It’s the last Friday of the month – again – and the day on which bloggers from around the world post a good news story as a way of mitigating the ongoing wave of negativity that can permeate into our lives. Good news stories remind us of all the good that is in the world and what individuals can achieve in helping alleviate the struggles that the disadvantaged face.
The story below is remarkable. I confess that I didn’t know of this benefactress and her work in Cape Town, South Africa.
Established in 2001 by Christel DeHaan, its efficacy is proven through a 99% Matric pass rate with 93% of alumni studying, working or both.
Christel DeHaan – True Hero
By Alec Hogg
“Among my memorable assignments was a visit five years ago to Christel House, Cape Town’s 750-pupil Grade R to Matric school which only enrols children from abject poverty (household income under R1,500pm). Established in 2001 by Christel DeHaan, its efficacy is proven through a 99% Matric pass rate with 93% of alumni studying, working or both.
News reached us yesterday that DeHaan, 77, co-founder of global timeshare giant RCI, passed away on Saturday at her home in Indianapolis. Born during World War Two, she was a toddler when her father was killed in a bombing raid. She made her fortune after emigrating to the US from Germany as a 20 year old.
After banking $850m when selling out of RCI in 1996, DeHaan applied her fortune to helping children from backgrounds similar to hers. Her vision was to reach into the poorest communities and grant 100% scholarships to excellent education for children, covering everything from uniforms to food and professionalhealthcare.
DeHaan’s Endless Success Foundation will ensure eight Christel Houses around the world continue to give their 6,000 students a hand up. Adri Marais, CEO of Christel House SA, says the benefactor was “an absolute force for change.” From the smiling kids I met on my visit to the Cape establishment, that’s quite an understatement”.
From me and I’m sure on behalf of all South Africans who read this, I extend my thanks to Christel DeHaan who, with her donation from the DeHaan’s Endless Success Foundation, founded this very successful school in Ottery, Cape Town. On her recent death I extend my condolences and may her dear soul rest in peace.
The hosts for this month McGrath, Susan Scott , Shilpa Garg, Damyanti Biswas, Belinda Witzenhausen.
Do pop by their stories. They’re sure to bring a smile to your face and a warming of the cockles of your heart.
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Thank you for reading. Have a great weekend. May the Force be with you all.