• Tell us about the history of your Organisation
I have to start at the beginning with this story, as this is how the pieces of my life puzzle that fitted into each other when I started Halli Trust at the age of 42. I studied food and clothing, worked in the catering industry, became a mother, did a few odd things from home and worked at a toy shop in Somerset Mall for almost 2 years before starting Halli Trust.
At the toy shop I realized the effect a mascot has on kids when doing educational talks. I was also exposed to the community side of this shop and it just touched my heart in such a way that I felt this was what I had to do!!!
When my dad (Daan Meyer) passed away December 2008, my husband and I decided we were going to start a Trust to give back to our community. We took some of my inheritance and we started planning for the trust. Dr. Surita Roux joined us immediately. She is a medical doctor and it’s great to have her on the team. Her knowledge, dedication and love for animals and the community are infectious. We are so grateful to Surita for all her support.
The name: I contacted Cheryl Hanekom, a friend, and explained to her what we had in mind. She looked up our name in the Greek/Hebrew translation Bible. Halli means “unexpected gift and blessing”. This was just awesome, as we can receive an unexpected gift and blessing and give and unexpected gift and blessing when we help someone.
And the baby steps – or shall I say giant steps – started to create Halli Trust…
We had to decide on a mascot. After watching the movie Hachiko as a family, I decided to make an Akita Japanese Dog our mascot. I loved the fact that their character is loyalty and friendship. We want our mascot to build friendships with the children. I chose the face of a young Akita dog. Halli was made by Louis Niemand in Monte Vista, Cape Town and he looked absolutely super awesome!!!
We named him Halli and he is a cool, teenage dude. We have a creed what we teach the children: “FRIENDS FOREVER HALLI”. My car is covered in paw prints because we want children to feel they can build a relationship with us and trust us to talk about hurt in their lives.
We showed Halli to the world on 17 September 2010 at Somerset West Primary. (The 17th will also always be Halli’s and Halli Trust’s Birthday date!) What a day! We were excited, and proud, with hearts filled with gratitude. The inheritance that I got from my dad, the support from my husband, children and friends made all of this possible!!!
We registered the trust for Educational and Community Involvement. Surita’s passion to help animals started as a little flame and she’s making such a difference in the lives of so many animals. We registered Rehabilitation and Caring of Animals in February 2014 as the third function of Halli Trust.
We made Gloria Hunguna a Halli Trust Community Representative and a trustee member in February 2014. As a family they are making such a difference in their community and really lead by example. We want all trustee members to live out their passion and make a difference through what matters the most to them. Gloria was my domestic worker for almost 10 years and she started studying to be a teacher in Jan 2015. We are very proud of her and know she is going to be an excellent teacher. Gloria is responsible for the Halli Trust Stores.
Halli Trust is a team of friends taking hands, ordinary people living out our passion and making a difference in our community. God is at the centre of this team, leading and guiding us to do what is important.
We have Halli Trust Representatives working in different areas of the Helderberg. The Trustees and Representatives make the core team of Halli Trust. We have lots of volunteers that help us with admin work, events, mascot, etc. We have a volunteer application form that needs to be completed before becoming a volunteer.
Anastacia Molaoa is the Community Representative in Lwandle/Nomzamo and Zola. Lou-Ellyn Pienaar is a volunteer and responsible for the Needle Work Project in Smartie Town.
• Which three words best describe your Organisation?
Making a difference through education
• If you could change only one thing about your Organisation, what would it be?
Building up a stronger support system for Halli Trust
• Describe what a typical work day looks like for you at your Organisation?
Halli Trust looks like a big NPO but it is basically me and my office assistant that is running Halli Trust. Daily consists of lots of admin work, receiving and giving of donations, Halli Visits, social media, following up on clients, future planning, planning of events, assessing new clients, building network with other NPOs, etc.
• What is the one thing you wish members of the general public knew about your Organisation?
That we want to make a tangible difference in our communities!
• Describe the saddest moment you’ve experienced while at work in your Organisation
Seeing people and animals struggle. When they have lost hope and see no future. If there is no respect, kindness, caring and love for children especially in the school system and at home. Where kids are left to just look after themselves and forgot what it is to just be kids.
• Apart from donating money, how can members of the general public assist your Organisation?
We need more financial support especially to start paying our volunteers a bit of a salary as lots of them have help for the last 6 years and not received anything. We also need donations and people helping us with events.
• Describe the happiest moment you’ve experienced while at work in your Organisation
When I am in the community and the kids chant out Halli, Halli, Halli and can’t give me enough hugs to express there love for us. Makes me feel so small and my heart just overflows with fullness and love. I love, love, love all our kids!!
• If you could say only one thing to the Community your Organisation serves, what would that be?
We are here to make a difference please, take our hands to help us to make a difference together.
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