We Are White River had a busy 2017, especially the second half of the year which included team members moving along, moving office and two big events. The Slowveld Potjie Challenge went very well, raising just over R44 000 for charity, and our 3rd Night of the Lights knocked our socks off. We are very grateful for all the help, donations, support and hard work!
We Are... Blown away by the amazing turnout we had for Night of the Lights 2017 on Friday. The whole town came together to make this event a success and we couldn't be prouder. We are ALL White River and we are awesome! There are so many people and businesses who contributed to the success of this event: Afriforum who helped with the security, Sean Harford, Caterworld All Occasions Hiring, Morning Afta Crew Cleaning Services, BUCO South Africa, Power & Energy Solutions, Stefan Retief, Casterbridge Music Development Academy (CMDA), White River Square, Country Square Lifestyle Centre,Therealxpressoza, Mike Average., Gibraltar Rock & Blues Band, Phoenix Fire & Drum, Chris Pickles, Siyathokoza cultural group.", White River Fire Department, White River SAPS, NG Gemeente Witrivier, Angela Kent, Trudie Grove Morgan, Rowan Torr, Uplands Preparatory School White River, Pulse Dance Studio, Radio Laeveld, Laevelder / Lowvelder, all the businesses in main street who helped us and were involved. Thanks to all who helped make this night at success! Please send your photos to email@example.com so that we can publish them here. How many people do you think were there on Friday? We think thousands. What is your guess?Posted by We Are White River on Monday, 4 December 2017
This year we are part of the Chicken Challenge team. For those who don’t know, the Chicken Challenge is a wonderful combination of recycling, job creation, art – and awareness & fund raising for GRIP. GRIP provides essential support for survivors of rape and other domestic violence. Their work is hugely important in a country where this violence against women is so prevalent (don’t let anyone play it down – take a few minutes to acquaint yourself with the stats). Their work is even more vital given the appalling lack of effective intervention and support by government agencies.
In a nutshell: blank “3d canvasses” in the shape of chickens are made out of recycled egg boxes. These can be purchased at the Simply Slowveld shop and then painted & decorated and returned to be auctioned off for funds in support of GRIP. Feel free to join in as an artist or bidding for a beautiful chicken (we have 4 in our house!)
Later this month I’ll again be doing some work with the awesome people at GRIP. I am so looking forward to it! These guys deserve our support as they deal daily with a heart-breaking reality.
Why do we do this? The question has been asked a few times in the last months – sometimes by me! By “this” I refer to the work we do to drum up support for events and causes, and provide platforms for ideas and growing community. Well firstly we must note that there are a lot of people, even in our little neck of the woods, who are doing so much and have been for a long time. We talk about these in our “People of White River” pages – (feel free to nominate someone) – but there are many others who remain anonymous, quietly getting on with their work of helping and filling in the gaps instead of just complaining. We salute them!
Our vision, starting from a vague sense that White River “could do better” (something that was on my school report every year), was to somehow get people talking, working together and proud of the town and to feed this into giving White River a more prominent place on the map. We also included a hope for contributing towards improving the social, environmental and economic resilience of the town.
We continue with this in 2018, emboldened by what we have learnt and the support of fabulous White Riverians, but also aware that we have actually achieved only a little and it is a slow process, requiring sustained support from the community. We need to all BE White River!
Let’s turn the “why?” question around a bit. Why do you live in White River? Why do you do what you do? How connected are you with the people you mingle with every day, or even with your friends?
In a new year it is common to make resolutions. We all know the saying about good intentions. Perhaps we should rather look at asking questions of ourselves and others. Why are some things so important to us, do they really matter? What choices do we have that perhaps we thought were not choices?
When I started We Are White River I had no answers, just questions, a few ideas and an openness to explore and learn. Through this work I continue to meet a diverse bunch of people, each of whom have never failed to teach me something. My hope for 2018 is that I get to interact with more of you excellent human beings and that together we learn and grow and in a small way help make this place even better than it is already!