want to help where they can to start and open their doors. It is as simple as that.
“Be brave, open your door and take one step out. One step is all that’s needed.”