Zen4Zulu Association registered charity N° 752 999 953 00017

I, Richard, English - nobody's perfect, ex top exec in luxury business, jetting on Concorde, dining at Nobu, crashing at the Royalton... sleeping with - none of your business.

Now I bathe in a bucket, crap in a hole in the ground, eat with my hands and I am HAPPY, I am ZEN.

WHY? Trying to make a difference, saving lives, winning the famous Zulu smile. Saving a mom, saving a baby, [building a better future](mgur.com/KfdKU1i).

In the mythical Valley of 1000 Hills, 50 miles from Durban's golden beaches, endless waves, golden girls and palm trees, South Africa's "born free" are struggling.

An estimated 70% - 80% are affected or infected by HIV/TB. 15 year old girls multi-task as head of household, mom, schoolgirl...

What to do?

We are raising money to install a cottage to lodge and feed volunteer doctors to come save lives in our[Primary Health Clinic](WWW.1000hch.co.za) that treats 4000 sick monthly and 80 urgencies daily.

Cost - 10000 euros To date 3200 euros received 6800 NEEDED NOW! Please be Zen and do donate. Or be a doll and buy a Zen Zulu doll, by visiting our website www.zen4zulu.org Your name will be engraved permanently on the cottage plaque. We promise to keep you updated.

The true character of a society is how it treats its children Nelson Mandela

Now ask me anything!

Comments: 30 • Responses: 15  • Date: 

doxed5 karma

Could you tell us more about your overheads?

Zen4Zulu1 karma

Zen4Zulu has zero o/heads I finance all expenses: travel/printed material etc. out of my own pocket. The finances of our Ass'n are managed exclusively by our treasurer, a chartered accountant.

CivilityBeDamned2 karma

This is some scammy looking garbage. Somehow this 'ex top exec' has the same command of language as African scammers do. His links just go to pictures. His profile reads: http://www.zen4zulu.org/about-us.html

I suspect that even if it isn't a straight up scam, that it is a nonprofit paying his family members. A family member wrote the website, for example. I can't find any credentials for them elsewhere from any reputable sites.

Can you provide any evidence or credentials for yourself beyond an amateur website and imgur links?

Zen4Zulu1 karma

Our Association is registered as a non-profit NGO in France where I am resident. The Website was finished only yesterday. All the finance, such as it is, is managed by the treasurer who you can see on "About us". Check out the site to see the full story & photos. I am new at fund-raising and to date have gotten less than 6000€, financing travel, printing, postage out of my retirement savings. Example I personally buy from my private bank account the zulu dolls for 2.30€ landed from a source that I know well. I sell them for 5.00€. All, 100% of which goes into the Doctors' Cottage fund. No overheads, no kickbacks, no scam. And yeah I speak fluently Swahili from my 3 years as a cop in Uganda, and Zulu from my 10 years in Durban. I am explaining all of this in the belief that you are of good faith. If not, good night Sir. Oh yes, I wrote all the texts and took all the photos, my son produced and his mate was webmaster.

CivilityBeDamned1 karma

I am explaining all of this in the belief that you are of good faith. If not, good night Sir.

If you are legit I certainly wish you the best of luck, but the way you communicate makes me think of http://www.419eater.com/

Zen4Zulu1 karma

Sorry I don't understand the reference. I am indeed in love with the english language, literature and poetry (T.S.Eliot/Leonard Cohen...). You can find me on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter - it's all about and only about my attempts to give something back to Africa. I don't play golf, have no major vices. I live alone with my bullterrier Bonnie, and this gives my 76 year old bones a reason to keep on rocking and get up in the morning. Thanks for provoking me, no offence. Good luck. Ps: Buy my book "The Children of Apartheid" on my website donation page. Best, Richard. Ps: Madiba teaches us "Your perceived enemy is perhaps a friend waiting to be discovered".

cpplinuxdude2 karma

What made you pick South Africa?

Zen4Zulu8 karma

I studied and worked for 10 years under the daily horrors of Apartheid. I learned the zulu language saw countless families, students, friends destroyed. I gave a lift to a "coloured" woman in Cape Town, we were arrested and she was raped by the cops in front of me. My girlfriend was murdered by a white racist - her crime was to work for an Indian. My best friend Madala's son was neck-laced and burnt to death by a Soweto crowd. In my heart I have never left South Africa the Beloved Country.

fluffyponyza2 karma

Things are much better now, and a lot of it is thanks to the hard work of people like you:) Plus this is the most amazing country in the world!

Zen4Zulu4 karma

Thank you for your kind words. Things are a lot better because of Madiba and millions of south africans who conquered repression. But true democracy will not be achieved until hunger, homelessness and hopelessness are vanquished. It's a long walk...

fluffyponyza1 karma

I don't think hopelessness is a national issue, not even among the poor and destitute. We're a country of hopeful people, that has always been and always will be. Every time I have a conversation with some toothless guy who grins despite having to sleep under the N2 I'm reminded of that. We're an incredibly resilient people:)

The rest I agree with, and it's still early days in the shifting climate. The BEE stuff was an over-correction that caused a brain-drain of educated workers in the late 90s and early 2000s. But education is improving, and I believe that in 20-30 years there will be a better balance, and the near reverse-Apartheid will be gone. I mean, we're even seeing some expats move BACK here recently, so that's an immensely positive sign!

Zen4Zulu1 karma

You are absolutely right. After 350 years of repression south africans have never lost their faith and optimism. A lesson for the rest of us. But I know a young girl name Sonto whose mother died leaving her to look after 3 younger children and her own baby; trying to continue her education which costs 1000$ per year... I fear terribly for her and the apparent hopelessness of her situation The main reason I guess for doing what I do, or try to do. When I see the extreme neglect and poverty of the Valley of 1000 Hills in close proximity to wealthy suburbs I know that sacrifices must be made by the HAVES for a more just and thus harmonious, sustainable society. I should like to see Britain and Holland launch a Mandela (Marshall) Plan in reparations for 1652 to 1994, but only if the SA political hierarchy hasn't got sticky fingers. Enough of my rant.

fluffyponyza1 karma

Yeah, politics always mess up good intentions:) If you're ever down along the Garden Route let me know and we'll grab a beer (or drink of your choosing) and chat.

Zen4Zulu1 karma

I know and love the Garden Route and the Cape, where my first family had a wine farm in Tulbagh. At that time I handled the ad account for the KWV in Paarl. As Keith says of Mick about the Stones, in my case you can take me out of SA but you can't take SA out of me. Totsiens. Richard

sneeps2 karma

What do if I want to donate my time and efforts as a volunteer Construction Specialist?

Zen4Zulu2 karma

I agree with you, Africans, contrary to us Europeans have the courage to laugh in the face of adversity. That is why I named my NGO Zen4Zulu. But what is a young girl to do who has recently lost her mother, has 3 younger sisters & brothers, plus her own baby to care for. She earns 200$ a month and further education costs 1000$ per academic year. Surely free education is the key to SA.s future? Her name is Sonto, she lives in the Valley of 1000 Hills KwaZulu.

Zen4Zulu2 karma

Thank you for your offer, we are fund-raising to install a pre-fabricated wooden cottage costing 10.000€. But why not send me a p.m. for more info. Hamba kahle. Richard

ofthisworld1 karma

I bought one of your dolls for my little nephew. I'll weave a tale of how it came to him all the way from South Africa. Any details about the doll I can add to the story?

Thank you so much for all the work you do to allow us armchair activists to sleep more soundly. Best of luck in completing your cottage project. I'll pitch in again soon if I am able.

Zen4Zulu1 karma

Thank you for your generosity. Zulu women are famous for their handicraft since time immemorial. The dolls are handcrafted in Ingwavuma, Zululand, mainly by grannies (gogos) in a cooperative from which I buy the dolls (2.40€) for my Association Zen4Zulu, ship them to Versailles, France where I am based and send your 5€ to our Foundation 1000 Hills Community Centre for the installation of the Doctors' Cottage to save the lives of sickly moms and little kids. This way the Gogos are less charity dependent. I have zero/negative overheads as I work from home. Your gift will help save a child and bring happiness. Ngibongile and love from KwaZulu to your nephew. Richard

a_d_d_e_r1 karma

How bad is the bribing situation in South Africa and do you have issues with having to keep donations secret to avoid increased bribes?

When I volunteered in Kenya, my friend and volunteer organizer lamented that when word got out about his successful fundraising, the government officials increased the bribes they required for paperwork and really took a bite out of his hard work. Ultimately, we learned that material and man-hour donations are far more valuable than money due to the attitude that Kenyan government officials have on bribes.

Zen4Zulu1 karma

Thank you for your question. I am not qualified to comment as the funds I receive go uniquely to the Centre that I work with. Their accounts are audited independently, showing the exact amounts received; their overheads are no more than 10% and mine are zero/negative. So the problem happily doesn't arise. There are no sticky fingers. In my previous business life when I was confronted with a huge parallel market/money laundering problem I insisted on restitution to 3 charities thru an independent Accounting firm, Arthur Anderson, who in turn gave money directly to 3 selected charities. As an ex cop in Uganda I am sure you are right to look for ways to avoid this cancer. Assanti sana & kwa heri. Richard

xRoseable1 karma

What made you get into this line of work? More importantly, how did you get into this?

I also just want to say THANK YOU for trying to make the world a better place. I am 21 years old and about to graduate with my BS, and I am looking to go into some sort of international aid/development as a full time career. Right now, I am working for an organization to help raise literacy rates in my home state, but in the future, I definitely want to expand my horizons.

Also I'm definitely buying one of those dolls!

Zen4Zulu1 karma

Thank you for your message. The answer to your question is 10 years of the daily horrors of Apartheid seeing my friends and their families destroyed and finally the bell tolled for me. As a student of the Zulu language I became very involved with the rural community of the Valley 1000 Hills in KwaZulu. on my return to Paris I made a photo exhibition of this and wrote a book "The Children of Apartheid". The logical extension was to re-connect with the Valley and work with the local and amazing NGO. The hard thing starting an independent NGO is funding and my advice is for you to join an ongoing Foundation, where you can use your own skills. Try Linked In. There is an enormous need in Africa for Gender Equality in which I am very involved. Also ethical fashion with African designers, with the mission of "create & reward" for local artists and artisans. You might like to check my website www.zen4zulu.org Am I right in thinking you are in the USA, which I know and love? It's good to talk to you. Thank you for adopting a doll, don't hesitate to stay in touch. Richard

Zen4Zulu1 karma

Roseable, you know that "trying to make the world a better place" is that whatever you can do or give you receive so much MORE back in terms of non-judgmental LOVE. I count myself as being very blessed by the Zulu moms and kids. Richard

Zen4Zulu1 karma

Hi Roseable, I mailed your zulu doll tuesday - I guess it will take 7 to 10 days to reach you. Please confirm with me when it arrives. Maybe LinkedIn is a good place for NGO opportunities... good luck.

lolzergrush0 karma

Ugh, doctors aren't the answer to everything. They're an important part of an overall intervention, but fundraisers seem to think that physicians have a magic wand that they can wave in the air and make everyone's problems go away.

"Doctor, we have a thousand kids in this village dying of gastroenteritis."

"Okay, here's some oral rehydration salts that any competent nurse would know to give them, here's a recommendation for antibiotics that we don't have, and here's my attempt at designing a water treatment system even though it's completely outside of the scope of my training and expertise."

Zen4Zulu1 karma

We do have 2 highly competent senior nurses who treat thousands of the sick.We also have a team of home health visitors. But surely you understand that there are very many cases of life-threatening sickness or wounds that imperatively need a doctor. There are more that have to be referred for specialist care. Have you actually spent time in villages in Africa or Asia? If so you would know this.