Hillsong House

Lights, Camera, Action and so much more… There was so much anticipation in the air as we prepared to open the dormitories at the Tembaletu School.  It was an early start the morning of the Tembaletu dormitory launch, and too much excitement to contain. Hillsong Africa Foundation, their partners and sponsors were preparing for everyone who is going to be a part of this momentous day.  A day when the life of an South African icon, Nelson Mandela was celebrated.

We had the minister of Correctional Services, the ministry of Woman, Children and People with Disabilities, SABC Morning Live show broadcast direct from Tembaletu with an extended viewing time. There were television crews, radio crews and newspaper journalists everywhere.  There were also a lot of willing volunteers buzzing around the dormitories trying to get the rooms ready for the children who are going to be moving in.

But the best part of the day isn’t in the glitz and the glamour of what seen on TV but it is in the moment when the children who are moving into the dorm get to see it for the first time.  The look on their faces when they realize that all the buzz and all the attention was actually about them.  When each child saw their rooms, with their own beds and their very own space. That moment was priceless.  In that moment all the hard work was worth it.

The children who moved into these dormitories used to travel for hours in extreme circumstances to get to school. It wasn’t always safe for them to do this but there are now 36 children whose lives that have impact by the giving and sacrifice of many. Alone one person can do so much but together we were and are able to make a huge impact in a community. This is only the beginning. The Journey doesn’t end here because there is so much more we as a Foundation can and are doing, this is only the tip of the iceberg

Shantal Pillay