Goal: R5,000.00 | Still Needed: R5,000.00 | Total Supporters So Far: 0 | Amount of People in Need: 100
Like his native community of Retreat, John Alexander is no stranger to hardship. To ask him to tell the complex and often difficult story of his life is to settle in for the afternoon, because his isn’t a story you can listen to with half an ear and move on with your day.
Long story short: having been a helper within his community since he was a teenager, John got to a point where he confronted himself with the question of his purpose. Why was he here? His late parents had been pillars of their community, and he had been raised on a steady diet of humble philanthropy, but it was only then – aged 21 – that his work in the world became clear to him.
“One day you’ve got to stop living selfishly. You wake up to who you really are, and start to become true to that,” he says of his turning point.
With the help of his beautiful but broken community, John founded New Season Foundation in 2014. Its purpose is his purpose: to fix the structures in his community that have systematically become broken, to soothe the casualties of this brokenness, and to make sure that the fractures heal well.
The foundation has various initiatives, mostly aimed at the youth of the Capetonian suburb of Retreat and surrounds. John, together with occasional volunteers, go wherever they are needed – from schools to individual homes – to deliver powerful talks, help with homework, and provide support.
The area needs it. Violent gangs rule the once-peaceful streets, residents are poor, schoolchildren are having babies. John knows that the streets on which he played as a child without care has become a battleground, and he will not sit complacent and leave this atmosphere behind for his grandchildren, or anyone else’s grandchildren.
New Season Foundation receives no regular funding and relies entirely on donations. John’s dream is to be able to make the foundation a financially viable place for people to work at, because although he is happy to do it as a labour of love, that’s not for everyone. He currently operates from his home.
Photographer: Eugene du Plessis from Take My Hand | Voice Artist: Mawande Ndywamb | Writer: Anè Breytenbach
Type of Cause:Children and Youth, Community, Development