ACCESS turned 30 in 2016; August 11 to be specific. It is exciting to reflect on the fact that a volunteer-based, and run, organisation has managed to reach this age of maturity. Is it the formula, the people or the times, one wonders? Or is it perhaps, the combination of all three and more?
In the words of Deborah Valentine, Executive Director of ACCESS: “What attracts people to ACCESS is the fact that we answer inquiries from experience, from having been in the shoes of the person doing the asking – allowing us to also pre-empt the questions that are not (yet) being asked, but which will, without a doubt, need answering.
“At the end of the day, and reflecting on the 30 years which have passed, it is the people who make the difference: the ones we serve, by providing the chance to give back and settle, and the ones who they in turn serve; you, the relocated individuals. The roots, though, lie in a formula which offered balance, sought to provide a solution, and aimed to prevent people from feeling lost in a new environment.”