Crowd funding is something I always envisioned doing for someone else – NOT for myself. But if this campaign is successful, it will not only benefit me – it will have a big impact on the lives of people very dear to me – and that is what motivated me to finally take this step.
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My name is Heidi, and I live in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa, with my husband Gert, and our two adorable children; Neels, aged 3, and Emma, 10 months old.
When Gert and I dated, he walked more than 4km every day after work to come and visit me – now, due to glaucoma, he cannot even see well enough to walk around the block without his cane. And even if I walk with him, the going is slower than usual, because I have to be able to warn him in advance if there are obstacles.
Gert was retrenched end of January 2015, when the company he worked for had a bad financial setback. By then, his sight had already been deteriorating at a rapid pace. Yet, he did not sit back and sulk because of his misfortune – he went right on doing what he does best (working as a sound engineer), only changing the premises he worked from. And to this day, unless it’s pouring with rain, Gert will walk down to the studio and put in a full day’s work – whether he has a client or not, because he believes in always improving his skill by learning new techniques, and practicing them until he does them well. And he uses this time to do marketing - all this while continuing to lose his sight. (He is almost completely blind by now.)
I was at home with Neelsie when Gert got retrenched. So, when this happened, I immediately went out looking for work. Looking for work and getting to interviews with a baby is no joke, especially if you have to walk. I finally got a job as a secretary, only to also be retrenched 10 months later in 2016, when the company went through a rough patch – 2 months before going on maternity leave with little Emma. We were devastated.
I literally used every waking moment to look for work, even staying up longer at night to improve my chances of securing employment. In the meantime, Gert’s studio went through a rough time too – sometimes we didn’t even know how we could manage to buy food… Were it not for the invaluable support from family and friends, we do not know how we would have survived. The going is still rough, but business is slowly picking up, and I now have a job again, working as an office administrator.
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This is where you come in. I have to travel long distances to get to and from work, with long stretches not having access to public transport, which means I rely on other people daily to help me get to and from work. It also means that I cannot control my travelling time, causing me to only get home from 19:00 onward at night. That in turn requires me to also look to other people to help get the kids from creche at the end of the day. This is an unfair burden to place on someone else’s shoulders.
We desperately need a car! But because of the long periods of unemployment, we cannot secure a loan, and even if we could, our income bracket is too low to afford deposit-free instalments. Please make it possible for me to get Gert and the kids (and myself) to our required destinations – on time, without having to worry about rain or severe weather conditions.
Neelsie is very brave – most of the time he does not complain with the long distances he has to walk, and he helps me where he can, but sometimes he does want to be carried (especially after a long day of walking), and usually it is not possible for me to do so, because of all the other ‘luggage’ I have to carry (kids’ bag with snacks, extra clothing, etc., as well as any shopping that may have been done along the way).
This will really mean so much to us!!