Kin Update

Kin Update


Kin Culture Update

2014 has seen KIN Culture take shape. During the first half of the year we have taken KIN Culture to many boardrooms, offices and coffee shops. God is faithful. We have been able to share this vision with many people. We are busy with the groundwork. Very soon we will be ready to hit the road running.

You are looking at our most exciting news, our website. Thank you Joanne from ‘Pretty Pretty’, we are really chuffed with our new online home. We recently had an awesome photo shoot at Roodebloem Studios in Woodstock with ‘Shoot and Create’ and ‘Kikitography’. Your fingerprints are all over KIN Culture, thanks for working with us. We were blessed with awesome volunteer kids and parents who helped us out in this shoot. Thank you. Dankie. Nkosi.


We have recently registered as a Non-Profit Company now we are in the process of registering as a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO), putting the finishing touches to our business plan and extending our involvement in the community. We are privileged to be taking hands with STOP (anti human trafficking organisation), “House of Grace” and “Abaphumeleli” orphanage.

At KIN Culture we believe that giving generously is one of the values of God’s Kingdom. Our aim is to give as much as we can, including a percentage of our monthly income to other organisations.
Thank you to everyone who has given to this cause. We have been blessed with companies and individuals who believe in this vision as much as we do. Thank you for partnering with us right from the start. Every email, meeting and Facebook like means the world to us.

Lombardo Family

Lombardo Family


Lombardo Family

We recently met with Timothy and Candice Lombardo. This Cape Town couple are passionate about adoption. After opting for adoption they started preparing to receive their child, but on the other hand God was also preparing them for their child. You’ll be inspired by their story. 

My husband and I had always spoken of adopting, but had planned to explore that option after we had two biological children. Our plans are however not God’s plans and after a year of unsuccessful attempts and another year of fertility testing we were told our only option would be to have IVF or more specifically ISCI. After a period of screaming, laughing and crying, we both decided that we wanted to be parents and not necessarily be pregnant to reach that goal. We decided to skip fertility treatment and went straight to the adoption agency to begin the adoption process.

After many hours of research, we approached Procare and officially began the process. After our initial meeting, my husband had a dream that we had a little girl with curly brown hair (I took it as a sign that maybe God would bless us with a biological daughter, as we did not put down a specific gender for our adoption). A few weeks later my sister approached me and said she also had a dream that we had a daughter with curly brown hair! I just kept writing everything down in my journal, trying not to get my hopes up. In this time the name Isabella just resonated with me. The beauty of its meaning and origin struck me and I knew that should we ever have a girl I would name her Isabella.

Fast forward to 9 months after we had our first meeting and we got the call that changed our lives forever. There was a little girl for us and after the matching meeting (where we saw pics of her and her history, there was no doubt that this was our daughter). And so our daughter Isabella who has curly brown hair and eyes is now 2.5 yrs old and the centre of our lives (besides Jesus of course). She is independent, strong-willed and knows what she wants. She loves to dance and sing and has amazing compassion for all living things. I know this little girl is going to do something awesome with her life and God is definitely going to use her to be a mover and a shaker.

I know this little girl is going to do something awesome with her life and God is definitely going to use her to be a mover and a shaker.

Like this story? Why not head over to to view our unique range of #productwithacause. Your purchase is an investment in the life of a child.


Dunaiski Family

Dunaiski Family


Elke + Reima

Another great story from one of our friends, Elke Dunaiski. Not only will her thoughts keep your eyes glued to the screen, her business,  Bright Owl, has a really neat range of hand-illustrated goodies.


It all started with a dream… (Really, it literally did.)

But God laid a lot of groundwork in the years before that. From 2006 to 2010 I lived in the UK, where I worked for a child development charity. For the first time, I realised just how immensely privileged I was – with a stable, loving family, an opportunity to go to university and the freedom to live and work overseas.

I kept asking God why I had so much when others had nothing, until one day I felt Him tell me that I was asking the wrong question. When I asked what the right question was, His answer was unexpected, but something I’ll always carry with me – “Ask Me instead what you should do with what you have.”

Fast forward to June 2012… I was back in South Africa and one night I had the dream – I was holding a little girl who’d fallen and hurt herself. I held her in my arms and when I tried to put her down she clung on tightly. (I’d had similar dreams occasionally over the past six years, but had forgotten about them until I later found notes in my journals.)

The dream stayed with me and I couldn’t shake the thought that God was trying to tell me something, so I Googled “adoption in South Africa”. It felt crazy and out-there! I was in my mid-thirties, single and only just starting to figure out work and life in South Africa after my dad’s death a few months earlier.

I eventually spoke to my pastors, thinking they’d tell me that I’d lost the plot and that would be that. Instead, God had already told them that I wanted to start preparing to adopt. And He continued to confirm it…

So in July 2014 I started my screening process through Wandisa and by April 2015 my name was on RACAP, South Africa’s Register on Adoptable Children and Prospective Adoptive Parents. Just seven weeks later I received the phone call to say that I’d been matched with a three and a half month old baby girl.


Our social workers had told us that it was possible that we’d be matched with children from other parts of the country, so I was incredibly grateful that Reima was from the Western Cape and that my mum, sisters, niece and my friend and photographer, Lizelle Lötter, could come with to bring her home.

Of course we were early! (Apparently the adoptive parents always are.) So it was a nerve-wracking wait until the social worker and her foster mother arrived. (Luckily my nine-month-old niece kept us entertained with her antics.)

My heart pounded so hard when I saw her foster mum carrying the car seat… I got to hold her almost straight away and in between getting to know her foster mother and filling in the forms, I also got to feed her for the first time. (I’m deeply grateful that Lizelle was there to capture the day because it was overwhelming and emotional.)


Everything has changed. And yet not that much. Her needs take precedence, but she’s an extremely easy going (and outgoing) kiddo who’s happiest when she’s around the people she loves. (I think I’d been so busy preparing for the ‘adoption’ part of the process that the amount of fun we have together initially took me by surprise!)

I’m faced daily with the fact that I can never, ever again be complacent about injustice in our country, that within our family of two, “us” and “them” has become “us”. I know that I’m going to face difficult questions from my daughter, and others, for the rest of my life.

I’ve learnt that people will criticise and stare and nudge each other when we walk by – anonymity is a thing of the past. Some days I barely notice it and I always try to assume that people stare simply because they’re curious, but at times the questions and comments can be very personal and invasive.

I’ve cried a lot. I’ve doubted myself and my ability to raise her well. I’ve been afraid. I’ve wondered how I will pay for her education. I work from home, so there are the usual attempts at work/life balance, but the privilege of being able to spend my days with her is one I’m incredibly thankful for.


Wow, where do I start?!?!

On a practical level the screening process was amazing! (I wish everyone who’s planning on becoming a parent had the opportunity to go through the thought processes and learning experiences we had.)

But by far the biggest lesson from our adoption journey has been learning to trust God as my (and her) Father. I worry a lot about providing for her and raising her well, teaching her the right ways, but He keeps reminding me that He’s our Father.



If God has spoken to you about adopting, start! Whether you begin reading more about it, get to know adoptive families or find an agency – start, and see how God walks this journey with you!


My family has been incredible! My one sister, whom we share the house with, is the most amazing aunt and I love the fact that my daughter and my niece (my other sister’s daughter) get to grow up together. They’re just five months apart and are starting to truly enjoy each other’s company. We didn’t grow up with extended family nearby, so the fact that my mum is so close by and so involved in her grandchildren’s lives isn’t something I’ll ever take for granted.

Our church small group is multicultural and crazy funny (important when you’re a slightly tearful, transracial, adoptive mum). They sat with me (many times) as I doubted myself during the screening process and they celebrated with us when she came home. (Just last week they sat listened as I talked and cried about the challenges of raising a daughter on my own. And they buy nappies. And they spend time with her. They love her and me so well…)

And I’ve also discovered an incredible community of adoptive and foster families. When I first started the process I knew of one adoptive family. Now, when our adoptive group gets together, we’re easily ten families and growing continuously. It’s a community that finds each other and I don’t know how I’d do this without them…

But by far the biggest lesson from our adoption journey has been learning to trust God as my (and her) Father. I worry a lot about providing for her and raising her well, teaching her the right ways, but He keeps reminding me that He’s our Father.

*and thanks Lizelle Lötter for the beautiful pics

Like this story? Why not head over to to view our unique range of #productwithacause. Your purchase is an investment in the life of a child.


Getting Education Right

Getting Education Right


Getting Education Right

Freedom leaves us with a responsibility. The South African landscape has seen monumental changes over the last number of years. The future of a generation is cradled in what we do with our freedom. One of the pillars of society is education.

The right to learn, the responsibility to teach

  • Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.  
  • Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.  
  • Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.  

Article 26 – UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights

It is one thing to have the right to education. It is another thing to have the means to exercise that right. Many vulnerable children do not necessarily have the support structure of a functional family or nurturing community. Without this network of care and support, a young child will struggle to benefit from this basic human right.

In the light of Human Rights Day, it is important to also think about the responsibility we have towards these children.


If they have the right to learn, we have the responsibility to teach, and to do what we can to provide an environment within which they can benefit from their basic human right to education.

It is one of the hopes we have at KinCulture. To be able to provide a nurturing environment for vulnerable children where they have the support they need to benefit from their basic human rights, especially also their right to education.

Read more on how you can join is in taking up our responsibility to secure their rights.

Without this network of care and support, a young child will struggle to benefit from this basic human right.

Children’s Rights, Our Responsibility

Children’s Rights, Our Responsibility


Children’s Rights, Our Responsibility

Children are one of South Africa’s greatest commodities. If you have been anywhere outside of your house over the past few years you would know that a lot of the “big people talk” had something to do with politics, the petrol price, corruption and the state of our nation. What about the rights of our children?

According to section 28 of the constitution of South Africa, every child has the right:

  • to family care or parental care, or to appropriate alternative care when removed from the family environment;
  •  to basic nutrition, shelter, basic health care services and social services;
  • to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation;

(extract from LeadSA website , see their website for the full list)

These rights become our responsibility. Children should be nurtured in families; not left to their own devices. Basic nutrition should be normal. In many cases children from entire schools are receiving only one meal per day. The children aren’t fasting or catching the latest social media craze – this is all they have. Do we even look at the child’s right to be protected from abuse? The 7 o’clock news is enough to make you wonder at times.

KIN Culture believes that children  are filled with loads of potential. Our aim is to place every child in a home with a loving family. Receive basic care. Three meals a day, access to medical facilities and a community who believes in them is part of the KIN Culture DNA.

A bright future is held in the hands of our children.


Le Roux Family – A Dad’s View

Le Roux Family – A Dad’s View


Le Roux Family – A Dad’s View

Everyone loves a story. Hearing about other’s experiences entertains, inspires and possibly leaves us with some food for thought at the end. Listening to the Le Roux family’s account of adopting Lukas into their family will probably do all of the above. Up next is Willem. You’ll enjoy reading his part of the story.

I am in some respects the opposite to my beautiful, fun-loving, caring wife. I am quite serious and I like being in control, which the Lord is curing through our children. I was therefore quite nervous when Melissa was pregnant with our first daughter. Suffice to say God has absolutely blown my mind with the capacity that He has created in my heart to love our little mini-me’s!

Nonetheless, as Melissa explained, going through the process to adopt a child was with a dash of trepidation for the unknown. As time passed, the excitement grew on my side as well, feeling a sense of purpose and confident knowing that this was exactly what God wants for Melissa and I to do.

Early on in the process I wondered about the risk was of adopting a child that I might struggle to bond with. However, in wrestling with the Lord, I gained full confidence that my faith and trust could be in our loving Heavenly Father, who gives every good and perfect gift. I never looked back after that.

It did help to have Melissa pouring out her love and affection on Lukas on the day we got him – it took the pressure off me, being slower to respond on the emotions. What I can say is that this little “beertjie” of mine is my first choice, firstborn son and there is no backup plan. I love him so much and I am tempted to convince everyone to adopt a son. He is a source of constant joy, has an infectious laugh and zest for life which inspires me.

Melissa said that adopting Lukas was exactly the same as having biological kids. I fully agree. I would caution everyone going through the same process to drop your expectations, trust God that He is not confused about who He will place in your care and allow yourself to be excited at the prospect of being part of God’s plan for this world. And of course the biggest privilege is to do life with a spirit-being, created by God, with a perfect plan for his or her life and to impart something of God’s way in that spirit.

However, in wrestling with the Lord, I gained full confidence that my faith and trust could be in our loving Heavenly Father, who gives every good and perfect gift. I never looked back after that.

Le Roux Family – A Mom’s View

Le Roux Family – A Mom’s View


Le Roux Family

KIN Culture values family. We are privileged to be connected to many volunteers, families and churches. We believe that family is the fabric of a healthy community, by which we are woven together. For this very reason adoption is at the top of our list.

Willem, Melissa, Mia, Lisa and Lukas are a family from the northern suburbs of Cape Town and have connected with KIN Culture as volunteers. We find their adoption story inspiring and hope that many others will follow suit as we do our bit in building a safe South Africa for our children.

Not many things in this world compares to a mother’s heart and Melissa’s version is an apt reflection. You can come back in a bit for dad’s version ?

I have wanted to adopt from a young age. I love being practical about my faith and so adoption, with my natural love for kids, has just always seemed an obvious way to react to the social issues in our country and the call God places on us to take care of the orphans in our community. I am also an idealist so when I heard the stats that said, should each individual who call themselves Christian, adopt one child we would eradicate the need for orphanages. It was this beautiful idea that finalised my decision that I would adopt some day.

This said, I then met Willem, a man after God’s own heart, but when talking about the possibility of adoption I realized that it was something he had not thought about at all. Rather than badger him about the topic before we got married I felt I should trust God to place the desire to adopt in his heart.

We had been married for two years when we visited my mom’s church one Sunday morning. The pastor made an altar-call for those standing in faith for family members and as a family we all went forward for a family situation we were going through at the time. When we drove home, Willem told me that while he was in front of the church he felt God asking him if he would adopt a child. Willem committed that day to the Lord that he would. Thankfully I married an honourable man whose yes is his yes.

When we started our family planning, we decided that we would like to have two biological children before adopting. The excitement grew as the years went by.

It was with great excitement that we contacted ProCare in Wellington towards the end of 2015. We wanted the gap between our second and third child to be about two years.The process took us just short of 9 months before we got our call that our baby would be waiting for us on our return of a June Holiday in 2016. I felt as if we had waited an eternity.

On the 12th of June, we went to pick up Lukas Willem Sibusiso (the names we gave him). Our dream came true. Not only for us but for his two sisters. They simply adore their baby brother.

I had been praying for Lukas for many years by now, but I believe that God showed me that we are primarily spiritual beings before we are soul and body. I therefore regularly prayed that his spirit, which isn’t bound by time or space, would never have experienced being orphaned. He has always been wanted, dreamt of and hoped for. He has always been our son.

I can truly say that the adoption process is so similar to having biological children. The waves of emotion, the elation and the fears, how tired you get at times, the pride and the unconditional extravagant love is all the same.

Lukas was smiling the day we picked him up and hasn’t stopped, except when we are late with his food. A typical boy.

That first night home I remember cuddling him, all sorts of ‘what if’ questions popped up into my mind, I entrusted all those fears to the Lord that night and without exception have experienced Him completely dispelling all my anxious thoughts.

I can truly say that the adoption process is so similar to having biological children. The waves of emotion, the elation and the fears, how tired you get at times, the pride and the unconditional extravagant love is all the same.

We have an amazing family and community around us who have been as excited to make Lukas part of their lives and as with our older children, which has made this part of our life story an even greater joy.

I have also learnt to enjoy the connection Lukas and I have with the outside world. At first it made me uneasy and protective that people would look in our direction when we were in the public. I quickly realised that people are curious. It would be a waste of my emotional energy if I chose to be offended at every glance. My more relaxed approach to lingering stares has led to the most wonderful chats with perfect strangers. I love seeing how our baby boy’s smile disarms the most fervent critic. He is changing the world already and he is only 10 months old.

Coetsee Family

Coetsee Family


Markus, Celeste + Levi

KIN Culture is built around family. We are privileged to share the story of our friends, Markus Celeste and Levi. Here goes:

The Markus and Celeste story

“Markus and Celeste, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Baby in a baby carriage.”

Or at least that’s what we thought when we got married more than 6 years ago. We started dating in 2006 after our roads crossed as leaders of our previous church’s youth leadership and bumping into each other on campus at the University of Stellenbosch. Markus was studying Accounting and I just started my studies in Educational Psychology (fresh out of high school and very in-love).

Both of us knew we wanted a big family, and we talked about it even when we were dating. Shortly after our first anniversary we decided that the time was right for our family to expand, but after many long months of anxiously anticipating two blue lines and only ever seeing one, we realised that this might be one of those (many) times in life where things do not quite go according to our “5 year plan”. Which is actually great. For it is when things do not quite go according to our plans that we only learn the truth there is in “His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts higher than our thoughts”, and that though “many are the plans in a man’s heart, the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” Today we can truly testify that God’s purpose prevails – especially when our plans seem to fail.

Although we believe that nothing was or is impossible for our Heavenly Father, we never fully realised what He was starting to do in our hearts. It is only now, when we glance over our shoulder, that we see His hand shaping us in unexpected ways.

In 2012, at our church’s annual conference, Rick Rusaw was one of the speakers, and he shared about the change that came in their broader community when the faith community started to make adoption and foster care a priority. At one stage they reached a point of having more homes available than children needing homes. This struck a chord in both of our hearts. What if we could be part of seeing a similar change happen in South Africa?

A small seed was planted in our hearts and started taking root slowly but surely as we began to notice people around us embarking on the journey of adoption. Since then we have had the privilege to see and learn from friends, like Elke Dunaiski and Ben & Izelle, Viljoen who have opened up their hearts and homes to their new children.

We took the first step on the 14th of July 2015 when we walked into the offices of Abba Adoptions, starting our process. In the first week of October we officially completed our screening, having ticked all the boxes. In our case we requested for the matching to only start in January because of work-related issues. We thought the waiting would have passed quicker, as some days were tough and our patience grew thin.

On the 11th of May we got the call from our social worker, Blanché, to inform us that they found a possible match. Our hearts exploded! After 5 years of trusting and sometimes wondering, we were actually going to be entrusted with a baby. The 26th of May was one of our most memorable days – Levi Lunathi Coetsee came home!

How has Levi’s arrival impacted your life?

Levi’s homecoming was truly a fulfilment of many years’ prayers and supplications. He adapted easily (to add, he is a very easy-going chap, which made the practical adjustment easier on us). When we think about the fact that we cannot imagine our lives without him in it, we realise that he has changed our ideas of what it means to become a father and mother.

This has also become evident in our family’s response – the things we were worried about beforehand has not even featured in behaviour or words.


Some days reactions from society challenges one again and then we remind ourselves that God has grace with us, we should also give the gift of grace to those who do not understand or are just curious about our family’s story and make-up. Although we did not adopt in order to cross some unseen bridges, it has become a reality and we are thankful that with Levi as our son, we have opportunities every day to have meaningful conversations with those strangers and friends.

What have you learned from this process?

For Celeste – I have learnt to remain humble and teachable – he is not the ‘lucky’/’blessed/ one, WE are. During the last week of preparations for his homecoming I experienced a profound moment during worship at our church – God came to show me the first adoption in Scripture, Moses. I saw his mother putting him in the basket… it was never God’s plan A for Moses to grow up away from his mother, but in the midst of brokenness and hurt, God made a way for Moses to flourish despite circumstances.

For Markus – I have come to realise that adoption can be much more “natural” than many would think. So many “normal” parenting challenges are exactly the same with biological vs adopted children, and so are the benefits or blessings. You are as excited to see the child develop, and to discover who they will become, and yet you will also need to learn boundaries and how to discipline. How “natural” it seems is often more a state of the mind and heart than anything else.

We also realised that there is beauty within the waiting, even if it feels like forever. Our process lasted almost exactly the same time as a normal pregnancy and we saw how God prepared our hearts the same way as with any pregnancy. Adoption now feels like the most natural thing and even if there are times of fear and doubt, I guess it is the same with any new parent.

WHOOO HOOO!!! When God placed this seed in your heart, know that He will make a way for its fulfilment. Believe us, God is for you in this – we have seen it in natural and unimaginable ways.

What would you say to others considering adoption? Why do you think it is important?

First reaction: WHOOO HOOO!!! When God placed this seed in your heart, know that He will make a way for its fulfilment. Believe us, God is for you in this – we have seen it in natural and unimaginable ways.

Also, know that you are not alone on this journey. With an increasing awareness of adoption in general and community of adoptive families forming there is an immense amount of support, knowledge and wisdom to draw from and add to. Link to people who have walked the road before you and become part of their lives – we have experienced the difference it makes to have people who know the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of adoption and have dealt with the unique experiences like screening, the waiting, adapting in society, bonding and attachment, etc.

Finally, make use of one of the wonderful adoption agencies we have in South Africa. They are truly experts and every social worker I have met involved in this process has a heart of gold – they want the best for the child, which in the end is the best for the adoptive parents as well. The screening process can sometimes feel like a mountain of paperwork and admin, but the agencies create a space to grow as future parent and family, and in the end they play a big role in preparing you for the journey. Our social worker guided us all the way and we are very thankful for the (big) part she played in our story.

*and thanks Lizelle Lötter for the beautiful pics

Like this story? Why not head over to to view our unique range of #productwithacause. Your purchase is an investment in the life of a child.


Get Involved with Kin Care

Get Involved with Kin Care


Get Involved in KIN Care

Social responsibility has taken on a difference face in recent times. Donating old toys, cooking a meal or simply lending a helping hand has become very common in South Africa. That is a really good thing by the way.

KIN Culture aims to make long term difference to the face of South Africa. Consider a nation with 5 million orphans and an increasing amount of vulnerable children. In 15 years from now these children will be teenagers. Another 10 years down the line and these children will be the up and coming business people, government officials and members of society. Get the picture? We believe that it is in a nation’s best interest to look after it’s children. Join us as we gather around the problem and become part of the solution.


We would like to invite you to our KIN Care info evening.

An overview of the organisation, current status, parenting and care network opportunities within KIN Care will be discussed. RSVP with your name and cell number to

Inspired by Luvo Manyonga

Inspired by Luvo Manyonga


Inspired by Luvo Manyonga

The Olympics are here! Rio 2016 has delivered a buffet of memorable performances and inspirational stories to match. One particular athlete’s journey has caught our attention, that of Luvo Manyonga.

He is a South African long jump athlete who just added an Olympic silver medal to his list of achievements. In his own words, this is a dream come true. He said “I rose from my demons, they have been trying to pull me down but now I made it, I can’t even describe it.”

Until about four years ago, Luvo Manyonga, was heading downhill. In his estimation he may have been about 5 or 10 percent away from death. He suffered from a tik (crystal meth) addiction, which he refers to as the devil.

His story starts in Mbekweni, just outside Paarl. A community rife with gangs and violence, using drugs is a common activity among the youth in the area. This lifestyle has the ability to pull you in, deplete you of everything you are and have before eventually leaving you for dead. Luvo Manyonga was leading a life far too common in South African townships.

This young man has etched his name into Olympic history – Luvo Manyonga – Long Jump Silver Medalist.

These are the kind of stories behind the vision of KIN Culture. In an area with such opulence, it seems unthinkable to find communities where children are left to their own devices. We are building a community where vulnerable children will be loved and nurtured to their full potential. We are inspired by sport as a vehicle to transform lives. Who knows, maybe one day Luvo will share his story on the village or even better….a few “Luvos” will come from KIN Culture.


Read some more of his story on: or

The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing


The Next Big Thing

As a nation, South Africans are no strangers to “lending a helping hand” or even just cracking a joke with the cashier. After all, ‘Mandela Day’ has its roots in our soil.

We just spent the last month hearing, doing and possibly wondering about our 67 minutes. Its been on the radio, in the papers and obviously all over social media. If you work in a medium to large sized company you would have embraced this day and been out on the street or at the tiny creche down the road doing your part, printed t-shirt and all. Or maybe you were part of a church group delivering tinned food to the local shelter.

Doing good has certainly become part of who we are as South Africans. The kind-hearted nature of Madiba has made its way into our being, even if only for that one day in the year. 18 July.
As one would expect of a consumerist, social media inspired culture, we often look for the next best thing.

Being known for giving tinned food to the needy, caring for children or just helping the elderly is probably the best thing you can do with your day; any day. Could the ‘Next Best Thing’ be loving your neighbour as yourself?

Cultivating Community

Cultivating Community


Cultivating Community

1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.

2. the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.
”the sense of community that organized religion can provide”

The word community seems to be a buzzword among people like me, those who are desperately trying to detach themselves from the world of materialism and consumerism (well at least that’s the perception of myself that I hope I portray). In a world that is constantly attempting to drive us apart, segregate us, grade us and rate us, how beautiful is the soft hum of the phrase “a particular characteristic in common”. This idea that there is a group of people out there that not only will tolerate my differences, but revere them, celebrate them and agree with them. They actually have characteristics in common with me, they are in this group because they chose to be, not because I paid them, forced them or coerced them.

Even more delicious than the first definition is the second, beyond characteristics, those in community with you have shared attitudes and interests, This means that those who you find in your community have developed a settled way of thinking or feeling about the world that we live in. They have an innate desire to know or learn something about you and what you stand for. And more often than not, they stand for the same things. In a world where social media drives us apart, titles define us and likes boost our self-esteem, how glorious is it to know that when you find yourself within a community of like-minded people, you have the undivided attention of decent human beings that treasure your opinion and celebrate that which makes you, you.

The greatest lesson we can ever learn is to treat others as we would like to be treated, and I don’t believe that there is a sound-mind on earth that can refute that simple yet powerful statement.

I think, with my admittedly limit knowledge of the universe and its workings, that true community begins with the cultivation of empathy and kindness, a fiercely passionate striving to understand and share the feelings of another while being friendly, generous, and considerate. The greatest lesson we can ever learn is to treat others as we would like to be treated, and I don’t believe that there is a sound-mind on earth that can refute that simple yet powerful statement. The sad reality of buzz words and in vogue topics is that they are often spoke about, wrote about and desired, but struggle to make their way to fruition. Creating a community or attempting to enter one is terrifying, it involves putting yourself out there, being selfless, putting away the smartphone that you hide behind, taking the focus off yourself and striving to understand another.The real question then becomes, if this idea of community sounds so wonderful, am I cultivating one? Am I brave enough to enter one? If there is one thing that I can leave you with today, it is this; We have no control over anyone or anything other than ourselves. If we would like to create this group of people that have empathy, kindness and a shared interest in everyone’s well-being, then the only place we can start is ourselves. Are you ready to cultivate your community?

(Author: Jessica Carolissen)