If we could look into each other’s hearts & understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, & care.
Clifford Barnard, a musician in a band called State Society had driven passed Sipho occasionally & helped him with money or food when ever he could, but Clifford felt a bigger need to help this fellow human so took it upon himself to make that difference!
“I decided to get involved when I stopped for some groceries one day & Sipho approached me asking for some food. I could see he hadn’t eaten in days & I knew that I couldn’t possibly eat & let him starve.”
“So I asked him what he wanted & bought him a meal. I decided to eat with him & spend some time with him. We chatted & as he told me about his story, it hit me… If I didn’t help him, he would be here for the rest of his life!”
Like so many… Sipho moved to the big city from Limpopo to try find work. His only focus, to support his family. He arrived in Joburg a couple of years ago with almost nothing & searched day in & out for a position as a painter or builder.
A short while after moving to Joburg, Sipho received news that both his father & brother had passed away… not only was he homeless in Joburg, but his home in Limpopo was now also gone.
“This poor guy had lost his support system & is literally trapped in a city that wont take notice or help him.”
“I was a poor kid when I was young but luckily not on the streets… so I could relate in having no options in life if someone didn’t help me… & I knew that I had to be that guy for Sipho.”
Sipho was trying to get through day to day life with just the basics by begging on the streets… he had been on the streets for 3 years already & had lost all hope that he would ever find a resolution.
Like so many South Africans… when everyday is a fight for basic human needs, things like ID documents & Matric certificates don’t become a factor at all. Both these credentials are highly important when trying to find work but quite costly when you do not have any income.
Clifford posted a video on his Facebook asking his friends to help Sipho… a list of items were drafted & call-to-action was sent out. Within minutes, Clifford’s friends & family jumped on board.
“My plan is get him off the street, get sponsors to cover rent or assist with accommodation & food. Get his digitally restored & clean him up… a good shower & some new clothing. Also need to get his ID so we can apply for work & open a bank account.”
Since then, Clifford & his friends have raised money to pay for a couple of months rent, bought groceries for the month, arranged some furniture & household goods plus new clothing & his ID documents!
“He needs this boost in life… he has no other means… except if WE, inject his life with positivity.”
“My idea is to get him a stable general worker job in a warehouse where he can earn a constant income to sustain himself. My hope is to get him integrated back into society, sustain himself, further educate himself & overall, create a better life for himself!”
And Sipho is incredibly humbled & thankful for the second chance he’s been given by a complete stranger who has become a friend…
“Cliff, I want to show you that I want to get out of this situation… I want to work hard & don’t ever want to be in this troubled place again.”
For more info or if you want to help, visit Clifford’s Facebook.
“That little bit of extra money that we throw away on sh*t, that we don’t need, we can use it to bless someone else & rock & roll their lives to a place of positivity.”