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Saturday, 22 July 2017

Giving back on the banks of the Vaal

We always tend to think that beautiful spots to visit are far from home and that we would need to travel great distances to get there. Of course, this is not always true, and last year I was privileged to discover one such gem close to home, on the banks of the Vaal River. But, I found more than just a great location. I discovered people who care deeply for their community and I became part of a drive towards restoring people to places of happiness and tranquility, not unlike the location I wish to tell you about.

It all came about when a longtime friend of mine, Melette Els, contacted me to ask if I would like to be part of a fundraising drive that she spearheaded. As always, I readily agreed. Melette established this fund a couple of years ago already after becoming aware of a need in the community that was not being addressed yet. Melette is occupied as a pastoral therapist and social worker. As a result of her work, she often came into contact with people who were in dire need of therapy, but unable to afford it. Imagine a woman in an abusive relationship asking her husband for money for therapy so she can learn to stand up to him, or to leave him! Or perhaps you have the breadwinner in the house losing his/her job. Depression sets in and they even become suicidal. Yet, this is not a time where they can afford the so-called 'luxury' of therapy, despite the need for it being so dire.

The fund has helped numerous people since it was established. There is the story of a child who was orphaned and ended up in an abusive home, the family whose father died in a car crash and was left without an income and completely devastated, the mother whose son died of cancer, but who could not afford counseling due to large medical bills. The stories are numerous and the need great and varied. I was thrilled to be a part of a fundraising drive for such a great cause. By the way, the contact details for Melette, as well as details for the fund, can be found at the end of this blog. Please feel free to contribute if you are in a position to do so.

The fund raising event was to be held on the banks of the Vaal River at a place called Heavenly Events, just outside Vanderbijlpark. The venue is gorgeous, the people friendly, and the food excellent. But what makes this a spectacular venue, is no doubt the gently flowing river just outside the large open windows. I had been there in winter, which is never the prettiest time of the year, but I could not help being impressed by the spectacular beauty and serenity of the place. I would love to return there in Summer when everything is green and lush. Perhaps I'll book myself into one of the B&B's rooms and make a weekend of it!

I am going to leave it at that and allow the photos to speak for themselves, but do allow me to mention a couple of service providers who really impressed during this function: In no particular order, I would like to thank Waldo from Olga's for the decor. They delivered far and above what they quoted for and what the event budgeted for, and really went out of their way to make this a very special evening for everyone involved. You can contact them at 011 467 7870.

The tables and hall looked absolutely spectacular as a result of the efforts of the decor team.

Flordis also deserves a special mention. This company truly carry the health of our people at heart, not only physically and mentally, but also emotionally. Every year that this event is hosted, Flordis has come through with sponsorships, prizes and support. What a wonderful group of people! You can not help loving these friendly and supportive ladies. You can contact them at 044 874 2927 or email

This beautiful team of volunteers ran around all night, handing out prizes and delivering auction items. In the photo we have the Bush Babies with Melette Els.

Christo Bezuidenhout from ABS Productions volunteered to do the sound and music, donating his time and skills in the interest of the fund. Christo can be contacted for recordings, backtracks and public performances at 082 327 6575 or email

Johan Badenhorst from Voetspore was the guest speaker for the evening. Here he is with Melette Els, hostess of the event, and Quinny, Meltte's trusted guide dog.

I am proud to say that Miekie from A Pretty Talent was also present with some donations.

If you would like to assist the We Care Fund with very welcome donations, you can contact Melette Els at 082 776 1536 or email her at You can make direct contributions to the fund into this account:
We Care ClubABSAAcc No: 929 954 878 5Branch: 632005
Melette Els (Clinical Social Work) can be contacted via the webpage, or by email at, or by phone at 082 776 1536.
Melette Els B.A. (SocSc) M. (Th)
BHF Pr Nr.: 089 000 00 28754 SACSSP Reg.Nr.: 10-17310

Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy my books here:
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