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Newsletter 3 – 2023

Dear friends of Hope and Light,


“Running helped me through one of the most difficult situations in my life,” says Matthias Hamann, who will be taking part in the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon on 15 October. “Every journey of grief is personal, at your own pace, and different from others. With running, I managed to deal with my grief.” However, he realised that there must be more to running than just personal satisfaction. He continued to be confronted by the same question: “Why do you run only for yourself? I realised that I’m forever busy trying to do something good for myself, when there are others who need help as well.”

In the marathon community, it has become common practice to use personal running highlights as a hook to raise specific amounts of money for a good cause among friends and acquaintances or in cooperation with companies. And this is exactly what Matthias – who also sponsors a Grade 3 learner at Hope and Light – decided to do when he heard about the financial challenges currently faced by Hope and Light.
Since the beginning of the year, we need to raise €15,000 (approx. 25% of our budget) every month to cover expenses which have previously been funded by Hope and Light Germany. A seemingly impossible task! We are therefore extremely grateful for each and every initiative helping us to keep the lights on and the hope alive.
Judith’s last visit to Germany saw the start of a very positive collaboration with Dr Hermann and Dorothea Gschwandter in Gelnhausen. This father-and-daughter team forms the leadership of the organisation Helping Hands e.V., boasting several decades of experience in social development and project support services between them. First discussions between the two organisations were held in April and by June Hope and Light was added as a new project. Helping Hands aims to offer impactful, culturally appropriate and sustainable support by reinforcing the value and dignity of local communities and empowering them to help themselves. We could not agree more with this vision! Three large donations have already been made to us via Helping Hands and we are looking forward to further fruitful developments in the future.

From left to right: Blackie Swart (Principal), Anthea Jacobs and Judith Hill (SA Board), Tanja Werheit (German Consular-General)
From left to right: Blackie Swart (Principal), Anthea Jacobs and Judith Hill (SA Board), Tanja Werheit (German Consular-General)
Visit by the Girl Guides Helderberg: an empowerment programme for girls

Our latest initiatives were confirmed by the German Consul General, Tanja Werheit, Cape Town who visited Hope and Light in August and pointed out the projects which are considered priority by the Federal Republic of Germany and therefore present the most likely opportunities for state funding from the Federal Republic. The exchange with Ms Werheit was very insightful and we were humbled by her interest in our work, which we hope will enable us to build new relationships. 

We want to apply for a project grant in the coming week and hopefully it will enable us to launch our long-anticipated solar power project.

The end of July saw the election of the Children’s Village Board, consisting of individuals with experience in various fields such as governance, education (school for blind and disabled children), church, commerce, human resources, etc. These new developments, along with a renewed interest in the work of the organisation by the communities surrounding Hope and Light, gives us the hope that a more sustainable support network can be attained for the sake of the children who have been placed under our care.

Looking towards 2024, we have many dreams and ideas, the most realistic of which could be the CISCO project, which was envisaged two years ago, but never got off the ground. The vocational training offered by this project would enable our learners to be better equipped for a more practical career after school and increase their chances of getting employed. In the past week, we were able to resume our talks with the principal of a vocational school in Wiesloch, Klaus Heeger, who is currently working on a draft concept for this project.

Several important vacancies need to be filled: we urgently require more youth workers for our Children’s Village, reliable ground staff, trained teaching staff for children with special needs, a social worker for the school, a secretary for the board of directors and/or an assistant for the sponsorship programme …

ut can we afford to dream and plan? Will we even survive this year? We remain hopeful! And we remain reliant on your support. Let us keep on “running the good race” together.


Matthias’ fund-raising initiative is a great opportunity to do just that.

Please support him on the following link:


Thank you!


Kind regards from the entire team at Hope and Light SA

Neville Petersen, Anthea Jacobs, Judith Hill

PS: We are now B-BBEE-accredited, which means that we are gaining more traction as a sponsorship support programme for local businesses. This has seen us receive some financial and material donations from companies such as Cell C, Old Mutual, TechSupport, FNB, Nedbank, Sanlam, IP Comms, pPenBev in the last year. Please recommend us as a social project for your business! If you live in South Africa, please make use of the free MySchool card to support Hope and Light as a beneficiary every time you go shopping.