Dear Friend of the Great Labyrinth,
We trust this message finds you and your loved ones well and virus free. Like everybody else at this time, our beautiful Great Labyrinth project is in lockdown due to the Coronavirus. We can’t host volunteer days anymore since public gatherings have been banned. It's surreal. Two weeks ago Premier Alan Winde joined 300 people on a volunteer day and we were on top of the world. CNN contacted us and wanted to produce a program on the Great Labyrinth for global distribution. Our project was heralded as "an idea that matters" and “something truly great for the world and future generations”. Now, it's a whole different picture. It’s truly devastating! Not only for us but for everyone whose lives and livelihoods are threatened across the world. But we will prevail!
In defiance of Covid-19, we are determined - more than ever before - to establish our Great Labyrinth as a living monument to remind humanity to be mindful of its carbon footprint in the fight against climate change, and to show what we can accomplish when we stand together!
The Coronavirus will come and go, but ultimately climate change will determine our fate!
As corporate sponsors withdraw their pledges in droves in these uncertain times, we need to appeal to the public to help us survive the lockdown. Without community support now, everything we’ve accomplished so far could be lost. It’s imperative that we find a way to relocate our Treepreneurs to the labyrinth site where they (and their families) will be safe so that they can keep the Spekboom trees we’ve planted, and our nursery, alive through the lockdown. Without water, they will die!
Rekai, Valentine, JJ, Forget and Ashwell currently live in nearby townships but trains and taxis aren't running. They're also afraid to travel. Not because of the virus but because so many township-folk have recently lost their jobs. No work, no pay. No pay, no food = crime and revolt. They are getting desperate! We need to rent a cottage on the farm where they can stay, and be able to water our trees every day.
So, we’ve launched this unprecedented Protect & Preserve crowdfunding campaign. We’re asking folks to:
Donate the R50 petrol money you save not driving to work for a day - purchase one Spekboom tree a month (or more) during the nationwide corona lockdown.
We only need to sell 300 trees per month to preserve the thousands of Spekboom we’ve already planted in the Great Labyrinth and our nursery, as well as protect our treepreneurs until Corona passes over. You can read the details on our website - www.greatlabyrinth.co.za.
<... and I have been championing worthy causes and social projects for over 20 years and we know from experience that something truly beautiful happens in a time of crisis. Once people get over the initial shock and panic, and know they are safe and secure, they begin to realize that our capacity to care is what gives life its true meaning. In adversity we discover a sense of community. Our hearts open, and we begin to show kindness, love and generosity.
We’re trusting that from the comfort of their homes, having grown bored from watching Netflix, and tired of conversations about Corona, people will start to ask themselves - what can I do to make a difference? It is this question that gives us a sense of belonging. It makes us feel relevant. It gives us hope. It helps to create the future we desire, rather than drown in our fears. We can't save the world, but we can donate one day's petrol to buy a spekboom - save the Great Labyrinth - and the young men who will keep the trees and project alive. It's so easy to do. And we should all do something good to support our community at this time. Not because we must, but because we can. There is beauty within us and we have the ability to create beauty around us. Corona cannot infect this human trait. It is the antidote for it.
Spread the word - Not the virus!
You may not be able to shake hands anymore but you can pass on this challenge to everyone you know. Invite folks to join you as an expression of solidarity against Covid-19 and the chaos it is bringing to our world.