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Fisantekraal Centre for Development strengthened by addition of new board members

dsc03884The newly elected chairperson for FCD,  Neels Oosthuizen, is no stranger to the organisation. He’s been involved with FCD since 2010 and eventually joined the Board in 2011.

After retiring from a corporate career in 2007, Neels decided to devote his time and energy to projects in and around Durbanville, where he could serve others with his gifts of encouragement, leadership, management, and teaching.  He says he finds his involvement in FCD particularly gratifying when he hears the testimonies of the students during the bi-annual graduation ceremonies and how their lives have changed.

Upon accepting his role as Chairperson, Neels said he was looking forward to his new role. “It is quite daunting to have to walk in Linda’s formidable footsteps now. Luckily she is not jumping ship, but just stepping down.” He acknowledged Linda’s significant contribution stating that she truly carries the institutional history of FCD. Linda was a member of the initial Learn to Earn Durbanville initiative and was appointed as the first manager of FCD in 2010. After a period of absence from the board with the birth of her second son, she returned in February 2014 as a board member and was appointed as Chair Person in August 2014.

Neels went on to welcome the new board members to FCD and reminded everyone that they are all called to play a significant and meaningful role within the team. He went on to thank Linda for her past leadership role, the board and volunteers for their support and prayers, and finally Jane and her team for their dedicated commitment and hard work. He closed by referring to the Prayer of Jabez from 1 Chron 4:9, requesting God to grow our territory for His work and His glory.

FCD Board" The Board of Fisantekraal Centre for Development (Aug2016) Top from left Francois Bruwer, Louis Meiring, Johannes Mpo, Grant Hopkins, Desmond Barry, Neels Oosthuizen, Chris Laubscher and Jane Gelderman (Director); Front row from left Linda Oosthuizen, Dale Blom and Danielle Jones FCD Board” The Board of Fisantekraal Centre for Development (Aug2016) Top from left Francois Bruwer, Louis Meiring, Johannes Mpo, Grant Hopkins, Desmond Barry, Neels Oosthuizen, Chris Laubscher and Jane Gelderman (Director); Front row from left Linda Oosthuizen, Dale Blom and Danielle Jones[/caption]

Other new board members and appointments include Louis Meiring from Bergsig DR Church. He is taking the place of Verna Esterhuyse who is stepping down. Leon Huisamen is also stepping down as a board member. Linda Oosthuizen is relinquishing her position as Chair, but will be staying on as a Board member. Daniella Jones (a lawyer) and Desmond Barry (a pastor from Fisantekraal) have also joined the board.

Desmond Barry is originally from Scottsdene, Kraaifontein where he grew up, finished matric, and started working. He worked in the retail industry for about five years before he got saved.  He felt called to go into full-time ministry 12 years ago. A graduate of Lofdal International School of Ministry with counselling certification from Phillipi Trust, Desmond is a minister of the gospel in Fisantekraal with a great passion for counselling. He says “I have a passion for helping people who are struggling. I want to help them overcome and to help them live victoriously. My passion became my life’s mission.”

About poverty alleviation and upskilling the unemployed, Desmond says “First of all, I don’t believe God created us to be poor because He created us in His image (and that image of God is not poor). Secondly, I believe poverty is a mindset. The Bible declares in the book of Proverbs,”As a man thinks, so is he…

So, as a child of God, made in His image, I believe His Word. And as a minister of God’s Word, I stand for what He stands, which includes helping the poor. Two ways to help the poor is: Upskill the unemployed so that they can break the cycle of unemployment and teach them the Word of God that has the ability to transform their minds. In so doing, you will break the mindset of poverty.

My involvement with FCD started when my wife and I were looking for a course/programme that could help her achieve her dream. We found FCD and decided to go with them because they believe what we believe and that settled it. Through that connection, I built up a relationship with FCD and soon started to do devotions once a month on a Wednesday – something I really enjoy doing.

Another thing, I literally saw the impact FCD made in the lives of students and also in mine. I can honestly say that the staff and the board of FCD are a group of warm, caring and helping people, and I want to be part of such a team. In conclusion: God is in this work, and that’s why I support them.”

Danielle Jones is the eldest of three children born to hard-working parents Daniel and Loëta Thomas. Born and reared in Cape Town she refused to pursue job opportunities elsewhere in SA and abroad due to her passion for the Cape. Married to Troy for the past 8 years. They have no children but are very involved in the lives of Danielle’s niece and nephew, Skye and Cullan. Danielle works as a Legal Services Manager in the International Business Division of Engen Petroleum. She supports the legal requirements of 15 Sub-Sahara African countries outside of South Africa. This includes countries such as Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Reunion, Mauritius, Ghana, Gabon, DRC and Burundi. Prior work experience includes stints working as an attorney in law firms (Bornman & Hayward and later Gunstons Inc) also as a legal consultant and director at Nosa and Implex Compliance Solutions respectively.

Danielle believes that “we cannot truly move forward in South Africa (or indeed in any country) without doing all we can to address poverty and unemployment. Many of the social ills we have to deal with as a country have roots in these two phenomena. I believe that all people have a need to contribute positively (consciously and sometimes unconsciously) to society. Being able to earn a living is an important factor in building dignity in people, and also the first step to helping to people to aspire to greater things for themselves and their future generations. I believe that we are all born with a special purpose to be fulfilled and that as we are all part of the body of Christ we have an obligation to contribute where we can. I have previously contributed to good causes on a very ad-hoc basis and have over the last few years prayed for more guidance in this. Last year I was introduced to FCD and was very excited about the work they do. From the testimonies of learners, I realised the real difference this organisation makes in the lives of the community and I knew that this was where God had lead me to, to do my bit on a more structured basis. I feel absolutely blessed to be part of this amazing organisation!”

Louis Meiring is a member of the Bergsig Dutch Reformed Church congregation. “Professionally I have an accounting background and have international experience in various financial disciplines.  My family and I follow in the footsteps of Jesus and we have been blessed. Therefore we want to share these blessings with God’s children and not keep it just for ourselves.  My contribution at FCD is in answer to a calling from our heavenly Father. I see people as God’s masterpieces and I want them to flourish as it was intended by God.  Poverty robs one of your dignity and makes you lose hope.  Unemployment goes hand in hand with poverty, therefore if one can provide employment; the problem of poverty also gets addressed.

FCD’s foundation is God.  The solution to many of our countries problems lies with educating people and providing employment.  FCD does exactly that, thus we have a common ideology.