When you hunt in another country, you experience the thrill of learning about different terrain, hunting techniques, shot placement, and of course, different animals. What you also get to experience is the culture. When hunting with Motsomi Safaris, we got to know Pieter Potgieter and his family very well since this is an exclusive hunting business that is family owned and the trip is designed for YOU. We found out that Pieter is more than Motsomi Safaris, www.motsomi.com, he is a quiet humanitarian. Pieter and his wife, Ria, each year, give back to others less fortunate by hosting a group of children during the holidays who have had a difficult life. They give them a chance to be ‘just kids’.
The Abraham Kriel Children’s Home is in Nylstroom, Limpopo Province, South Africa. This home has been in existence since 1959. Children are placed in a Children’s Home by means of a court order as a result of child abuse, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, lack of parental skills, family violence and other factors that might endanger the lives of children.
We were fortunate to be at Motsomi Safaris for the week that a small group of these children got to experience some relaxation and fun. It was one of the most heart wrenching yet heart warming experiences of our lives. These kids craved hugs and attention. They loved being able to play games, swim, pet the dogs, and eat as much food as they wanted. For most, it was the first time they got to experience a game drive to see elephants, and other game. They all had a chance to learn to shoot a pellet gun in a little competition. Two of the older boys got to go out with Don on the quad where they got to shoot his shotgun at game birds. The girls got manicures with the products we brought. They also spent a day at near by Sun City’s wave pool. These side trips, food, and lodging were donated by a variety of individuals, but mostly the Motsomi family.
Because we knew about this great need, we collected a variety of clothing and other items and brought them in the SCI (Safari Club International) Blue Bags. We contacted Safari Club International Foundation http://www.safariclubfoundation.org/content/index.cfm?action=view&content_id=360
for the bags, and our airline for special permission to bring them without a fee. We also collected ‘cash’ from friends and family and took that to the Children’s Home administrators.
At the end of their stay, the children had ‘Christmas.’ Father Christmas handed out individually selected gifts to each child. They all received some new clothes and shoes. This was so special to them because they only get used clothing.
It was great to experience this, but we know that on a day to day basis, the home struggles to have enough food to feed the children. They get some funding from the government, but it is not enough. Check out their website to get a better idea of who they are and their needs.
You can help, even a little by donating a bit or sponsoring a child. We were so impressed by how this home is run and the true caring that the administrators have for the children. If you have any specific questions or want more information, you can contact Gezina Lombard. She is in charge of marketing. Her husband is the overall administrator. You can reach her at email@example.com. She can share individual stories about children that will make you cry. About the malnourished 14 year old girl and her brother that had to run away from school to get away from an abusive father. Or the boy who was found being raised with dogs in a dog pen for the first three years of his life.
Because they are not located in the US, you may not be able to get an IRS tax deduction, but giving isn’t always about that. Pieter at Motsomi Safaris has been gracious enough to make it very easy to give. Through his Paypal account: firstname.lastname@example.org you can deposit funds but must put DONATION AKKNYL as a reference.
Think about helping out? This year, instead of giving each other Christmas presents (which we didn’t need), we used those funds to help out the Children’s Home. It really made us feel good. We wish we were going to be there for the next trip in March when a group of boys from the home are going to get to experience hunting for the first time. Knowing how much these kids appreciate every little thing makes all the difference in the world. These kids did not expect or demand anything. They were happy with anything and everything. It truly made a difference. You can make a difference too.
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