Since I started working as the CEO of Valcare in 2016, I’ve had the privilege of engaging with countless of organisations in the Cape Winelands.

Xoliswa outside the small house where she runs the centre from.

One of Valcare’s member organisations and partners, Good Hope Day Care Centre (GHDCC), however had a particular impact on me on a very personal level.

Xoliswa Mjezu started GHDCC when she realised that there is no day care centre for disabled youth in Mbekweni (a township in Paarl with around 50000 people). She is a mother of a disabled child herself and truly understands the difficulties faced every day. Please read her incredible story here.

The reason for my letter is simple. Xoliswa currently looks after 20 disabled children (and she has a long waiting list), she is grossly under- resourced and she currently cares for the children from her home. This means that she cannot qualify for any funding or grants from government and puts a massive strain on her, the parents of the children and the care-givers that she employs. The reality is, she needs a bigger facility.

This is where it it becomes exciting. Through the Valcare network we have managed to get her a perfect place to build a new school. One of our other partners, Hope Through Action, has gracefully made a piece of land available to build the school. We are planning to build the school from containers and make it fully accessible for wheelchairs etc. We are working with our local government to then get her accredited and help her to access grant funding to make her GHDCC sustainable and impactful. There is nothing quite like collaborating to make an impact.

Xoliswa with her team of volunteers and the children at GHDCC.

As a way to kick-start fundraising efforts for the school, I have entered to run my first marathon (Cape Town Marathon). It will take place this coming Sunday, the 23rd of September 2018 and a big part of the marathon ethos is to raise funds for deserving projects. I cannot think of any project more deserving. If you would like to follow my progress, you can download the app here. My race number is 9097.

I have managed to get the commitment from specific individuals to match whatever I raise rand-for-rand. The goal is to raise R100 000.

I will not stop running until we build the school, so next up will be the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon and then of course the big one, the Comrades – until we raise enough to build the school. I am taking this personally and I want to challenge you to join us in making this remarkable project sustainable.

If you want to donate to the project, you can do so in various ways. You can either make a payment to the Valcare NPC account (FNB Cheque, Acc: 62719440084, Branch: 250655, REF: #run2build) or you could donate directly to the GivenGain account for the race HERE. All proceeds will go directly to the project and I will keep you updated with regards to the efforts in fundraising and the building of the school.

Please feel free to contact me anytime if you have any questions or comments. This is an exciting time and I will keep you posted on the development of the project. #run2build


Ivan Swartz
CEO of Valcare


Status: Completed


Status: Completed