Raymond is everyone’s right hand man at Tshepo Community Development Initiative. He coordinates, harvests and generally gives a helping hand to anybody walking into Tshepo.
Raymond came to South Africa with the aim to escape poverty but also saw it as an opportunity to live outside his comfort zone. He got involved with Northcliff Union Church, through his brother who was already involved at the church.
After working as a labourer on a construction site for a year Ivan Martin introduced him to Tshepo. He started by polishing cutlery as part of the job creation project Tswelopele. When that was discontinued in 2012, he started working in the vegetable garden, weeding. He says he remembers just doing the job “…day after day”.
Raymond described Tshepo as a place that helps people to achieve their goals and to dream.
Raymond worked his way through various jobs at Tshepo, learning to relate and to work with people, and started working as the Coordinator in 2013. A big part of the job to him, is to constantly learn.
Raymond says his goal is to “…add value to people as I’m growing and getting to know more about myself”. He wants to accomplish this by walking alongside people and offering his help, getting involved, offering encouragement or through prayer.
Family means a lot to Raymond: he says that he’d like to have a family one day. A type of family that lives Godly values and that is supportive and encouraging to the next generation.
Raymond looked down when asked about his dream: he said he realised that having a big car or house isn’t all there is to life. Sure, it’s nice – but living according to God’s will, living a life that is pleasing God. He wants to be a person that loves God with all his heart and fulfill his purpose. That is his dream.