On Sunday, 16 July 2017, the Val de Vie Foundation honoured Nelson Mandela’s teachings by gathering his rainbow nation to celebrate with the senior citizens of Rusthof Old Age Home in Paarl East.
Val de Vie residents contributed to a Blanket Drive which culminated in the delivery of 105 blankets for the frail elderly of the home. It was with great pleasure that we brought the gifts from our homes to theirs and spent an afternoon of warm companionship.
The Foundation was joined by Zelda la Grange, who served Nelson Mandela for 19 years as his private secretary. In her welcoming speech she said, “We are here in the spirit of Mandela Day and even though you may sometimes feel forgotten by society, know that we are always thinking of you.”
The Rusthof residents were thrilled to meet the National and Local rugby heroes who accompanied Zelda. Siya Kolisi, Eben Etzebeth, Scarra Ntubeni and even Frans Malherbe who had played a colossal match in Pretoria the previous night and still made time to travel to the Cape Winelands.
Together with Siv Engesi, one of South Africa’s dynamic actors and comedians, and Olympic medallist and Val de Vie shareholder, Ryk Neethling, they shared many laughs, personally served the residents with sweet and savoury treats, signed autographs, handed out blankets and created memorable moments.
Having transformed the room with flowers (arranged by a Val De Vie resident) and bright balloons, the ambiance was energised when popular singer Karen Zoid shared her extraordinary singing talent by reaching out and serenading the elderly.
We were also honoured to have Mayor Conrad Poole grace the proceedings and join the residents in song to Elvis Presley’s ‘Love me Tender’ followed by Amazing Grace.
Not to be outdone by the all the celebrities, we were so delighted to have the delicious baked goods be made by Chloe, a 14-year-old Val de Vie resident. And then Karen Zoid’s 10 year old son, Ben, entertained us all by singing a song with his famous mother.
Rushof’s Alvira Kleinhans wrapped up by saying: “We wish to express our gratitude towards you and the entire team of Val De Vie. Words cannot express the impact of your visit to our home . You made their dreams come true!! Just to see their faces of happiness said everything.”
“We at the Val de Vie Foundation know that every person we are able to touch can be a life transformed. To borrow from Madiba himself: A society that does not value its older people denies its roots and endangers its future. Let us strive to enhance their capacity to support themselves for as long as possible and, when they cannot do so anymore, to care for them.” – Ryk Neethling.
Val de Vie Foundation: Creating a better life for all in the Berg River Valley by strategically investing the Foundation’s resources to demonstrate through action how we can help transform lives and restore the future. http://valdeviefoundation.co.za
Rusthof Old Age Home: Safe haven for under-privileged, disabled, formerly abused, and frail older persons situated in Paarl East.