COLLECTING: Sabastian Haricombe and a donor

This former gangster is walking a new path, and is reaching out to schoolkids as far as Atlantis to give them a better chance at life.

Sabastian Haricombe, 25, from Manenberg is collecting school shoes for needy kids, because he believes this will give poor laaities dignity and the will to finish school.

Sabastian started his project two years ago in Manenberg, where he once roamed the streets as a Naughty Boys skollie.

Since then, he’s donated over 200 pairs of shoes to disadvantaged children at schools in the area.

Many of these were bought through the help of sponsors, while some were also donated by the community wanting to help him make a difference.

Now Sabastian and his father, Ralph Haricombe, 57, also a former gangster, are hard at work collecting more shoes, and this year their aim is to collect 
1 000 pairs. So far, they already have 300 pairs.

In addition, Sabastian has managed to raise R10 000, from donations he received from businesses like Cool Bananas in Salt River.

He has also been going to train and bus stations, asking for donations from strangers.

“This year from June to September, Cool Bananas gave R500 a month, I have raised R10 000 so far and my goal is to buy 1 000 pairs of school shoes,” he explains.

“We are not only aiming to donate shoes to children in Manenberg this year, but to those in Atlantis. Strangers and people on trains are making this possible by donating.”

The shoes will be handed out in January next year.

Sabastian was only 12 years old when he joined a gang. He admitted to being a drug addict and robbing people to fuel his addiction.

He lived on the street for a few years where he nearly died after being stabbed in the neck.

But eight years ago he turned his life around when his mom welcomed him back in the house.

He joined a congregation and vowed to help children in need, like he once was.

If you would like to assist Sabastian please call him on 063 7764 969.