I sit here writing this update, as tears well up and my heart breaks as has happened to most of my family and extended family tonight - I know that the fire season is upon us and for many this has caused devastating affects.
However just two years ago so many of you helped save the life, give hope and a home, to a man who at that time had been robbed not just of all his worldly possessions but emotionally crushed by the death of his newborn baby to Malaria as he could not get his wife and little baba here to South Africa - you guys saved our Malawian Blessing... Blessings, and he used those savings to build up his life here. Get his wife and their newborn little one to South Africa & build his home. Just look at his Whatsapp picture he is the proudest family man and pops I know!
Tonight that was destroyed. Blessings called my brother in law Bruce to let him now that his ‘home’ had been burnt down and all his wife was able to save where their passports (that desperate not to return to a country that stole their firstborn).
As a family we ask you to please help us with anything you can give Blessings, his wife and their now toddler. Anything at all not just money.
Blessings has worked for each of our families and we all adore this man. He is kind and gentle, fill of integrity and love and works as befittingly as his nickname, Turbo.
Again I know so many people are in dire situations so if you can assist in anyway Blessings, his little family and ours will be forever grateful.
You can donate money here or please contact Bruce on 0823370962 for his banking details or myself (Jo-Jo 0824619996) if you have anything from clothing, to cooking utensils, bedding etc that you could donate.
UPDATE ON BLESSINGS - 9th September 2016
It was so incredible to see 'Turbo' Blessings at our house today, as he starts to do odd jobs for my folks.
He gave me a heartwarming update, that had us both smiling from ear to ear!
Not only did him as his wife have a safe return from Malawi, but they are in the process of getting permanent residence!
AND blessing of all blessings ...
After the devastating loss of their baby to Malaria, Blessings wife is now in the early stages of pregnancy!!!
Thanks again to so many incredible people for helping this special guy out! Lyndall Smith Mikhaila Katz Roxy Mulder Tayrene Barrett Justine Miller Maggie Miller Megan Fellner Dominic Darne Kerry Pallas
He is literally radiating from all the love shone upon him and still a little in awe and amazed that people would help him!
Because this has turned out to be such an amazing initiative started by my selfless brother in law Bruce Darné and because our Turbo is just the most grateful, special person even through his heart wrenching and tough journey in life, I would like to think that we can all carry on with helping to #BlessBlessings.
He still has no home and with a new baby on the way any donations would help in the form of clothes and nappies etc.
We also need to ensure that when going to Malawi his wife, himself and new baby are protected from Malaria with items such as mosquito nets,citronella candles and oil.
If you are keen to assist please let myself or Bruce know and we can organize collection of items.
Alternatively we still have his donor page set up and you can donate on this page via PayPal or into Bruce's bank account via EFT.
Account Holder: Bruce Darné
Account Number: 1009742647
Branch Code: 100909
Proof of Payment can be sent to Bruce at [email protected] or 0823370962.
Please use your name and what items you would like us to use your donation for, in the email subject line or as a reference.
We will always credit and mention you amazing, kind and beautiful souls who help make another life one worth living .... Please let us know if you would rather stay anonymous.
Blessings came into my life in January 2013 and for some reason - I would like to think it is an inherent instinct I have to recognize good and kind people - my heart immediately went out to this tiny but strong young man.
At this point Blessings was absolutely desperate for work and trying to support his wife - then pregnant with their first child. Having been in South Africa for a few months he had overstayed his welcome and his visa and was in dire financial straits, yet making the trip back to Malawi, his place of birth, was not possible if he did not earn the money to do so. Add to this the additional stress caused from the knowledge that returning to his country would mean that Blessings would battle even more to support his little family, in a place where jobs are so few and far between. Blessings was a truly desperate man, and seeing this I knew I had to give him a chance.
I started giving Blessings odd jobs around the house and in the garden. In time this man of such diminutive stature proved to be an unbelievably strong, dedicated and hard worker. Putting in the effort of 3 men when doing any job I asked of him.
Slowly but surely because of his amazing work ethic together with his gentle, kind and willing nature, Blessings began working as a gardener for other people including ourselves.
Blessings had found work and was able to support his little family as his wife had given birth to a beautiful baby boy - He also quickly earned himself the nickname among his employers of 'Turbo' due to his ability to get everything done so efficiently and so quickly!
And then whilst everything seemed to be coming right in this mans life the worst tragedy struck.
Blessings family back home in Malawi were desperate to meet their new grandson and nephew - yet another thing I found endearing about Blessings and something I can relate to as a husband, son, brother and father, is his closeness and dedication to his family - and so with the little money he had saved up Blessings sent his wife and new baby boy to meet his family.
On their return, less then a week after being reunited with his wife and baby boy, Blessings little guy became terribly ill and landed up in hospital with Malaria. Three days later Blessings and his wife had to say goodbye to this tiny new member of their family, when he sadly and tragically passed away.
They say a parent should never have to bury their child and I think that this cannot be more true especially when it comes to having to bury a tiny baby. A little human completely dependent on you to exist and a precious soul with their entire life stretched out before them - as the father of a three and a half year old and a one month old, I cannot even begin to imagine the heartache and sheer desperation Blessings and his wife felt and still feel to this day.
BUT upholding his incredible work ethic and knowing he is the sole provider, Blessings continued to work 6 days a week for fourteen months and at full 'turbo' in order to save the money he needed in order to return to Malawi and reunite with his wife to be with their family and finally have the chance to mourn the loss of their baby boy.
Fast forward to the 3rd May 2016. Taking R 7000, all the money he had earned working so hard for me and other people, Blessing began the 3 day journey from Cape Town to Johannesburg where he would then get on a bus and return to Malawi.
Desperate to keep his life savings safe; Blessings hid this money in the very shoes and socks he was wearing - The tragedy that a man should have to hold on so tightly to an amount of money we could spend so very easily in just a few days on trivial and nonessential items again strikes me as so very sad and burdens my heart.
And then Tragedy struck this man again. On arrival in Johannesburg, Blessings was stopped and searched by corrupt members of the Johannesburg police service. These men, meant to stop crime and corruption, not only stole all of the R 7000 Blessings had worked so hard to earn but also locked him up in a cell and threatened him with deportation if a bribe was not paid. For these men stealing another mans hard earned money was not enough, having the upper hand in 'terms of the law' they knew that Blessings should not be in the country and so further tried to exploit this already desperate human being.
Blessings contacted me and in sheer desperation for this young man I have come to respect, I decided that I would pay a bribe of R 1000 to the police - let it be known this is something I am completely against - and then get Blessings on his bus to Malawi. He needed his family and he has worked so hard for the dream which was just within his reach that was so very nearly snatched away and perhaps still was as Blessings is left penniless.
Blessings dream and plans, were and still are to return to South Africa with his wife where he wants to apply for a proper working permit.
However this money stolen from him, his life's worth and savings, was the money he would use to take time to grieve and then return to South Africa in a timeous fashion in order to continue working on the jobs he had fought to secure and worked so hard at, in order to keep.
My fear is that Blessing now returns home empty handed. Which means he will not have the means to return to South Africa and keep these jobs which belong to 'Turbo' our hard working blessing.
This young man has suffered too many tragedies in this life and as I mentioned in the beginning of this story when meeting Blessings my gut instinct was correct. This is a good, kind, gentle, humble and hard working man who deserves a little break in life.
And so I would like to start and initiative to bless Blessings. Let's all get together and get Blessings back to South Africa as soon as we can so he can keep his jobs and carry on being the 'turbo' he is!
If this story touches your heart and you would like to, or are able to assist with any size donation towards Blessings and his wife's journey back to South Africa, where he can fulfill his dreams then please donate by following the prompts on this page. Donations can be made via PayPal.
You can also donate money via EFT into my bank account and this donation will then be shown on this page as "Money Raised Offline" with your name (if you would like) and the amount you donate.
Please use your email address as your reference!
Account Holder: Bruce Darné
Account Number: 1009742647
Branch Code: 100909
Proof of Payment can be sent to Bruce at [email protected] or 0823370962
I will then make sure this money gets to Blessings in his own currency - the Malawian kwacha.
I feel we can do this in two weeks - I challenge myself and all of you to get this done. Let the bless Blessings journey back to South Africa, begin now!
UPDATE 10th May 2016
IN JUST 5 DAYS WE DID IT - $1000 (R 16 627) RAISED & GOAL COMPLETE ... BLESSINGS CAN COME HOME & HAVE HIS LIFE SAVINGS RETURNED
....and with the extra funds YOU have made it possible to help him start his life in South Africa....to my amazing brother-in-law Bruce Darné who started this initiative, you have a heart of gold I am proud to have you as a brother!
MOST IMPORTANTLY ~ AN INCREDIBLY HEARTFELT THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU AMAZING, INCREDIBLE, SPECIAL, BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE for your GENEROUS DONATIONS. We will keep you updated with pictures of Blessings and his wife as their story unfolds.
... this world needs more people like you as there are so many stories like this one where people in dire straits need assistance.
Kerry Pallas - R 1530 | &100
Tayrene Barrett R 1000 | $66
Lyndall Smith R 765 | $50
Mikhaila Katz - R 300 | $21
Roxy Mulder - R 500 | $33
Anonymous donor - R 7000 | $463
Kathryn-Leigh Storm - R 500 | $33
Dominic Darné & Barclays Bank - R 2000 | $131
Amanda Grose - R 2000 | $131
Adriaan Theron - R 200 | $13
Justine & Gary Miller - R 200 | $13
Megan Fellner - R 500 | $33
Jojo & Debs Bayvel - R 500 | $33
By Bruce Darné co-written by Jojo Bayvel