I am happy to share the following story from Gabi Sulcas. She organized an initiative that raised 150 pair of shoes for much needed children and family.
"On Mandela Day, which we celebrate on 18 July in South Africa, I was listening to talk radio while driving in my car. A man phoned in and told the presenter about how, when he was a child, he had to walk kilometers to get to school ever day. The difficulty of this was compounded by the fact that he had no school shoes. This got me thinking about how ridiculous it is that in this day and age we should still have kids in South Africa who have no shoes to wear to school. When considered with fact that so many people, including myself, have so many pairs of shoes that languish at the back of our cupboards, this really seemed to make no sense.
So I decided that for Mandela Day I would attempt to collect 67 pairs of shoes. (67 is a significant number, as Mandela spent 67 years making the world a better place). I started a blog and used social media to spread the word about my project, and was overwhelmed by the response. Through generous, kind family and friends, I soon reached 67 pairs, and decided to continue. Total strangers got wind of the initiative and donated money or shoes. In total, in the two months of the project, I collected around 150 pairs of shoes.
This initiative taught me how easy it is to contribute to make the world a bit of a better place. People's generosity and goodwill also blew me away and restored my faith in humankind. I'm so glad I could pass the shoes on to the Amy Biehl Foundation, who do really incredible work, and grateful for the opportunity to positively impact the lives of some South African children."
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Amy Biehl Foundation Success Story
Masixole Dudula was just 13 years of age when he
joined the Amy Biehl Foundation. Involved with
crime and drugs at an early age, he started out as
one of the children in our after school care
programmes and turned his life around. He has
worked his way up through the organisation and
now, at the age of 29, works as an after school
care co-ordinator and dance coordinator. He is
solely responsible for what the hundreds of kids
in his programmes learn.
Masixole started out in the programmes at the New
Crossroads Centre, which is where the Amy Biehl
Foundation first started our work. He, along with
fifteen other gifted children, was selected to attend
a leadership programme with Dr. Ramphela.
After becoming a facilitator in various different
programmes, Masixole has now found his true
passion. His dedication to his work and the
children that he looks after is so apparent and he
really is a credit and an asset to the Foundation.
We asked Masixole a few questions to find out his
views and aspirations;
How has being with the Amy Biehl Foundation
changed your life?I really don't like to go back to my past. I was a
young boy, smoking too much. Nwabisa
(programme coordinator) spoke to me and
convinced me that I should come to the
programmes because I was talented.
What do you think you would be doing now
without the Foundation?I would be a gangster.
So you would be involved with violence etc?Stealing, violence, drugs. I was very well known
in the area.
What has been your highlight working with the
Amy Biehl Foundation?There have been many, many highlights. The
best one is working with dedicated people that
are willing to assist each other. I am here because
of the people.
What are your goals for the future - personally
and within the Foundation?There is a shortage of transport to take children to
the schools outside of the townships. I would like
to do this, using only my own vehicles.
What about within the Amy Biehl Foundation?Grow the programmes more within the after school.
What motivates you?Giving back to the community and doing what I like.
The kids need the support. Each day I know I am
spending my life with the people I want to spend
my life with.
What did you do over the festive period?I had lots of performances for visitors. On
Christmas day I was with my family including
my two daughters - Alulutho who is almost 7
and Anomtha who is 5.
Without the Amy Biehl Foundation Masixole
would not be the inspirational and dedicated
man that he is today, helping hundreds of
children in similar situations to his own.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
First and foremost, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Looking back on 2011, I thought it would be fun to share a few highlights from our second full year.
Over 1500 unique website visits (82% new visitors)
Approx. 15 visits a day
Visitors from 63 different countries (Top 3 - USA, South Africa, Canada)
Top 3 searches: 1. Amy Biehl, 2.Truth and Reconciliation Commision, 3. Linda Biehl
Top 3 referral sits: 1. Wikipedia, 2. amybiehl.co.za, 3. Facebook.com
This again proves that we are connecting each and every day with new and exciting friends, and that we continue to grow with the help of the Amy Biehl Foundation's social media team, and other supporters of the foundation. For those interested here are the ABF Twitter and Facebook pages.
On a final note - I was fortunate enough to find time to enjoy the Reconciliation: Mandela's Miracle documentary over the holidays. It was a wonderful reminder of the efforts made by all to start the process of reconciliation. Desmond Tutu is interviewed throughout the 90 minute documentary, and reminds us near the end that ..."Reconciliation is not an event - but a process".
Friday, July 29, 2011
We are very excited to be able to offer the following exclusive interview with Linda Biehl. Linda has been one of our biggest supporters from the beginning. Her dedication and tireless efforts in the USA and South Africa are an inspiration to us all. Enjoy! Read Linda's Interview here.
Monday, June 13, 2011
I was at a Tony Robbins conference in London in 2005 and I remember him
saying just before the conference ended "on your way home tonight do
something for someone who is less well off than you". I met my mate Gerry
after the conference and told him that I was going to do something for
children in Africa. I had no idea what, nor had I ever been to Africa, but I
suddenly had this burning desire to help the children in Africa and knew
that I was going to do something. Some months later I was invited by people
to visit South Africa as a result of a cross community programme I had been
delivering in Northern Ireland and before you know it I was in Cape Town!
During my visit to Cape Town I encountered the Amy Biehl Foundation and
whilst out visiting their programmes found myself sitting one afternoon in
the Townships. On hearing that black children did not get taught hockey in
the Townships I decided that I was going to! I am not a hockey coach and
don't have a clue about the game but I decided that I was going to make a
difference to some children's lives. I returned to Northern Ireland and
approached my daughter's hockey club for help and they rose to the challenge
It's easy to think of yourself all the time... how you look, how you act, how
well off you are, how other people see you, but try looking outward at other
people. See who they are... who they really are. See what they look like, what
they have to offer... and most importantly how you can improve their
lives. Everybody is a person no matter where they live or what they do not
have. Running the Sports Academy for the past 6 years has helped me learn
this very important lesson on life. I never knew just what I would get back
in return from the children. I never expected anything at all but boy have
I grown and improved as a person as a result! I have learned the following
It is greater to give when you have little yourself.
One small gesture can mean one big gift for someone.
A child's smile is worth more than all the money in the world.
Sport is a great medium for breaking down the barriers of race or color.
When I am down and feeling low I just watch the DVD's of the programmes and I feel great.
Don't wait for someone else to lead the way but rather create your own path and see what happens!
It never ceases to amaze me how good people are when I think of all the great people who have helped me on the Programmes.
This Programme has been like dropping a pebble in the water... ever increasing circles as each year more and more people want to help.
Oh and the most important lesson I have learned? It makes me a better
Where are we 6 years on? We have 80 children in the Programme each year. We have hockey for the girls and soccer for the boys. In 2008 we brought 16 children and 7 adults from Cape Town to Northern Ireland for their first ever holiday. We are planning to do this again next year in 2012.
- Eric Jenkinson
Friday, April 1, 2011
Our good friend Lindsay Carlin recently received a grant from Omprakash that will allow her to continue her work with the Amy Biehl Foundation. Currently, her roles with the Foundation include both Marketing Intern and after-school teacher. Lindsay will be writing a series of stories for the Omprakash website and kindly shared her first entry with us.
Read Lindsay's Article here.
Monday, March 21, 2011
On 25 February 2011, businesses, corporates and amateurs alike gathered together for a fun-filled day of golfing at the King David Golf Club in Cape Town, South Africa. McDonald's and the Amy Biehl Foundation teamed up to provide golfers with an exceptional tournament complete with sponsors on each hole.
Good Hope FM broadcast live from the club house and the ABF marimba band greeted players as they arrived from their golfing adventure. The day concluded with prizes which ranged from pro shop gift cards to Weber grills and flat screen TV’s. The Amy Biehl Foundation raised over R60,000 to support and develop after school programs.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
On the 18 August 2010 the Amy Biehl Foundation lost a significant, stunning, and admiral, beautiful, energetic, lovable, friendly and unique woman.
Melanie Davids started at the Amy Biehl Foundation in December 2007. She was the Music coordinator who ran the programme magnificently. She was a perfectionist and always ran the programmes to more than it could be. Through being the coordinator that she was, she taught us all how to be good, but humble leaders.
In 2009 Melanie became the Programme coordinator, where she was in charge of all the programmes. She led the team here with grace and agility. She was a good listener and a fantastic organizer who worked hand in hand with the people that she led. She gave advice where needed, but also led with a firm hand. Her leadership skills still play an important role in the foundation today and her advice for being a good leader still strongly plays in our ears.
In December 2009 Melanie was diagnosed with cancer and was off work from the beginning of this year. She came into work on the days when she would feel good and it was good to have her as she brought her energy with as well as her smile.
Melanie will surely be missed for her company, her laughter, her smile, her energy, her advice, her comfort, her friendliness, but most of all her presence.
Rest in peace Melanie, your suffering is over and you have really left your mark, your legacy here at the foundation will live on forever in the children and in our hearts. Your music plays forever in our hearts.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
First off, I just want to say thank you for all the good wishes, support and contributions over the past year. In 2010, we received amazing contributions from the likes of Rhoda Kadalie (former Human Rights Commissioner), Adčle Dion (Canadian High Commissioner) Carol Brun Mosely (US Senator), Mpho Tutu (Founder of Tutu Institute), and so many others. We managed to raise over $1000 CAD (approx. $7000 ZAR) - via donations, wristband sales, and the Loose Change for Change campaign. We are excited to announce that the Loose Change for Change initiative remains in place for 2011. We maintain that by donating on behalf of every visitor that visits the website, we give everyone the opportunity to contribute, just by reading, learning and sharing.
If you are one of our many returning visitors, you will notice some changes in our layout. The most obvious takes place right here on the Home page. We hope that the new layout provides us with a section that we can update more frequently, allowing us to showcase more stories, interviews, and important Amy Biehl Foundation news. Please check back often for updates.
Happy New Years!
"She made our aspirations her own and lost her life in the turmoil of our transition as the new South Africa struggled to be born in the dying moments of apartheid. Through her, our peoples have also shared the pain of confronting a terrible past as we take the path of reconciliation and healing of our nation." - Nelson Mandela
Friends of Amy Biehl was recently in touch with Mpho Tutu, daughter of Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and co-author of "Made for Goodness". The book recounts Amy's story and talks about the life-affirming
work that Linda and Peter Biehl started to honor Amy's memory. More information here:
Friends of Amy Biehl has been overwhelmed by the contributions and positive feedback we have received from people all over the world. One of our favorite contributions to date is the following memorandum written in 1992 by Amy Biehl for Omar Dullah and Brigitte Mabandla. I think its important to note that so much what Amy wanted to do is now policy in South Africa