“He is truly inspiring and will do anything to make a change! He’s the reason #ImStaying.”
Major Areas of Mitchell’s Plain are Urban Ghettos.
Mitchell’s Plain, characterised by rampant drug addiction and gang activity, is one of the worst areas for crime in South Africa. It is a suburb of Cape Town, situated on the Cape Flats. Major areas of Mitchell’s Plain are urban ghettos. The unemployment rate is around 70%.
This is where Frank Steyn grew up and continues to work. He is manager of a foundation, Stichting Run4Schools, a Dutch non-profit organisation. Their mission is to provide wholesome activities for children. To this end, they do sports coaching, music, and dancing at four schools. They also run after-school programmes.
In this way, they work to bring some light into the children’s grim environment. Frank has been working with the children as coach for 13 years.
What Happened Last Year
“The smallest of the group then showed me his shoes. This broke my heart.”
He tells this story of what happened last year: “I [was] speaking to a few boys on the school stoops. They wanted a ball from me. I told them I can’t give them a ball as they would get into trouble with their parents if they got home with broken school shoes. They need to go home and come back to play. The smallest of the group then showed me his shoes. This broke my heart. I looked at how honest this boy was. I said to myself that I need to do something to create a schooling atmosphere for children always wanting to be at school.”
And Then, It All Came Together – His Love For Running, His Love For Children, and School Shoes!
“I knew I was going to run the Two Oceans Marathon, which is 56km … I said to myself, ‘Why not run in your old school shoes?’ This is how it started – by just simply putting my feet on the line.” Frank approached his friends and family to sponsor his run in order to pay for school shoes for the neediest children. Then Woolworths’ MySchool project came on board and, in the end, he was able to purchase 1000 pairs of school shoes!
Frank was to have repeated his labour of love this year, but his plan was overturned when the race was cancelled because of COVID-19.
“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”
His friend Roxanne Petersen, who posted Frank’s story on the #ImStaying Facebook page, says: “He is truly inspiring and will do anything to make a change! He’s the reason #ImStaying.” She added: “Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”
Edited By: Val Bruce
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Final Editing for #ImStaying
I’m a lover of words, of mentoring, networking, and helping my fellow man to ‘learn to fish’. Driven by a hunger to never stop learning, I have a passion for adventure and travel, sundowners and laughter with good friends. At the end of the day what brings great delight to my life are my young adult sons.
Quote: “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Nelson Mandela