31 January 2018

Caroline Visits Pebbles - A Ripple For Change

Four years ago I made a commitment to changing young lives. Because I believe that the solution to poverty is through the fundamentals of education. Because I believe children are a product of their nucleus. And because as Mandela so aptly once put it ‘overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity, it’s an act of justice.’

Last week I made my way to the Stellenbosch winelands - not my usual property inspection, wine paired lunch or to meet and greet an influential client rendezvous. This time I set out for my annual visit to The Pebbles Centre at Villiera Wine Farm - a not-for-profit project I know, trust and love.

Established over a decade ago, ‘Pebbles’ empower children and young families in the Western Cape Winelands farming communities through education, nutrition, health, community and protection. Apart from these five main programme pillars, at the centre of their work and mission is a set of strong values - compassion, commitment, courage and integrity. If you’re anything like me, you want to know that your donations are being channelled correctly and with Pebbles there’s no doubt!

This year’s Classic Escapes contribution went towards funding thirty children’s medical and dental services for the year at their Owethu Clinic. The ultra-modern facility provides a full range of critical wellness and health services to children who are cared for free of charge, focusing on a preventative approach to health including balanced nutrition, family planning, HIV and Aids and substance abuse – sadly all rather prolific in the surrounding communities. Not forgetting the emotional support offered for all health related concerns with an open-door policy answering all their questions – big and small.

Another compelling Pebbles programme is the ‘Sponsor a school pack’ scheme funding children’s backpacks. The South African school year starts in January in line with the southern hemisphere summer. For many parents living below the breadline, providing their children with food is challenge enough, let alone the impossibility of providing them with essentials for school. But without these packs the children simply can’t learn. The scheme provides school packs for children in the following categories consisting of a school bag, school uniform, shoes, socks and a basic stationery set:

Grade R child (6-year olds starting elementry school)

Grade 8 child (13-year olds starting intermediate school)

Grade 12 child (17-year olds in their final school year)

Apart from the huge sense of satisfaction one gets from donating, once all the packs are allocated, Pebbles send all sponsors photographic images of the budding students, making an already feel good philanthropic experience that much more heart-warming.

There’s something so humbling about ‘giving back’ at a time when the rest of the world are fixated on ‘getting’ and material gifts.

So before you tuck into your feasts this festive season, whatever your beliefs may be, think about what you can do for someone less fortunate than you are.



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