SPORTING CHANCE: Make a Difference winner Ralph Bouwers started the Guardians of National Treasure NPO in Lavender Hill.
Cape Town - The impact you make on society is not dependent on your age or capabilities. This philosophy is exemplified by Kyle Cato, 17, who has been acknowledged as a community hero for going out of his way to serve others.

Since 2015, Cato has been working on various projects to improve the lives of others. He collects plastic bottle tops to fundraise for Operation Smile, which assists children in cleft palate surgery, and he also collects bread tags for a wheelchair project at Red Cross Children’s Hospital.

Cato managed to get eight children specialised wheelchairs and is working on a project to upgrade the Grade R playground at Heathfield Primary.

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This is why the Cape Argus, with Pick n Pay, has chosen him as one of the Make a Difference campaign winners this week.

“I am a scout at 3rd Pinelands Troop and my fellow scouts also help with my projects. I am honoured to have this nomination. The school also supports my projects.”

The second Make a Difference winner, Shanaaz Jacobs, was nominated for her work in assisting at the Masjidul Sabr soup kitchen, which serves the needy in Parkwood with a meal every Wednesday.

Jacobs has been working at the kitchen for 12 years and said it operates purely from donations by community members. She said they feed up to 300 people.

“Hero’s a big name. We’re overwhelmed to be nominated and selected as a winner. We’re just normal people. To serve one child is heartwarming,” said Jacobs.

The final winner, Ralph Bouwers, was selected as a hero of the Lavender Hill community and has been helping youth overcome their odds through sporting initiatives created through his non-profit organisation Guardians of National Treasure. Bouwers said he started it to create a holistic change in the lives of young people in his community.

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Cape Argus