UPDATE: Zero Waste Home – South Africa Tour 2017

Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home is the guru of the Zero Waste lifestyle. She is inspiring people around the world by sharing her journey through social media and being invited to give talks around the world. She has given 100+ speeches in 20+ countries on 5 continents, since 2011. She has spoken at The European Parliament, United Nations, Google, Adobe and more.

So imagine my joy when she asked if I would be interested in helping getting her to South Africa in May! Especially as she is the one who inspired me to start my journey.


Photo taken from Zero Waste Home.com

If you or your company are interested in assisting with sponsoring, making a donation towards the cost, or even hosting a talk, but would like any further information, please do get in touch with me to chat about it. You can reach me on mrscolleenblack@gmail.com.

Once we have venues confirmed, an event page will be created for each location, and all sponsors will be promoted via these pages. In the meanwhile, please express your interest on the event page on Facebook by selecting “Interested” or “Going”.

Our major sponsors are EcoJarz and Faithful to Nature.  We also have support from Ecoffee Cup SA and KURO-Bō Activated Charcoal.

Thank you to our organisers – Eco Atlas, Rethink the Bag / Two Oceans Aquarium and Food & Trees for Africa.

Zero Waste Home Tour SA Cover

5th May – Cape Town – Two Oceans Aquarium (Organiser: Rethink the Bag)
6th May – Plettenberg Bag – Beacon Island Resort (Organiser: Eco Atlas)
8th May – Durban – venue to be confirmed (Organiser:Food & Trees for Africa)
9th May – Johannesburg – venue to be confirmed (Organiser:Food & Trees for Africa)

Please do help spread the word by sharing this info and reaching out to your contacts so that we can make this a reality! Invite your friends, tag them, share this post, phone your friends, talk to relevant businesses, do whatever it takes!
If you would like to support this, you or your business can make a pledge on our crowdfunder on ThundaFund.







Why I love Resthaven Ministries

We found out about Resthaven Ministries  (NPO 013 389) through a very special couple we met through Riverside Community; Marcelle & Cory. Marcelle works for Door of Hope and Cory is involved at Resthaven Ministries, he runs Christian courses (parenting/caregiver, church planting, etc). Such an amazing couple.

It was late last year that we made our first trip to Resthaven.  Steve Rudd, the CEO, took us on a little tour and it didn’t take long for this organisation to creep into our hearts.

Resthaven was started in 1979 by the Saunders, and these days, Steve is now holding the reigns.  I don’t even know where to start to try and help you understand just how much they do! They are so busy looking after so many people, as well as other small organisations in their area, that there has just not been time for things like running projects to try get funds in, or updating social media and websites etc. I am in awe at how much they are achieving and the difference they are making to peoples lives.

There are 3 houses; Camelia, Jasmin and Rose, where elderly people live and are cared for.  These are people who either have no family, have been deserted and/or have nowhere to go.  They receive a government pension of R1500, and they pay R1200 to stay at Resthaven, but this doesn’t cover their costs. This includes a live in Caregiver, all their meals, utility bills, laundry etc.  Resthaven also has two mini buses which are used to transport residents to hospital appointment, the shops etc. There is such a lovely homely  atmosphere at these houses, they are not institutions for the elderly, they are homes, and they are run like homes.

Then there is David House, where 7 children live with their house mother, Ronel and 2 Aunties.  The children are all HIV+; they are so healthy and well and this is all thanks to the meticulous care they have been given by Ronel, from the day of their arrival. They attend schools locally, some attending a Christian School and a couple of them attending a special needs school. They are all doing so well in school and whilst this does come at a cost due to the school fees, Resthaven are determined to keep them in place so they can continue growing in character and academically.  They receive a discount on the school frees which are a huge help, but these are still R2800 per child per month! They are involved in extramural activities; they have been sponsored their classes with Dance Mouse Johannesburg. These kids have some pretty good moves! Again, David House was like walking into any other family home, the fridge and walls had kids artwork, reports and certificates pinned up, and they even have their own pet dog, Fifi. Their main supporter is Kibwe Kids, and they could not run as they do without this invaluable support.

They are in the process of re opening their Baby Sanctuary, where they hope to start off with up to 6 babies.  They have had the centre revamped and they are just awaiting final sign off from Health & Safety, etc etc etc!

In addition to all of this, every week they are feeding families and distribute food and donations to other like minded organisations in their area. So if anything is donated to them that they do not have a need for, they share it.

What I love about Resthaven, is they are not dealing with numbers or beds.  They care for each individual and want the absolute best for that person. Steve and his wife Jackie are dedicating so much of their lives to Resthaven, and have actually adopted two children who are now in their teens, one of these kids was actually from Resthaven.

Resthaven run at a loss every year! Their buildings are in need of maintenance, some of the roofs are leaking and the gutters are in need of repair.  The mini buses which are used to transport the residents are on their way out! Next years school fees are looming at a rapid rate. They need extra security installed, CCTV, electric fencing etc, as their unfortunately have been incidents. The list goes on. You can support their GivenGain Maintenance fund here.

I have wanted to be involved or help in some way, but logistically, they are in Johannesburg and we are in Heidelberg, and now moving to the North Coast.  But then I realised I run my business in England from South Africa- location doesn’t matter?!  So I offered to help them online, with a new website and assist with their social media accounts and trying to raise awareness for them.  We also have some exciting projects coming up! I am also thanking the Lord for bringing us Jackie de Paiva of Everlasting Photography, as she has donated her time and talent to take photos for our new website!

So please do visit the Resthaven Facebook page and give it a like. If you are interested there are so many ways you can help.

  • You could offer the obvious –  financial support!
  • You could offer your time as a skilled trades person
  • You could volunteer to go paint the ladies nails or play cards with the men or even just chat
  • You could volunteer to play games with the kids
  • Maybe you are an art student – offer your time to do art classes in the kids holidays
  • Maybe you are sporty – offer your time to play soccer or games with the kids
  • Maybe you don’t have time or money, but you could help spread the word by telling your contacts about Resthaven, and sharing their posts on social media.
  • Donate some treats like nice toiletries or boxes of chocolates to the elderly folk. When given a box of biscuits, one lady remarked how thrilled she was as she couldn’t remember when last she had her OWN entire box of biscuits.

We can make such a difference to these peoples lives.  If you want to help but don’t know how, drop me a line and I can assist with ideas to suit your time, skill and/or budget.

If you are interested in finding out more, please do get in touch with me on hope@resthavenministries.co.za.



Menstrual Cup Outreach at The Khaya Centre

After much fundraising online and through Riverside Community Church, we managed to raise R22145 to buy menstrual cups from MyOwnCup, for underprivileged young girls and women.

Thank you to everyone, from around the world, who supported the project with donations and/or raising awareness by spreading the news via social media.

The BranchOut Team at Riverside connected me with The Khaya Centre in LeHae. The Khaya Centre is an organisation made up of a group of amazingly renovated, colourful shipping containers, and an equally amazing group of giving people. They provide a safe environment for children, youth and adults to learn, interact and play.

There is a children’s creche, library and computer centre which supports children within the LeHae community. They feed 1100 people a day, (yes that figure is correct!) and have their own bakery, housed in a shipping container, where they produce just over 100 loaves of bread a day. They have so many projects that are run from their centre. I was completely blown away, not just by work they are doing within their community, but by their passion for what they do.

Sara, from BranchOut and I met Cara of MyOwnCup at the Khaya Centre on the 7th May to meet the groups of women, so Cara could offer the training on the use of the menstrual cups.

Cara is passionate about these outreach projects, and it really shows in her enthusiasm whilst she is training the groups. She has such a fun, down to earth and genuine approach which makes it easy for women of all walks of life to feel comfortable to open up and learn together.

Here is a lovely little video that Cara took at the end of their last training session.

As I have mentioned before, this is something I would like to continue supporting.  I am in the process of sorting out the finer details to make it easier for people to donate and support the project. If anyone is interested in starting a  project in their area, but maybe aren’t too sure how to go about it, then please do get in touch with me and I can possibly help.  I would love to see more of these projects in place across the country.

Girls Fund – Helping underprivileged girls in Johannesburg South

A while ago, I started raising funds to buy menstrual cups from MyownCup Menstrual Cup.  The idea was for them to go to a school in Eikenhof in Johannesburg South, but unfortunately this did not work out. Riverside Community Church was already on board helping raise funds with their outreach team, Branch Out, and so they contacted the Khaya Centre who were very keen. We are in the process of finalising a date where Branch Out and MyOwnCup can meet with all the girls at the Khaya Centre and offer the training and guidance and support needed. Very exciting!

Some of you may have seen my previous post about it, well here is a repeated and updated version!  Please do help spread the word about this, where ever you are in the world.

Imagine being an underprivileged young woman living in South Africa, without always having access to water and or electricity, and not being able to afford food, let alone tampons or even san pads.

Imagine not being able to go to school because you are having your period and you don’t have san pads. Many girls miss up to 50 days of school per year! Some use rags as san pads … we won’t even go there on the hygiene issues, not to mention the embarrassment they must suffer.

For most of us, our biggest concern at this time of the month is what comfort food we need and convincing the other half to give us a foot massage. My heart goes out to these girls.

A menstrual cup is made from medical grade silicone, and once inserted can be kept in place for up to 12 hours safely. These have been used for many, many years all over the world by woman of all backgrounds.  They are becoming a popular solution in rural, underprivileged areas due to the financial savings, health factors, as well as the obvious environmental issues! I have used a menstrual cup for years and it is life changing!

jar and cup (Large)

So far we have raised just over R21475. Initially I had a JustGiving crowdfunder to try kickstart things, and that raised £160. Just as that ended we had lots more interest and funds coming in directly and then Riverside starting facilitating the receiving of funds for me.

This is going to be an ongoing project for me and I will be meeting with Cara of MyOwnCup soon to finalise getting this officially set up to make it easier for people to donate and fundraise for those in need in their areas.  Watch this space!

If you would like to order a MyOwnCup Menstrual Cup for yourself, you can do so from Faithful to Nature (click the link).  This is an affiliate link, and all money raised from this will go directly to the Girls Fund.

If you would like any more information, please feel free to get in touch with me on 079 355 3666 or mrscolleenblack@gmail.com.

Weekend Getaway at L’Abondant Vinge Stone Cottage

Not too long ago, on my search for locally grown, packaging free, organic vegetables, I discovered Johan & Vida.

About 5 years ago they decided to make the town-to-country move. They have built their home just outside Heidelberg from scratch.  What was once a very large empty piece of land, is now a much loved smallholding where Johan, Vida and their two children live, with some very happy dogs, cows, sheep, horses, pigs and chickens!

You only need to spend 2 minutes with Vida to see how passionate she is about living a simple & loving life, living off the land they now call home. She grows all their vegetables from non-gmo and heirloom seeds, no nasty pesticides in this kitchen garden! We now have a delivery of vegetables every week from L’Abondant Vinge Organic Farm Produce with the option of fresh milk (fresh as in Vida milked the cow herself that morning!), yoghurt,raw honey and eggs. We are very excited to be able to get some meat from them in the near future.

The main reason for this blog post is to tell you about L’Abondant Vinge Stone Cottage.  I just feel that the true beauty of their Stone Cottage lies not just within the cottage itself, but within the whole vibe that Johan and Vida have created.  From the moment you amble down the driveway, you just know that this is a family who loves their land, loves their animals and just want you to be there to share in the beauty of their little haven.

L’Abondant Stone Cottage is beautiful!  If you love quirky touches and the rustic vibe then you will love this place. Every where you look you can tell it has been built and decorated with love. It is set on the banks of the Suikerbos River, just 18km from Heidelberg and 100km from Pretoria. This spot makes for the perfect weekend getaway from Joburg.

You can enjoy some flyfishing, rowing, mountain biking, birdwatching, hiking, romantic picnics or just settle yourself on the stoep, put your feet up and enjoy the tranquility with a good book or a pair of binoculars.

The cottage is self catering and sleeps 4; a double bed downstairs and two single beds in the loft. The cost of the cottage for 4 people Friday to Sunday is R1800. You could even get some fresh farm produce from Vida’s kitchen and garden. I almost wish we didn’t live so close, then we could stay their ourselves!

To make a booking contact Johan on 082 853 4790 and visit them on Facebook.