We recently sponsored Monique as a participant in the Mev Bloemfontein pageant. She describes herself as a modest person who was born without a silver spoon in her mouth. She approached us with a humbling request to assist those less privileged and most affected by levels of unemployment, vulnerable children and many other members of our community that are in need. Her mission was solely on collecting any form of donation from IBL to assist with making a difference in the lives of our people.
Monique is a mother, a single income breadwinner, a business woman and she aims to make a difference in our society. Needless to say, she admits that she cannot help everyone, even if she wants to, but she acknowledges that every little bit helps and encourages us all to give a little. Monique and her work links up very well with the Interstate Bus Lines principle of “Passion”. Her compassion to help others, is what we live by as an organisation.
Monique also enjoys support from her family who also joins her on all her outreach programme. She uses the sponsorships and help from members of the community, friends, businesses in Bloemfontein, Mev Bloemfontein, Guardian Angels, and many others to make a positive difference in the lives of the people of Mangaung. Through her hard and selfless work, she has been able to help the following projects, to name a few:
- About 30 families a week, organising and providing some of their basic needs to survive in and around the Bloemfontein area.
- She hands out teddy bears at Pelonomi Hospital, she says just spending an hour with a child without parents makes a world of a difference to that child.
- She also assists Omega centrum to become self-sustainable.
- She supports Engo children’s home with the necessities of life, food, clothes and time.
- She assists at the Watkey street old age home and together with her team they held a Christmas outreach programme where they delivered food for Christmas dinner.
- She organised a Christmas party at the Tshepang children’s home and had Arrow Music to entertain children.
- She helped Interstate Bus Lines extend a hand to children living with cancer at the Universitas Hospital children’s cancer ward, handing out pizza slices, toys and spending time with the kids that have been there for a long time. Some of these children live far and cannot afford to visit the hospital every week as their parents need to work and look after the other kids at home.
- She also volunteers her time to assist other non-profit organisations to reach out to more people in need.
- On her birthday, 20 July, she aimed to give about 300 homeless people soup and vetkoek for lunch as part of her birthday celebration.
She says: “Charity starts at home, so I encourage people to look around you – your friend at work or the lady that works for you and even if it is nothing to you, it helps when you can give a little of yourself. It is not a once-off thing – it is something you do every single day; it is something that drives you to do more where you can. Teaching children empathy for others is probably the most valuable lesson they can ever learn. Teach them at a young age, and there will be hope for South Africa.”
In the journey of life, we are all travellers, we meet people from all walks of life, some of these people leave an everlasting mark and impression in our own lives. Interstate Bus Lines’ continued commitment to plough back to our community is based on this principle, that we all should aim to be of positive influence to those we live around. Monique and her team are a shining example of this principle. Through the support from our loyal passengers, we were able to assist some of her programmes.