Where Rainbows Meet, non-profit organisation in Vrygrond has welcomed the generosity of a Dutch couple who cycled from the Netherlands to South Africa to raise almost 2.500 Euros (R52 744.25) for the struggling organisation.
Jan Willem van Dalen, 58, and Nancy Kuper, 56, took eight months, from September 18 to May 17, after cycling , flying a small part of the trip by plane and also taking lifts, to get to Vrygrond.
Mymoena Scholtz, founder of Where Rainbows Meet, said the initiative started through the couple’s daughter Aranka van Dalen, a volunteer at Rainbows, who told her parents about their need for funds. It is just amazing that someone would do such an amazing act of kindness to try and support the organisation. This act gives us hope and a stronger force to continue the much needed work in the vulnerable communities we serve. No matter the challenges we continue to offer various services.”
Nancy Kuper said they started from their home in Steenwijk. “We slept everywhere – mainly in our tent, also via platforms and slept on couches and we had warm showers in people’s homes, hotels, guest houses and lodges.”
Ms Kuper said they received donations from people who followed the journey. “We have extended the promotion because we think that with our story about the visit to Rainbows we can collect extra money.”
Ms Kuper said almost everyone in the Netherlands cycles. “We cycled together for 35 years during holidays. First with only the two of us and later with our two daughters.”
Ms Scholtz said their organisation is in dire need of funding. “When one builds an organisation it is either you get a funder that supports an idea or someone who sees there is a huge need for development in impoverished areas such as Vrygrond.
“When we built the organisation it was due to the outcry of the people. Not having any financial support in the early days of the organisation, we still established it from our personal funds. If we do not get any funding towards our organisation we are facing huge challenges which could mean a disadvantage for so many beneficiaries,” Ms Scholtz said.
“Although we have a few companies that support every year, nationally and internationally, it is not enough long term. This is where our cyclists played a pivotal role by raising funds towards our skills development programmes.”