PaintingWhile I was back in Cape Town for a break from recording I was invited by a  friend to join a group of people who were going to spend their Friday afternoon painting a primary school in Khayelitsha. The organisation JDI  (Just Do It) has various groups around South Africa where 10 or more friends meet monthly to raise money and then decide which causes/charities they will use it to make a difference for. The idea is to find out what an organisation needs and then provide that instead of just handing over money.

We ended up at St Michaels Church primary school where we bought paint and brushes and about 10 of us set about painting the various rooms. It is such rewarding work to see a grubby room be transformed and well worth the paint spattered all over our clothes and hair by the end of the day!

The highlight of the day was that the St Michaels Marimba Band put on impromptu  Schoolconcert for all the sweaty painters, and the teachers brought out boerewors rolls and juice to thank us. I then got taken on a guided tour to see a small nursery school that they have also been helping to keep running, and it was so inspiring to see this brightly painted container that provides a place for children to be nurtured and cared for.

I can't remember when I felt more satisfied at the end of a long day and as we drove away I felt very clearly that this is how we are meant to serve one another. Not with handouts, but with our time and energy, because that is how we get to connect with fellow South Africans and make changing this country something we get to do together!

Just do it - make a difference!

What is JDI?

Vision and Values

JDI is a Public Benefit Organisation and is registered as the JDI Foundation Trust.

JDI was started almost 10 years ago. The idea was to create a simple structure that would enable young people to use their centres of influence to learn, understand and then make a difference in other people's lives in South Africa. We wanted to show our friends how easy it was to make a significant impact, to teach them about the problems, the issues and the solutions available.

Our vision: JDI is an attitude rather than an organisation - an attitude of being aware and of getting involved, that gets things done and affects people's lives directly. We want each person, worldwide, to be involved in at least one ongoing project.

Our mission: JDI is the catalyst that enables and inspires members (doers) to make a difference in people's lives in South Africa, by committing time, skills, money and energy.