A Lentegeur adventurer did not allow his challenges to stop him from bringing awareness to social ills in disadvantaged areas and raising funds for an orphanage.
Rudy van Dieman, 27, from Lentegeur runs Pro3six5 Adventures PTY, which was previously called Project 365.
Project 365 hosted hikes for the community up Table Mountain using the Platteklip Gorge route. The goal was to achieve 365 summits up Table Mountain last year. The funds are being raised through a crowdfunding campaign.
He has partnered with Angel’s SA non-profit organisation from Colorado Park for the project (“Lentegeur man on a mission to build orphanage” Plainsman January 19, 2022).
Mr Van Dieman has managed to complete 223 days, seven months of walking.
He was out for weeks and couldn’t get back to that level of fitness he’d hoped for, he said.
He has also raised R53 000 for the orphanage, some of it donated from his pocket, he said.
“I had an injury with my hip and knee, it was giving me major problems. I went to a physiotherapist and he tried his best to bring me back. It was due to the hiking and strain I put on my body,” he said.
The journey doesn’t stop here. Pro3six5 Adventures is a campaign he created to raise awareness around the orphanage in Mitchell’s Plain as well as the social ills.
He left his job in May last year, and started Pro3six5 Adventures. He wanted more freedom to speak about the work he is doing with his clients and to raise awareness around issues affecting children and people in the community.
“There’s not a lot of coloured owned companies out there. Some don’t understand the situation, how we grew up and what’s really happening,” he said.
He will be bringing the youth to his hikes, one day for boys, one day for girls, he said.
“I got my first booking in December. It was worth it and it paid off well for the future. I am working hard, applying a strong work ethic, focusing on the purpose, enjoying everything and being happy with what I choose. Money will come at a later stage,” he said.
“I believe in this cause. We’re starting fresh this year. We will host fundraisers, we have to come up with creative ways to help our communities,” he said.
“I’ve been hiking since last year, not a lot of people are doing it and are interested. We need a lot of support. However, this project is bigger than we think,” he said.
The orphanage is a plan for the future and raising awareness of it. “Once it has been built they can see how hard we’ve been working towards it. It will take time, the orphanage is a dream for Angels SA chairperson Farieda Moses, from Colorado Park. Her dream became my dream and I want to help her. I look up to her,” he said.
Ms Moses said she felt honoured and blessed for the help from Mr Van Dieman.
“For a young person that wants to take the initiative and do this for not only me but many other children that needs a place of safety, love, care and most importantly a place to call home,” she said.
“It was firstly a challenge and very tough for me but I pushed through because I saw what an inspiration Rudy is to the group he leads up the mountain. As he climbs, may he reach the top, that’s how you should take on every challenge and goal in your life the sky is the limit,” said Ms Moses.
A lot of people supported him and helped him in marketing and gear. A travel channel allowed him to openly speak about his journey; it will be aired in America and Canada, he said.
The locals are something he wants to focus on. Some of those along his path have disappointed him. “I’m also grateful that I got an opportunity to grow and life doesn’t always happen the way it should and that’s also okay,” he said.
Mr Van Dieman wants to create opportunities for young people through hiking. My life is a lot bigger than this. The work ethic must be instilled into our youth,” he said.
Stop normalising unhealthy things. Our mindset needs to change, say enough is enough and tackle these negative social ills,” he said.
Zubair Jacobs, who joined him on a hike, said a few weeks ago, Rudy happily arranged for the Hifz Academy to attend. “What an amazing experience it was. The main lesson I took from the hike is that perseverance is key. The road ahead might seem dark but there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.
“Rudy, continue to encourage the hiking movement as I believe it’s one step closer to creating a resilient and powerful community,” said Zubair.
Mr Van Dieman’s hikes to locals are free especially in the underprivileged areas. For more information contact him on 069 558 6266 or firstname.lastname@example.org