Jolanda Kromhout came out to South Africa from the Netherlands in January 2014 to visit friends. When in Cape Town, she met a young woman named Jade who she immediately formed a bond with. Jade was homeless, pregnant and in dire need for someone to show interest in her story. Jolanda was taken aback by Jade’s remarkable story and knew her relationship with her could not end there. Before Jolanda left to go back to the Netherlands she made sure Jade had somewhere to sleep, clothing and a good meal. However a short while later Jolanda realised she hadn’t done enough and this did not sit well with her. So she spent tireless days making phone calls to homeless shelters in Cape Town, but unfortunately Jade was nowhere to be found.
After months of trying her best to find Jade, with nothing more than a mental image to explain to strangers, Jolanda was not giving up. She came back to South Africa a week ago and walked around the area in Green Point where she first saw Jade. She wrote to the Cape Times with a letter titled, ‘Jade,where are you?’, and Cape Talk radio station picked up on the story and did an interview with Jolanda.
Our Chief Executive Marc Truss read the article in the Cape Times, had heard the plea over Cape Talk radio and took it upon himself to avail their resources in providing assistance with the aid of two fieldworkers, namely Geraldine Killian and Larochelle Muller from the City of Cape Town, for the use of their vehicles and personnel to do whatever they could to find Jade.
The GP/OKCID takes on any initiative that may of assistance to help members of the public, even if that involves going above and beyond what is required of them. “The GPCID gives us just what we need to do our job best. They always assist us financially and help with transport where possible. We as social workers have very good relationships with the Green Point & Oranje-Kloof CIDs” said Geraldine. Together, Geraldine, Larochelle and Jolanda spoke to every security guard and homeless person on the streets in their search to locate Jade. With no luck, Jolanda left to visit friends in Jefferey’s Bay.
This past Monday, 25 August 2014, Jolanda was contacted by Geraldine with a photograph of a young woman. To Jolanda’s utter delight it was Jade. Without giving it a second thought, Jolanda hopped on the next plane back to Cape Town. In a teary and joyful event, Jolanda and Jade were reunited. Jolanda and Jade will have until Friday to catch up, and through the efforts of GP/OKCID and the field workers from the City of Cape Town, Jolanda now has the opportunity to make a difference in this young woman’s life. The social workers arranged for Jade to temporarily stay in the Napier Street Haven Night Shelter while they investigate the current conditions of Jade’s family members whom resides in Athlone.
Jolanda wrote to Marc Truss in an email filled with thanks and gratitude, “I just want to thank you again for all the kindness that you showed to Jade and myself over this past week. I am so grateful to Geraldine and LaRouchelle for spending day and night on the street to find Jade and all the support that I have got in my try to find her. Without your and their help, I would not have found her. Now, I feel she has a choice and a chance to make something of her life.” Jolanda leaves Cape Town today with a humble heart, knowing that Jade is now safe and in the capable hands of field workers and the GP/OKCID team who truly care.
Marc Truss offered his full resource to both Jolanda and Jade in ensuring that this story did have a happy ending. The Cape Times wrote a follow up story to the initial letter published in the newspaper, which is on the front page today, 29 August. Read it here
It is through the exposure of the Cape Times, Cape Talk radio, GP/OKCID, Geraldine and LaRouchelle that the worry that Jolanda once had can now be wiped away, with the future only looking good for Jade.