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For love of the community

Our NGO wants to alleviate poverty and help people uplift themselves, says nominee Trayle Oats

Local Hero Nominee Trayle Oates, right, hopes to help communities help themselves through the NGO Love My Community.
Local Hero Nominee Trayle Oates, right, hopes to help communities help themselves through the NGO Love My Community.
Image: SUPPLIED

“Each one, reach one, teach one.”

This is the motto of the NGO Love my Community started by Local Hero nominee Trayle Oates, 41, from Beacon Bay.

“We want to alleviate poverty,” Oates said.

“We can’t eradicate it, but we hope to form a bigger community where people can uplift themselves.

“There is such a vast need for more love and support.”

The NGO teaches basic computer skills, operates a weekly feeding programme and is organising a soccer pitch for aspiring players from Nompumelelo. 

“LMC has five branches — spirit, sport, educate, mind and feed.

“We are hitting what we can. Recently we had a blanket drive for 50 homes.”   

Love My Community started in 2021 and uses the Abbotsford Christian Centre as its base for operations and is made up of seven volunteers. 

Oates said: ”LMC was birthed by Christian Centre members.

“We all play a part, but we run a separate programme from the church.

“They support us as a resource, where we run our computer training programme and food scheme.” 

Love my Community member hands over blankets to members of the Nompulemelo township as part of LMC'S winter blanket drive.
Love my Community member hands over blankets to members of the Nompulemelo township as part of LMC'S winter blanket drive.
Image: SUPPLIED

The computer training programme offers a two-month course on basic Microsoft Word for the one-off fee of R50. 

'The one-off fee is for accountability. If we get R50 from 15 people that’s R750. So we can pay a past student as a facilitator for the new class.

“This creates experience and employment. The goal is to develop skills.” 

The feeding scheme operates on a Tuesday and Wednesday every week and feeds more than 120 children and more than 40 families. 

“We have a donor who drops off what people in Nompumelelo call “Dum Dum” food, items that are still healthy to eat but past their sell-by date.”

The latest LMC project was expanding access to sport, partnering with the Christian Centre.

Oates said they had been given permission to use the old tennis courts and transform them into soccer fields.

“It’s terrifying. At the moment the children are playing on the slope outside the centre and we have been trying to find them a safer place.

“The other day a child went underneath a slow-moving truck to fetch the ball.

“We want to partner with community leaders and sports clubs to get proper bibs and equipment for them.

“We want to start something, find the bright sparks and hand the projects over to them to carry on.” 

Oates said the challenges that LMC faced included the common issues such as donations and funding. He called on residents to give of their time and knowledge to help nurture talent and uplift the larger East London area. 

“Besides food and funding, the common gripes of NGOs, if people could commit their time for the participants, if someone has computer knowledge to pass on their expertise.” 

This year LMC was nominated as one of four Inspiration Award winners, which meant the NGO would receive R40,000, a professional video showcasing its work, and the opportunity to speak at the breakfast awards on July 8.

“When I got the phone call I couldn't believe it. We are brand new, what are the chances?

“I put in our application at the last minute on the final day. And now to be nominated as a Local Hero is mind-blowing.

“But it’s not about the recognition, it’s about how a person can choose to change the game and your community a bit.” 

Nominator Jade Oates said: “This is a bunch of young guys who started a feeding scheme for hungry kids in Nompumelelo.

“Some of these kids don’t eat properly for days.

“Love my Community feeds these youngsters and encourages them to be more than they think they can be.

“Their purpose is to alleviate poverty in needy communities by initiating simple sustainable projects that can be handed over to the community members to create a revenue stream and to empower them, alleviating poverty.” 

DispatchLIVE


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