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Last Updated on June 3, 2015 by

Like all of our students who go abroad, South Africa holds a special place in the hearts of alumni. So when recently there was a fire in Kayamandi Township in Stellenbosch that destroyed hundreds of homes, one alum was quick to act and rally his fellow students.

When Andy Clark, who studied in South Africa with AIFS in 2008, heard the news, he set up a page on gofundme.com to try and spread the word:

On March 14th parts of Kayamandi were destroyed following the largest fire in in township history. Reports are that up to over 4,000 people have been left homeless following the fire. While studying abroad in South Africa I became very involved in an after-school program held at a Kayamandi school. Some of my former students reached out to me and informed me of this disaster. The pictures are horrifying.

When translated into English, Kayamandi means “Sweet Home,” and how true that is. I have shared this website with many people who I know have been greatly affected by their time in Kayamandi as I have. Being part of the Kayamandi community is among my proudest accomplishments. The homes that were opened to me, and the generosity of the people is unmatched.

All funds raised here will be sent to a local non-profit, Relief Life Disaster Management.

Please join me ensuring that Kayamandi can continue to live up to its name: “Sweet Home.”

Speaking about student reaction to the fire, our long-time Resident Director, Hesta de Wet, said that “the news of the fire in Kayamandi spread quickly among alumni in the USA. Approximately 90% of all my students work in Kayamandi as part of a project offered by the PGIO and that’s why they have a special bond with the community.”  To date, Andy’s site has rasied over $6,000, including a $2,000 donation from AIFS!


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