TheBeautiful story of Adam Okot CampaignI have to tell you how I met Mr Okot... I am a paramedic and work for a major hospital group in the Sunninghil region...I was sent to a church across the road, for "an adult male that collapsed at church".I walked in to the church and saw some people huddle around a man who appeared extremely depressed, I could tell by his body language- hunched over; head down; a sombre look in his face and eyes and by his soft meloncholic speech. He appeared dirty and I hate to say, smelly from a distance. I found out the man fainted and fell forward off the bench towards the end of the ceremony, his vital signs were all within normal range however he said he has not eaten in a week. We assited him to a private room where he opened up about his story. He was a refugee to RSA from Sudan in his twenty's, over the years he made and sold snacks at kiosks- with his best sellers being sweat coated cashews, almonds and macadamias and guys, they are freaken delicious. He was trading all over the country at conventions and all types of festivals with a factory in KZN, and he sounded really succesful. He was sending money to his wife and kids in war-torn Sudan and had been doing this for years... Mr Okot is now in his early 50's.
Enter the KZN riots and Covid. During the riots his factory and a couple kiosks were obliterated off the face of this earth which happened to send Mr Okot on a death spiral destined for catastrophic destruction, in his case loss of income, homelessness and severe depression. To make matters worse home affairs was disfunctional during Covid and his papers expired due to severe delay from government and unfortuenately Mr Okot was subsequently arrested and stood before a magistrate. His bank account was frozen and the matter was not resolved. Fortuntaley for Mr Okot, because of his refugee status, he could not be deported but as you can imagine, this was the final nail in the coffin.
He was homeless for a while and verbalised he had lost all dignity and struggles to find food because he refuses to beg. Now, I see a lot of suffering in my line of work and usually cut out the suffering from my mind and focus on the job at hand, providing emergency care. This time there was something about him that was intriguing...maybe it was the way he sounded when he spoke or despite the circumstances, a plan to get out of this pickle without begging. There was something there that I just could not ignore. Anyway, A lady at the church went and bought him food and accommadation for two weeks, another gave him some cash, and I gave him my number and told him if he needs a meal, contact me and if I am at the hospital he can stop by and Il give him a meal. I also said if you give me a little more information about his nut business I will CONSIDER helping you out. He never asked for food, he came with a notepad and cost analyis (+- R15000) for starting his nut busness again which he will make by hand...at this time he was clean, he had his shoulders back and his head held high.
I picked him up on my off day and off we went shop to shop buying kilos of nuts and cacao, equipment and coating ingrediants...two days later he started trading at Woodmead and a week later he traded at the cullinen food beer and wine festival. He is able to pay his rent, eat and clean himself with the gift bag of self care items my fiance' organised in only two weeks! I got what I wanted out of this and am so proud of this random act of kindess. He needs a a coating machine to increase production which costs in the range of $500-2000$ and seems as though we can only import them. I have posted pictures of his work and pictures of the machine he needs to look after his family again