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My name is Jakes Koekemoer. I am from a small tourism town called Hoedspruit. Located in South Africa, in the province of Limpopo. I have grown up in Hoedspruit most of my life. Hoedspruit has always been near to my heart. I've been in the tourism industry for 16 years. I met my, now, wife in 2018 and was very privileged to marry the woman of my dreams on the 13 July 2019. My first passion in life is Family. 26 September 2019 we add the 5th member to our new family and in October we started our new business. "Rock-Steady Safaris". My second passion in life is the bush. I started freelance guiding offering my services to lodges on a contract basis. March our world stopped dead. The reason was/is covid-19. I classify myself as a hard working individual. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I want to support my family but our beloved tourism industry is just about shattered. I've tried various different employment options variable in my area, we all in the same boat. There are no opportunities dew to this lockdown and pandemic . I've seen great business/lodges close their doors, colleague's and friends that have been working for years with the same companies getting retreached. We would not of made it this far, if it was not for our community. I will for ever be grateful for their help, but 145 days/4.5 months down the line and the support has subsided but our greatest down fall is a financial one. Our local tourism has opened but locals isn't exactly our main source of income. Its our international clients that we need. Our government also has not give any real insight as to when our borders will be opening. Most predictions are hopeful for Feb-June 2021. In the meantime we still have to pay loans, bills, rent, school fees, medical expenses, buy groceries, nappies, formula etc...... 2 teenage boys and a 11 month old still have their needs that need to be met. Im living in fear all the time. When the phone rings or I hear there's someone at the door my heart starts racing. Even tho we are in lockdown the debit collectors just keep harassing us for payments and collections. Our accommodation is the real problem. Landlords need payments. I've tried explaining my situation but to no avail. Notice of eviction is inevitable and I can't let my family go yo the streets.
As a freelance guide I haven't had any assists from unemployment funds at all, after countless call, SMS and emails.
I am not someone that asks for money, but for my families sake I am asking for assistance. Please, please if anyone could assist me I would be deeply grateful.
Thank you in advance
- Jakes Koekemoer
- Campaign Owner
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