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Fire along the Garden Route 2017

I have never been more devasted by such terrifying heat, smoke, and flame. Nearly 10 000 people were displaced and thousands of animals and land were injured or destroyed.

The projects, namely our African Horizon project managed to save the animals that take refuge there, and the property were mercifully untouched and the land around the project has now regrown. Some of the staff and supervisors remained on site during the fire to do all they could to protect the rehabilitation center. My heart breaks at the other animals and reserves that weren't so lucky, nor had such guardianship.

I was most impressed however by the volunteers themselves, many of whom grabbed only the bare essentials when they evacuated the project. They kept strong and positive in the face of such adversity, and to this day I will remember their courage in the face of such a terrifying monster of fire and smoke.

I am incredibly proud of the community, the country and all who partook in the projects in the area. For those sacrificing friends and family who donated to the people who were, for the most part, left with nothing.

Thank you to the firefighters and communities, who stood in front of the flames to defend the area.

Vanessa Randon
(GHV Volunteer Manager)

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