Swings of Hope

An article from Michelle and Nicole, the ladies who run the charity:

For the Love of Animals is a Non-Profit Company, now registered as a PBO, run by volunteers who have a huge passion for animals. We started this organization 2 years ago with the goal of doing mass sterilization campaigns and education regarding animal welfare in the community of Melkhoutfontein, just outside of Stilbaai.

We have had to change our goals many times over this period, as working with the community, is very different to thinking how the community is run and what is needed to make drastic changes. Besides being animal rescue workers, we have also become sports instructors, teachers at the local shelter/aftercare facility, friends, mothers, builders and law enforcement officers. Our weekly schedule consists of fundraising, medical care and treatment of diseased and injured animals, vet runs to euthanize or sterilize animals, feeding of all the street animals and dropping off of food parcels to those that have lost their jobs and can’t afford to take care of their animals anymore, taking the kids to golf practice at the Stilbaai golfcourse once per week and making sure their coaching sessions run smoothly the rest of the week, educational classes through the Four Paws Global NPC manuals, fence building and securing of properties, collecting, fixing and dropping off of dog kennels at those who don’t have yet, writing out warning forms and asking law enforcement for assistance in certain cases, dealing with tik heads and their dog fighting in the township as well as illegal breeding and severe neglect and abuse. We are trying to get the community of Stilbaai and Melkhoutfontein to form a closer bond and stand up as one to fight the drugs, crime and gangsterism. Doing marches together against drugs and gender-based violence to instill compassion and empathy for one another and including the kids from Melkhoutfontein in our parkruns on Saturday mornings is a great way in doing so. This coming Saturday will be our first parkrun and bodyboarding session afterwards with the NSRI assisting (hopefully) and teaching the kids about sea rescue. We are in the process of applying for funding for a December/January holiday programme for the kids to get them off the streets and make sure they get food and avoid substance abuse and violence at home during the festive period.

The list does actually go on but I think this is probably enough for now! Michelle Panton and Nicole Botha runs this organization full time. Every day of the week 24/7. The above mentioned ‘activities’ are done by us two ladies alone 90% of the time. We have been dreaming about our PBO status for so long and it has taken us 10 months to eventually get through all the paperwork and approvals. As you may know this is a super strict process, the funds are allocated to only what is in our MOI and every cent gets accounted for. Our tax consultant handles all the finances and his company has been amazing in support of our cause. It might seem to many like we are wasting our time trying to ‘save’ or ‘fix’ a community, but when your every living moment is occupied with motivation, purpose and passion for a cause, it is impossible to stop. We will never lose hope and we will keep on trying our best to make positive changes day by day, step by step.

Please take a look at our Youtube video to get a feel for our golf project: https://youtu.be/_ihEM7-WY_s 

We appreciate your time in reading this.

Many Blessings, Michelle and Nicole

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