Stellenbosch may appear affluent, but there are many surrounding townships that are home to underprivileged communities. Kingdom DNA is a local non-profit organisation that helps people in these communities overcome socio-economic challenges.
Casper Steenkamp, director of Kingdom DNA, said that the heartbeat of Kingdom DNA started in 2008 however, the organisation was officially formed in 2014. The organisation currently works with over 60 children from the surrounding areas.
The NGO works with children aged between four and nineteen who are largely from Kayamandi. They also work with children from an apartment complex right next to Stellenbosch University nicknamed the “tik towers”.
It is Steenkamp’s belief, as a Christian, that people should put their love for others into action.
Annica Marais, a final year engineering student at Stellenbosch University, has been involved with Kingdom DNA since 2016.
“I think it’s good to give back but I don’t necessarily see it as giving back to the community at the moment because I feel like it’s not about one person helping another person. It’s more about that while being in each other’s presence, we all grow,” she said.
One of the big projects that Kingdom DNA has is the Grass Root Tennis project. The reason behind using sport to give back is that sports is a global language which goes beyond gender, culture and ethnicity. “Sport can unite people as it speaks a language that is transferable and simple enough for both children and adults to understand,” Steenkamp said.
Amongst other reasons, tennis was chosen because it is one of the very few sports that is inclusive; young and old, male and female can play it together.
Other projects that the organisation is working on are missionary work, campus ministry and leadership training.
There are a lot more plans in the near future for Kingdom DNA. On the sixth of May 2017, the organisation is hosting a fundraiser at the Dagbreek tennis courts at Stellenbosch University. They are also introducing the business and educational components in order to serve the surrounding communities holistically and assist in fighting poverty.
It is very easy to get involved you can contact Casper Steenkamp at 071 471 0631. Alternatively, you can visit the Kingdom DNA Facebook page or website www.kingdomdna.org or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. – Vonani Ngomana