The cost of living continues to grip households across the country, which means many children will be denied the simple joy of an Easter egg this year.
To address this, Billy Claassen, a passionate farmworker turned activist, is calling on South Africans to open their hearts and make donations of Easter eggs for farmworker children in the Western Cape.
“Like in the past, I want to take Easter egg products to farms in the West Coast and Boland areas. Some of those kids do not have the luxury of eating a marshmallow, let alone a real chocolate egg,” he said.
Claassen, through his Rural and Farmworkers Development Organisation, has been putting smiles on the faces of farmworker children for more than two decades.
Egg project reaches 500 children
It all started in 2002 while working on farms in the Western Cape when Claassen spotted a great need. A lot of children could not enjoy this special holiday with Easter eggs because their parents could not afford them.
“For those of us in towns, cities or urban areas, we are happy when it is Easter or Christmas, but there are children on remote farm areas who do not have the luxury of enjoying Easter eggs,” Claassen explained.
Claassen then approached big retail chains and community members for sponsors. The egg project has grown in leaps and bounds, reaching close to 1 500 farms and 2 000 children living on farms.
“You can see the joy on the kids’ faces and for me, that is the only thank you I want. Seeing the joy in their eyes, running around with the marshmallows, it’s priceless.
“As long as I live, I will do this every year even if it means making donations out of my own pocket, Claassen said.
Claassen is asking South Africans to rally behind him and help put a smile on farm children’s faces this year.
“For those in Cape Town, they can buy the Easter eggs themselves, call me and I will pick them up myself. Or they can make a donation to the Rural and Farmworkers Development Organisation’s bank account.”
Claassen said he will distribute the eggs this weekend and on Easter Monday. Claassen can be reached on 071 740 5610.
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