It’s ‘Make a Difference Day’ on October 26th! Celebrated on the fourth Saturday of October since 1992, this important holiday is all about what we can do for the community. With a focus on service for folks in need, charities and other causes that need a helping hand, there’s little wonder the holiday caught people’s imaginations- and hearts. We’re no strangers to lending a helping hand here at Buffelsdrift Game reserve, either, with our Community Vrederust project thriving, and it’s time we introduced you to the great work being done behind the scenes for the people of Vrederust.

What is the Community Vrederust project?

Buffelsdrift Game Lodge believes firmly in giving back to the community. We do this for our local area through supporting a local, regrettably underprivileged, primary ‘farm’ school. Underprivileged and rural, of course, does not mean unloved, but all the love in the world isn’t enough by itself to adequately raise a child. For many of these kids, things we consider normal and ‘basic’ are simply beyond their reach. Clean, running water, adequate sanitation and fresh food are not daily givens for them. In this environment of constant stress and pressure, adults do not always have the time and patience to truly develop and nurture young, enquiring minds. The pressures and strains of merely trying to survive daily can also take their toll on everyone in the community, creating stressful and occasionally unsafe environments for all concerned.

This means that one of the biggest challenges for schools like Vrederust is providing their children with basic needs AND future nurturing. That’s where the Buffelsdrift Foundation steps in. After all, our South African constitution does say ‘“…improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person.” We see it as a duty to play a key role in changing lives and empowering children in this area, where many of our staff had their origins. Our aim is to help supply the school’s needs, develop and improve infrastructure, and to make the lives of children and teachers alike a better, brighter place.

Why this project matters

For many of these children, simply coming to school is a gift. A means to get out of their cramped, sometimes fraught, daily environment and instead play and feel safe as all children should. Children are human, and have very human needs. Not only the basic needs to sustain life, but needs and wants that help them develop into healthy, functional members of society. Through the project, like-minded people can come together and help these kids be their best selves. Not just with those basic needs met, important as they are, but also with support for their development and empowerment. This helps create healthy, functional adults that can live and work with others, displaying self-confidence and emotional maturity. In short, it frees their potential and helps them to develop.

And it doesn’t stop with just the children. Each quality-of-life improvement made for the kids helps benefit the area as a whole. Parents have a little added peace of mind, knowing their children are safe and cared for. They also have the reassurance that their children can attain an education- the cornerstone of creating a better life for themselves and society going forward.

We at Buffelsdrift Game Reserve are immensely proud to play a key role in helping develop and sustain these young minds into a brighter future. With Make a Difference day fast coming up, why not take the challenge and find a way to give back to your very own communities as well? Each collective step we take forward helps make the world a better, brighter place, after all.

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