by Alexander Brand
When the national lockdown hit, SJ Community Hearts (SJCH) saw a need for support in local households, seeing as most were negatively affected by the new Covid-19 restrictions. “We started in Stellenbosch and expanded to our local farms and other organisations,” says Adams.
Kyle Adams, Sonja Adonis, Johan Daniels from SJCM, stay true to their NGO’s mission of being true role models, through visibility, positive engagement, and ensuring that they bring life to their vision in everything that they do. Part of their team is Ghillian Opperman (Photographer) and Arid Meyer (Make-up artist).
Daniels gained a platform to evoke change when he won the title Mr. South Africa Heart 2019 and more recently Mr. Magnificent Man Icon Southern Africa 2019/2020. He says these titles have allowed him to learn a lot of new, useful skills, as well as find a newfound love for his community and country as a whole. “I want to continue keeping firmly grounded to the needs of my community and my country. I am grateful to form part of this amazing brand as my main focus is the youth of South Africa and globally,” says Daniels. He is also a proud brand ambassador for the Little Fighters Cancer Trust (LFCT) providing practical and emotional support to children with cancer and their families throughout South Africa.
A similar path was taken by Adonis when she was crowned Mrs. Stellenbosch in 2017 and Ms. Magnificent Woman Icon South Africa Elite in 2019. This allowed her to go even bigger with her community work in her community and outside of Stellenbosch. She is also the founder of Mr. and Ms. Creche Stellenbosch, a creche pageant where she involves all creches of Stellenbosch to take part. She says, “It allows the children to be confident from a young age so that they will be able to stand up for themselves and also take care of themselves.”
SJCH does community work with elders and children (especially children with disabilities). They assist those in need of food and clothing. Every month, they choose an area in need and reach out by supplying clothing items and food parcels for two households. Other examples of what they do include: outreaches, food baskets, youth disaster management, feeding schemes, youth development, volunteer opportunities, clothing collections, and drop-offs. Soon, SJCH is hoping to have their own building/office which will allow them to host various activities in need of office space, as well as have ample open space for the children. Adonis has taken on the role of inspiring young women and a Monday and Wednesday afternoon, where she provides them with modelling classes and inspires them with lessons that her mother has taught her when she was growing up. “We also plan on expanding nationwide and internationally, as well as involve other organisations in our projects, so that we can help a greater amount of people in need,” says Adams.
As Chanté Van der Heever is their only volunteer at the moment, they are always looking for more people to get involved. People can either assist with donations for their various projects or they can email SJCH at: firstname.lastname@example.org if they wish to become a continuous sponsor. If you think you will be able to assist them with any of the services that they offer, you are encouraged to get in touch.