Living the spirit of service

Sustained change

14 July 2020 | Mense

Xenophone van Wyk recently won N$30 000 for his efforts in Tsumeb’s informal settlement of Kuvukiland through the Bank Windhoek #JourneyingTogether social media campaign and is the third winner of the competition, which concluded in May.

Born and raised in the town of Rehoboth as a change-maker, actively taking creative action to solve a social problem, Van Wyk entered Bank Windhoek’s #JourneyingTogether initiative, intending to assist community members of Kuvukiland. They are currently experiencing adverse challenges in fetching water over long distances from water points.

As part of his community’s solution, Bank Windhoek assisted in sourcing fourteen iron water wheelbarrows, each with a capacity to carry four 25-litre water containers, which would decrease the number of trips a household would have to make to water points. Fourteen families identified by Van Wyk benefited from his win.

Being a professional first-aid responder who also runs a non-governmental organisation known as 'Helping the Homeless', Van Wyk said after completing grade 12 he started to develop a passion for helping people.

“In 2013 I pursued my career as a medic. I did my training at Emergency Management Training & Specialist Services (EMTSS) in Windhoek. Since then I am practising on the ambulance, and my aim is to work for an ambulance company in Tsumeb,” he says.

Van Wyk, now a first-year law student, not only runs an initiative to help people in need with basic needs but also strives to help street kids to get back to school.

“What one should always know is that we can’t judge someone based on their appearance or whatever but actually to try and find out what the cause of the problem is. You will be surprised when you hear their stories,” he said.

For him, helping the homeless was always a dream as he did not want to see these people with a negative mindset but to identify the problem and help them with a solution.

“Remember that helping someone doesn’t mean to give them money, but to show them that there are still people out there who love them and care for them. You will never know how much your love means to that person; maybe that’s what that person needed at that time or the person might have been on the verge of giving up on life. So always try to show love to your fellow brother and sister.”

Van Wyk says running his organisation comes with both challenges and joys.

He urges young people to be innovative in finding ways of helping to uplift their communities.

“My motto is, I don’t want to be a product of my environment; I want my environment to be a product of me.

“I take courage in the fact that young people take initiative because of the stigma that’s over our youth of today; we are encouraged to make that change and carve out paths for the next individual whose mind is stuck in a box because society portray us that way.”

XANOPHANE VAN WYK > You will never be able to help EVERYONE, but EVERYONE can help ONE.



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