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A beautiful cause – meet Cindy Duvel, the single biggest fundraiser for TOM 2020
A beautiful cause – meet Cindy Duvel, the single biggest fundraiser for TOM 2020

28 May 2020

There are Two Oceans Marathon (TOM) runners who train all year so they can raise funds for charitable causes come Race Day, and then there are those who work at charities or volunteer at such organisations. But then there’s that rare combination of both: meet Cindy Duvel, who not only entered TOM 2020 to run for charity, but also works at Beautiful Gate, a non-profit organisation. Based in Philippi, near Lower CrossRoads on the Cape Flats, it cares and protects children, preserves and empowers families, and mobilises the local community.

Cindy managed to raise R26 699 for Beautiful Gate at despite the race having to be cancelled. Her accomplishment was made all the more remarkable by the fact that to date she is also the single biggest fundraiser on GivenGain for TOM 2020.

About Beautiful Gate

Beautiful Gate has been in Philippi for 21 years, and recently celebrated their 26 birthday. In a community rife with some of the biggest of social challenges, especially poverty and access to quality education, this speaks volumes for their work, particularly the ethos of ‘mercy’ underlying their outreach, and their quest to see families and children thrive.

‘Some days it’s a pleasure, but some days it’s really rough’

It was this kind of intensely personable but purpose-driven outreach that not only attracted Cindy to working with Beautiful Gate, but raising funds for them, too. She experienced the difference they were making first-hand.
‘I get to see the huge sacrifices our amazing staff make day in and day out as they serve, look out for and walk alongside some of the most vulnerable in our city. They get up early to make sure that other people’s children are ready, fed and have all they need for school. They walk alongside children and adults in abusive situations; they counsel, intervene and try to help find solutions.

‘They stand in queues to get birth certificates so children can go to school, they run After- School Programmes and Safe Parks, helping with homework and sports respectively, to make sure that young people are free from harm while reaching their potential. To add to all of this, my colleagues also run teen HIV treatment services and make sure that critical medication is administered to those who need it, in partnership with a local clinic. They plan amazing club activities to give children experiences they would not normally have.

‘Some days it’s a pleasure, but some days it’s really tough. In solidarity with our tireless, courageous staff members, I wanted to do something really tough to raise funds so that I can support, encourage, train and equip my amazing colleagues.

The Race Day that wasn’t – but that highlighted Cindy’s heroic intentions all the more

Cindy was ‘heartbroken’ at not being able to run when TOM was cancelled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. ‘We had planned for our staff members to be along the route, challenges were set and we were all getting really excited. To be honest, I was probably more terrified than excited!’ Cindy confides.

Cindy says she’s had a group of training ‘buddies’ who have been a huge source of encouragement for the last five months. She credits them with helping her get through both the good as well as more challenging runs.
How Cindy and Beautiful Gate have risen to the COVID-19 challenge (with a little help from the TOM GivenGain community)

‘At Beautiful Gate we have been unbelievably busy in planning responses to the Covid-19 challenge’, says Cindy. And, as it turns out, ‘unbelievably busy’ is no exaggeration. When we call, Cindy is between meetings and projects, and the movement of people organising themselves and moving packages is clearly audible in the background.

1850 Bags of Hope, hundreds of food parcels and 734 households helped so far

‘We have handed out more than 1 850 Bags of Hope filled with Academic, Health and Emotional Intelligence goodies as well as handed out hundreds of food parcels. The need continues, as the challenges brought on by lockdown remain with us and the pandemic is far from over. My incredible colleagues are making even more plans to help get our community through this,’ she says.

Cindy goes on to say that she had the ‘the wonderful privilege’ of being part of the administrational team that enabled 734 households to receive food vouchers, education packs and toiletries. ‘My incredible colleagues are always making, creating and developing plans to help get our community through this crisis’ says Cindy.

Beautiful Gate’s COVID-19 response and how you can assist from R100 if you are able

This organisation with the beautiful ethos has 1 611 beneficiaries across its three main programmes. The immediate focus is on increased distribution of food and hygiene supplies, while after-care educational and educational supply outreaches are ongoing.

Click on the links below to see exactly how any donation you can spare would make amplify Beautiful Gate’s response even more:

‘For now, I’m happy to be running off my feet. My training will slowly pick up again’

‘It feels like my running days were part of another lifetime, so much has happened! For now, I’m happy to be running off my feet helping those who help others at our organisation. My new plan is to run next year. I’ve already communicated this to all my wonderful supporters. My training will slowly pick up again’.


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