Another Update on #LetsBlessBlessings -We Did It.. Let’s Carry on!!

UPDATE ON BLESSINGS – 9th September 2016

UPDATE ON BLESSINGS – 9th September 2016
It was so incredible to see ‘Turbo’ Blessings at our house today, as he starts to do odd jobs for my folks.
He gave me a heartwarming update, that had us both smiling from ear to ear!
Not only did him as his wife have a safe return from Malawi, but they are in the process of getting permanent residence!
AND blessing of all blessings …
After the devastating loss of their baby to Malaria, Blessings wife is now in the early stages of pregnancy!!!
Thanks again to so many incredible people for helping this special guy out! Lyndall Smith Mikhaila Katz Roxy Mulder Tayrene Barrett Justine Miller Maggie Miller Megan Fellner Dominic Darne Kerry Pallas
He is literally radiating from all the love shone upon him and still a little in awe and amazed that people would help him!
Because this has turned out to be such an amazing initiative started by my selfless brother in law Bruce Darné and because our Turbo is just the most grateful, special person even through his heart wrenching and tough journey in life, I would like to think that we can all carry on with helping to #BlessBlessings.
He still has no home and with a new baby on the way any donations would help in the form of clothes and nappies etc.
We also need to ensure that when going to Malawi his wife, himself and new baby are protected from Malaria with items such as mosquito nets,citronella candles and oil.
If you are keen to assist please let myself or Bruce know and we can organize collection of items.
Alternatively we still have his donor page set up and you can donate on this page via PayPal or into Bruce’s bank account via EFT.
Banking Details:
Bank: Nedbank
Account Holder: Bruce Darné
Account Number: 1009742647
Branch Code: 100909
Proof of Payment can be sent to Bruce at or 0823370962.
Please use your name and what items you would like us to use your donation for, in the email subject line or as a reference.
We will always credit and mention you amazing, kind and beautiful souls who help make another life one worth living …. Please let us know if you would rather stay anonymous.

Blessings Done copy
….and with the extra funds YOU have made it possible to help him start his life in South Africa….to my amazing brother-in-law Bruce Darné who started this initiative, you have a heart of gold I am proud to have you as a brother!
MOST IMPORTANTLY ~ AN INCREDIBLY HEARTFELT THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU AMAZING, INCREDIBLE, SPECIAL, BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE for your GENEROUS DONATIONS… this world needs more people like you as there are so many stories like this one where people in dire straits need assistance.

Kerry Pallas – R 1530 | &100

Tayrene Barrett R 1000 | $66

Lyndall Smith  R 765 | $50

Mikhaila Katz – R 300 | $21

Roxy Mulder – R 500 | $33

Anonymous donor – R 7000 | $463

Kathryn-Leigh Storm –  R 500 | $33

Dominic Darné & Barclays Bank –  R 2000 | $131

Amanda Grose –  R 2000 | $131

Adriaan Theron – R 200 | $13

Justine & Gary Miller  – R 200 | $13

Megan Fellner –  R 500 | $33

Jojo & Debs Bayvel  – R 500 | $33


Let’s Bless Blessings – By Bruce Darné co-written by Jojo Bayvel

Blessings Pic copy

An initiative started by my amazing brother in law “Bless Blessings journey Home to South Africa” — story co-written by me… and lets fund!

Blessings came into my life in January 2013 and for some reason – I would like to think it is an inherent instinct I have to recognize good and kind people – my heart immediately went out to this tiny but strong young man.

At this point Blessings was absolutely desperate for work and trying to support his wife – then pregnant with their first child. Having been in South Africa for a few months he had overstayed his welcome and his visa and was in dire financial straits, yet making the trip back to Malawi, his place of birth, was not possible if he did not earn the money to do so. Add to this the additional stress caused from the knowledge that returning to his country would mean that Blessings would battle even more to support his little family, in a place where jobs are so few and far between. Blessings was a truly desperate man, and seeing this I knew I had to give him a chance.

I started giving Blessings odd jobs around the house and in the garden. In time this man of such diminutive stature proved to be an unbelievably strong, dedicated and hard worker. Putting in the effort of 3 men when doing any job I asked of him.

Slowly but surely because of his amazing work ethic together with his gentle, kind and willing nature, Blessings began working as a gardener for other people including ourselves.

Blessings had found work and was able to support his little family as his wife had given birth to a beautiful baby boy – He also quickly earned himself the nickname among his employers of ‘Turbo’ due to his ability to get everything done so efficiently and so quickly!

And then whilst everything seemed to be coming right in this mans life the worst tragedy struck.

Blessings family back home in Malawi were desperate to meet their new grandson and nephew – yet another thing I found endearing about Blessings and something I can relate to as a husband, son, brother and father, is his closeness and dedication to his family – and so with the little money he had saved up Blessings sent his wife and new baby boy to meet his family.

On their return, less then a week after being reunited with his wife and baby boy, Blessings little guy became terribly ill and landed up in hospital with Malaria. Three days later Blessings and his wife had to say goodbye to this tiny new member of their family, when he sadly and tragically passed away.

They say a parent should never have to bury their child and I think that this cannot be more true especially when it comes to having to bury a tiny baby. A little human completely dependent on you to exist and a precious soul with their entire life stretched out before them – as the father of a three and a half year old and a one month old, I cannot even begin to imagine the heartache and sheer desperation Blessings and his wife felt and still feel to this day.

BUT upholding his incredible work ethic and knowing he is the sole provider, Blessings continued to work 6 days a week for fourteen months and at full ‘turbo’ in order to save the money he needed in order to return to Malawi and reunite with his wife to be with their family and finally have the chance to mourn the loss of their baby boy.

Fast forward to the 3rd May 2016. Taking R 7000, all the money he had earned working so hard for me and other people, Blessing began the 3 day journey from Cape Town to Johannesburg where he would then get on a bus and return to Malawi.

Desperate to keep his life savings safe; Blessings hid this money in the very shoes and socks he was wearing – The tragedy that a man should have to hold on so tightly to an amount of money we could spend so very easily in just a few days on trivial and nonessential items again strikes me as so very sad and burdens my heart.

And then Tragedy struck this man again. On arrival in Johannesburg, Blessings was stopped and searched by corrupt members of the Johannesburg police service. These men, meant to stop crime and corruption, not only stole all of the R 7000 Blessings had worked so hard to earn but also locked him up in a cell and threatened him with deportation if a bribe was not paid. For these men stealing another mans hard earned money was not enough, having the upper hand in ‘terms of the law’ they knew that Blessings should not be in the country and so further tried to exploit this already desperate human being.

Blessings contacted me and in sheer desperation for this young man I have come to respect, I decided that I would pay a bribe of R 1000 to the police – let it be known this is something I am completely against – and then get Blessings on his bus to Malawi. He needed his family and he has worked so hard for the dream which was just within his reach that was so very nearly snatched away and perhaps still was as Blessings is left penniless.

Blessings dream and plans, were and still are to return to South Africa with his wife where he wants to apply for a proper working permit.

However this money stolen from him, his life’s worth and savings, was the money he would use to take time to grieve and then return to South Africa in a timeous fashion in order to continue working on the jobs he had fought to secure and worked so hard at, in order to keep.

My fear is that Blessing now returns home empty handed. Which means he will not have the means to return to South Africa and keep these jobs which belong to ‘Turbo’ our hard working blessing.

This young man has suffered too many tragedies in this life and as I mentioned in the beginning of this story when meeting Blessings my gut instinct was correct. This is a good, kind, gentle, humble and hard working man who deserves a little break in life.

And so I would like to start and initiative to bless Blessings. Let’s all get together and get Blessings back to South Africa as soon as we can so he can keep his jobs and carry on being the ‘turbo’ he is!

If this story touches your heart and you would like to, or are able to assist with any size donation towards Blessings and his wife’s journey back to South Africa, where he can fulfill his dreams then please donate by following the prompts on this page. Donations can be made via PayPal here

You can also donate money via EFT into my bank account and this donation will then be shown on this page as “Money Raised Offline” with your name (if you would like) and the amount you donate.

Please use your email address as your reference!

Banking Details:

Bank: Nedbank

Account Holder: Bruce Darné

Account Number: 1009742647

Branch Code: 100909

Proof of Payment can be sent to Bruce at or 0823370962

I will then make sure this money gets to Blessings in his own currency – the Malawian kwacha.

I feel we can do this in two weeks – I challenge myself and all of you to get this done. Let the bless Blessings journey back to South Africa, begin now!

By Bruce Darné co-written by Jojo Bayvel


Tips on How to Help Dogs Find Forever Homes,Stop Overpopulation & Puppy Mills

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Horrifying, Tragic and just actually too much ….


Watching my feed on Facebook lately I am so saddened by the number of dogs and cats landing up in shelters or alternatively abandoned on streets or in rubbish bins or even given to beggars to sell on the roads.

We all see these posts and with sore hearts share and try as best we can to help with donations and finding these beautiful animals their own forever homes.

And then…

We decide we would like a pure bred puppy and so we only approach breeders or pet stores to find that perfect ‘pet’.

The truth is that most of these breeders are running what should be called ‘Puppy Mills’ and if the breeder is not approached for their pups, these little furry creatures are given to pet stores to sell.


Besides the images which pretty much tell their own tale. Here are a few sad facts about these places:

  • A puppy mill is a commercial dog-breeding facility that focuses on increasing profit with little overhead cost. The health and welfare of the animals is NOT a priority.
  • Female dogs are bred at every opportunity with little to no recovery time between litters. When, after a few years, they are physically depleted to the point that they no longer can reproduce, breeding females are often KILLED.
  • Every year in America alone, it’s estimated that 2.11 million puppies are sold that originated from puppy mills, while 3 million are killed in shelters because they are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes.
  • In puppy mills, dogs spend most of their lives in cramped cages, with no room to play or exercise.
  • Often times, the water and food provided for the puppies is contaminated; crawling with bugs. And puppies are most often malnourished.
  • Puppies in mills are found with bleeding or swollen paws, feet falling through the wire cages, severe tooth decay, ear infections, dehydration, and lesions on their eyes, which often lead to blindness.
  • Most puppy mills have no veterinary care, climate control, or protection for the animals from weather (hot, cold, rain, or snow).
  • With limited or no regulations or enforcement, puppy mills have no clean-up control. This means that dogs can be living in urine and faeces for indefinite periods of time.
  • It’s common to find dogs in puppy mills with collars that have been fastened so tightly that they have become embedded in a dog’s neck and must be carefully cut out.


As a nation we are set on helping animals find a place to live – if social media is anything to go by, but how do we go about doing this in a proactive way. Not just sharing and donating but stopping the problem at its core.


Well we could always go and adopt a dog from one of the numerous shelters in our surrounding areas. These beautiful babies are just waiting to be loved and cuddled and so very often they have been abandoned by a family who are relocating or do not have enough ‘space’ for their pets  ( these people are just horrible excuses for human beings). These shelters only euthanase when it is absolutely necessary so please help them make it unnecessary.



If you are intent on your pure bred Labrador or little Chihuahua then why not just Google Rescue centres for these precious pals – there are so many recused pedigrees from pups to old boys and girls waiting for you to fetch them. Just look at Cadence…


Then there are the older doggies. Having been abused by inhumane idiots their entire lives or those pooches whose owners pass away and they are left with nowhere to go after a lifetime of being loved. Surely these dogs are the ones who need our love and homes the most? To live out their last years being adored and spoilt? If this video doesn’t change your mind about helping these old fellows well…


NSP logo

And then the main reason behind this post and one that will hopefully initiate a change which will eventually stop this problem for good – sterilisation or neutering to stop this insane influx of stray and homeless dogs and cats. It is sadly, at this point the only option.

If you would like to help there is an organisation called the NSP (National Sterilisation Project) whose vison is to play a major role in reducing the growing population of stray animals in South Africa through an ongoing, nationwide mass sterilization program.

This organisation was started due to the massive upsurge of stray animals living in the most appalling conditions where hundreds of dogs and cats are put down each week in South Africa simply because there aren’t enough homes for them.

The NSP brings together animal welfare organizations, corporate sponsors and animal lovers in a united drive that will ultimately protect all domestic animals.

Relying on donations and corporate sponsorships, the NSP offers a financial and health solution to many people who cannot afford to sterilize their pets. They believe that no-one should be born into abject poverty, hardship and disease. The same holds true for the cats and dogs of South Africa.

Poor communities are often hard-pressed to take care of their pets and to sterilize them. Where animals run the risk of spreading diseases, such as scabies, rabies, hook worm, tape worm and toxoplasmosis and on average a bitch will produce at least 3 litters within a two-year period, which by the end of 8 years could see 10 368 unwanted puppies. The situation is worse for cats. From just 3 unsterilized females, more than 16 785 unwanted kittens can be born over a 3 year period. The NSP plays an important financial role by subsidizing sterilizations performed through its network of beneficiaries.

By supporting the NSP, you will be directly helping their incredible network of beneficiaries from around the country. Learn more about the NSP here and like their Facebook page here.


If I could I would live on a plot with hundreds of rescued dogs but circumstances now don’t permit this so by signing the below pledge and donating to the NSP I hope I start to make a small difference.

Click here to donate and help the NSP now.

Click here to sign this ASPCA anti puppy mill pledge.


And follow your heart to find a puppy or older dog who would love your forever home one who is already out there sitting in a cage or on the side of the road waiting for your arms to wrap around them and show them humans are capable of the very same unconditional love they show.