He spoke to the club last week about his organisation, Hotel Hope Ministries and told of how he had come to South Africa for four weeks as a volunteer in 2006 at the Door of Hope Children's Mission.
He made such an impact that he was asked to return as assistant general manager and then general manager. During this time he decided to start up his own orphanage.
|The Resurrection shopfront|
"We learn, we earn and we return," Oliver summed up his philosophy of humanitarian aid.
Oliver is German by birth and studied there before working in Germany and the United Kingdom.
It was time to "return", to give back, he decided after his spell as a volunteer.
"I didn't think I would be asked to give back everything I earned," he said tongue in cheek.
" I left my home in Chelsea (in London), my BMW 3 Convertible and my job in the fashion industry and spent two years at Door of Hope."
Hotel Hope has been going for the past 12 years. It now consists of three homes, two in Melville and one for the older kids in Westdene, each with its own charity shop to help fund the running costs.
|Republic of Hope on Main Rd, Melville|
The 112th child came to the home last weekend. Hotel Hope currently houses 24 children.
So far 87 children have been adopted into their "forever families" in South Africa and overseas from Hotel Hope.
Oliver said South Africa has an orphan crisis, but also an adoption crisis. Last year 1144 children had entered adoptive homes, but there are millions of orphaned and abandoned babies.
Oliver himself has adopted two sons, one of whom is now 18 years old and the other 14.
Apart from the three homes and charity shops, they have also started a Montessori pre-school for up to 18 children in Westdene to save on school fees. There are currently 6 children in the school.
They're currently in the process of opening a fourth home, again in Melville, he said. This will be followed by a fourth charity shop.
"We want to run family-style homes, not large impersonal institutions," he told the club.
Hotel Hope Ministries is also involved in counselling and aid to pregnant teenagers in Alexandra township.
|The New Dawn crew at the handover in May 2016. Left is PDG Frances Callard. Then-president Jankees Sligcher is flanked by Oliver and Mike MacDonald, who sourced the bakkie |
Hotel Hope derives about 30% of its income from the charity shops and will open a new shop for every home that is established. The latest is Republic of Hope on Main Rd. in Melville (on the corner of 2nd Ave). Resurrection is in 7th Street Melville, also on the corner with 2nd Ave and Hope Charity Shop is at 32 2nd Ave.
The flatbed truck that New Dawn donated in 2016 has helped immensely with the shops, to cart goods around and do deliveries.
The truck is branded with the New Dawn and Rotary logo and is a familiar sight in the area.
New Dawn members have also been busy over lockdown and our family has been spending time at our property in the Magaliesberg (with all the legal permits) to look after the staff there as well as the possessions.
|Tina and I and the masked staff holding up soup packets, which were distributed to families in the Magaliesberg|
Our daughter, Rudi and her nephew Guy Stucke (Linda's sister Tina's son) roped in the guest house staff to put together soup packages consisting of beans, rice, lentils and other nutritious foodstuffs to be able to give families enough soup for a week.
These were handed out over the weekend to families in the Buffelspoort and Marikana district, an area particularly hard hit by job losses, apart from those lucky enough to get jobs at the platinum mines.
The two of them would make good Rotarians!
Board meeting: Last night was president Ian Widdop's second board meeting, with a very full agenda. Tomorrow's meeting will be a business meeting with a report-back.
Next week Christoph Plate will be addressing the club on Beauty, Hospitality and Devastation - The Great Lakes region in East Africa.
Next week we will also be inducting Errol Burman as the newest member of the club.
A Thought for the Week: All human wisdom is summed up in two words; wait and hope. - Alexandre Dumas (1802 - 1870)