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NPO aims to unite Paarl

Whether feeding the hungry, clothing the needy or upskilling the unemployed, local NPO Helplift Berg River Valley enables less privileged people to access goods and services they normally cannot afford.

The local non-profit Christian organisation aims to bring hope to people in need across Drakenstein. Located in Dorp Street in Paarl, it is affiliated with the Every Nation Church.

Jacques Heyns, organiser of Helplift, emphasises that such a daunting task is not something that he and his team of 53 can undertake in isolation.

For the past two years the group has partnered with individuals and businesses committed to using their goods and talents to help others attain or regain their dignity. This they accomplish primarily through their volunteer networks.

“People bring clothes to our local store, and when a man is in need we give him clothes,” Heyns related. “But we give him the idea that it is a shop, and he can choose what he wants.”

However, it doesn’t mean the organisation just runs a free-for-all. There are mechanisms in place to determine whether the person truly is in need.

“We look further than just giving them food and clothes,” Heyns explains. “We want to start a relationship with them.”

Helplift renders a service aimed at helping people sustain themselves. This includes training in activities from gardening or making crafts to office administration.

The idea is that people volunteer their time and services on their own terms – whether it be once or twice a month – and transfer their skills to others, and this in turn could lead to formal employment.

“If we can get this right then we can eliminate poverty, because we address the root of the problem.”

Helplift Berg River Valley is situated at 4B Dorp Street, and anyone wishing to volunteer their services to it should feel free to contact Heyns on 061 404 0029.

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