Lentegeur man on a mission to build orphanage

Rudy van Dieman’s is pictured in front. With Project 365 he hosts hikes for the community up Table Mountain using the Platteklip Gorge route.

A 26-year-old Lentegeur resident is on a mission to build a community orphanage by raising funds through a hiking project.

Rudy van Dieman’s Project 365 hosts hikes for the community up Table Mountain using the Platteklip Gorge route.

The goal is to achieve 365 summits up Table Mountain this 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.

He came up with the project two years ago. His coach Andrew Patterson raised funds for three different charities, One Heart (education), Habitat for Humanity (housing), The Sunflower Fund (leukaemia), in his project called 365 Ubuntu Climbs. Mr Patterson continues to help children with their education and believes no child should be without an education. He assists with the necessary tools needed for a child to help with their school career, he said.

“This inspired me to do the same. I want to bring a strong awareness to the youth as well as the work ethic to people in Mitchell’s Plain. How will I be doing this? By applying a challenge to my life,” said Mr Van Dieman.

He still has a full-time job, takes care of his parents and has many things to do in his life, he said. “That’s most of us in Mitchell’s Plain. I am doing all I can to survive,” said Mr Van Dieman.

Rudy van Dieman says some days he hikes alone and other days with a group of people.

“Even though social ills in our community may affect us, we should not treat this as a norm. It is so easy for youth to be sucked into gangsterism, or be addicted to alcohol but we should not allow this to be our normal. We should not give up to create the change we want to see and bring a different and changed mindset to our people,” he said.

He said it takes time to change and everyday is a struggle. “I prepare myself mentally. I do what I can in the hikes I am hosting to make sure people get the most out of it,” he said.

Sometimes he would hike alone and some days it would be with a group of people or friends. The amount of support he has received has spiked, he said.

“During hikes we connect with people and share our stories with one another. My campaign is picking up,” he said.

Abdul-Khaaliq Petersen, friend and personal fitness trainer, said he’s known Rudy since Grade 8 back when he attended Lentegeur High School and, “he has been my friend ever since.”

The hiking trail was new to Mr Petersen, he said.

“There were challenges to it, the weather being the biggest one. On the mountain one doesn’t really know what to expect. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Being on a hike with Rudy is always something to look forward to,” he said.

It’s always an educational experience, getting to know the hiking routes, wildlife and plant life there, he said.

“I’m very proud of my friend. I respect and support his initiative. Hiking up once is an achievement, imagine the fruits of hiking up the mountain every day for the rest of the year. For taking on this challenge, I truly hope that this will blow up in every positive way,” said Mr Petersen.

Angels SA chairperson Farieda Moses, from Colorado Park said Mr Van Dieman is a young man who should continue doing great work for others.

Mr Van Dieman in partnership with Angels SA are looking to purchase a property for a community orphanage with the crowd funding.

“Since Rudy was 14, he was taught during a youth workshop to help and give back to his community. We met at a youth camp alongside the then MEC for Social Development, now MEC for Community Safety, Albert Fritz. Rudy is always ready to assist the next person. He has passion in doing what he is doing. He is taking this big step with humanity and we are proud of him,” said Ms Moses.

The NPO regularly feeds the community and assists them in any way they can.

Ms Moses has stayed at an orphanage for six months to gain experience of those living at one.

“I spent time with them, got to know their stories. Most times safe houses or orphanages are overcrowded and children need to move around every three months. They need stability and somewhere they can call home, where they won’t be moved around.”

They are asking more people to join them and help grow this project.

For more information contact Mr Van Dieman on Instagram @Rudyproject365 or email him on rudyv996@gmail.com or Ms Moses on angelssa27@gmail.com or 061 423 7815.