In 2006 we as a congregation in Kameeldrift, close to Roodeplaat dam, started listening to the world in which we lived. What we hoped for was that we would be able to truly listen to the people around us, even if that meant hearing about a reality which differed from what we experience day to day. We were not ready for what we found.
Among the natural beauty of the Roodeplaat dam area, with its golf estates and holiday resorts, lived thousands for whom the future seemed to hold little more than a constant struggle to survive. People who were unemployed, hopeless, and lacking the motivation, skills or support to get back on their feet. We found a shockingly high percentage of children that attended no school, and those who did attend school had to spend hours travelling. We found families that were broken. Women, children, and also men, who were wounded by a violent world. But we also found a world with people who wanted to care, who wanted to be healing hands, bringing light into the darkness of this world. That gave us hope.
We started dreaming about a place where people could become whole again, where they could be helped on their journey through life. We dreamt about training a young generation so that they can break out of this desperate system of oppression. We dreamt about creating a community that is healthy.
But while dreaming, this community in 2008 suddenly became the victim of a wave of extremely violent crimes. What used to be dreams suddenly seemed utopian, but it was dreams that we needed to find hope in a desperate time. In the crucible of what for some seemed like war, we realised that there were problems within the deepest structure of our society, and that these needed to be addressed if we had any hope for a better future.
Kamcare was founded to be a vehicle through which we could care deeply for this community, but also wider, for this city and country. Kamcare is a symbol of the dream many have for a world where children would be cared for, where communities would develop in such a way that healthy, dreaming kids can grow in them. It was started as a place where young and old can continue to grow personally by developing the much needed skills, whether basic technical skills, much-needed leadership skills, or the life-skills for healthy living.
As time goes by we become ever more aware of the unique challenges that this community and its people face, but we also find more and more reason to hope and dream, as we see the new life in those whose lives were touched by a healing hand, by a training project, by a development program.