Lasting Change in South Africa

Marcus O'Malley -- November 20th, 2009

Guest blogger (and former hburgnews contributor) Marcus shares some of his experiences in South Africa.

A wonderful story for me was working with a project called TLC. The lady that started, Colleen Pietersen is an incredibly energetic and encouraging lady. She had a beautiful mansion in South Africa which she sold and used the money to purchase farm land for multiple projects serving the communities of Cape Town. She allows people to live on the land and provides food and shelter for many.

She offers events as often as she gets donations to encourage individuals (women’s days, children’s event days, etc) in the community. She offers basic education for those that can’t afford school.

I had the unique opportunity to spend time with her and get to know her heart for the community. Her mission reminded me a lot of OCP’s mission for Harrisonburg’s community, only with an exponentially larger need and challenges in Cape Town. She extremely dedicated and runs the entire organization and events primarily alone with the help of sporadic volunteers from around the world that come through at different times.

She has an office on a police station which provides security, but also encourages a feeling of trust and good relationship from the young people, that wouldn’t normally have that feeling in regards to the police. We ran a Christmas party in 2008 partly in thanks to Harrisonburg’s generous Wyse Solutions.

TLC Christmas Party

Colleen works tirelessly to create work opportunities for any and all that she can find. She has picked up prostitutes and street children and helped to find them homes, helped to rehabilitate them from their drug or alcoholism habits and tried to get counseling services provided for them.

It’s really an incredible story of hope and success and a moving message of what one person can do if they really apply themselves to social change. I highly encourage you to support them if you’re capable!

Marcus O’Malley started Immerge Technologies in Harrisonburg before taking a year off to spend doing missions work in South Africa. He’s now planning another business in Warrenton, VA. Read more on Marcus’ blog from the trip.

2 Responses to “Lasting Change in South Africa”

  1. Marcus, thanks for coming on to be hburgnews’ first guest blogger. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts this week.

  2. W.Roy says:

    Great article, Marcus. I hope you will post again when you come back from your upcoming month-long trip later this summer!

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