Johannesburg - On a lazy Friday afternoon in Berea, near the Johannesburg CBD, a group of boys arrived home after school and were greeted by a rather big surprise.
Euphonik, one of South Africa's biggest DJs, dropped in as part of his #EuphonikRAK, random acts of kindness, to play a free live show for the 20 odd boys at the Jabulani Khakibos Kids (JKK) home.
Apart from the show, the boys received a free lunch, and marked goodie bag filled with Superga shoes, Rocka caps, and Soul Candi CDs.
When Euphonik arrived, the boys were stunned into silence. However, once Euphonik reached the decks and got to work, the surprise melted away.
While a few of the boys were shy to strut their stuff, several of their comrades had no such inhibitions, escorting the sun towards the horizon with their dance moves, the afternoon melting away to the sounds of house.
"Basically, people in my industry are constantly being asked to do charitable things, and you know, I've always felt like getting celebrities involved in some charities gets lost and gets drowned. It doesn't come across as personal and it doesn't feel like it comes from the heart," Euphonik says.
"So, I've always shied away from getting involved in charitable initiatives that don't resonate with who I am and aren't close to my heart. I like doing cool things, and I think also, stuff like this, stuff I find to be very cool and it's also my own special and unique way of giving back to people. It's also authentic.
"It's what I want to do and I'm 100% behind it. I don't have people paying for all this stuff that I'm putting together. It's all coming out my own pocket. For me, that's what giving back is about."
He wanted to do a house party for the homeless, though did not want it to be "over-the-top massive". It resonated with him that he would be playing for children.
"They still need to dream and believe. They need a lot of hope. When I was looking for a home, being able to find this one, it happened to be the perfect one we were looking for," Euphonik says.
"I just want to put a smile on somebody else's face."
The home was founded by missionary Stephanie Burnett 11 and a half years ago. Burnett has worked with children in the streets of Hillbrow since 1992, taking them food, clothing and getting to know them.
"I haven't even told them there is a big surprise," Burnett says. They are going to be so delighted. This is going to be number one for their whole year."
All the necessities
The home ensures the boys were off the street, had accommodation, three meals a day, and school snacks. The boys had access to education and recreation was an important element of life at the house.
"Soccer is their favourite, then they've even got a PlayStation 3 upstairs that somebody donated to them. All kinds of board games, that's at home. Then they do also go for art. There is an artist who is looking after them and training them for years," Burnett says.
"There are some guys that do drama, there's some that do basketball, they go for boxing, that type of thing, so they get some recreation."
The 23 boys in the home also received counselling and spiritual input. A church came and fetched them on Sundays and did Bible studies with the boys during the week.
"We try to make sure it's as holistic as possible, make sure they are getting things for spirit, things for their soul, things for their bodies, and they’re doing well," she says.
"We got four boys that managed to go to college this year. We got bursaries for them so that's really good."
How you can help
JKK received a third of their funding from the social development department, while fundraising the rest.
"People are very generous and very kind, as you can see we are very blessed. Even the house was given to us and we have at the moment got 23 boys and I think the 23rd boy is in the pipeline, he's on his way in with one of the child protection agencies," Burnett says.
JKK had outreach teams in the streets, also feeding people and providing blankets to those in need.
They found boys this way, while the social development department, police, and child protection agencies also brought boys to them.
"We work specifically with street children, some of it is preventative. So you'd find some of the boys, their mothers are in women's shelters because they've got nowhere to stay or they are having a very hard time," she says.
"Then they come to us otherwise they land up in the street. When their mother are back on their feet they take their boys back."
If News24 users want to get touch with the home to contribute, call 083-703-6211, 084-620-1465, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.jabulanikhakiboskids.co.za.
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