ReStory Foundation launches new multipurpose ‘Woza Space’ and unveils impactful graffiti mural

Acclaimed graffiti artist, Shaun Oakley, has just completed a magnificent graffiti mural for the ReStory Foundation in Bhambayi. Known as Damn Vandal, Oakley has a defining pop art style and mixes his graffiti art with his digital illustration techniques.

With strong positive messages, his work speaks for itself and can be found all around the world. The artwork shares the positive message: ‘Change starts with me’ with the children and community of the Bhambayi community.

Symbols and images were used that speak to perspective, courage, transformation, hard work, beauty, and peace.

This area suffers from terrible infrastructure, excessive levels of unemployment, particularly among young adults, and shocking levels of substance abuse, child rape, GBV and crime.

Someone visiting the ReStory Foundation, on hearing their dream to be a tangible beacon of hope, said, ‘If it can happen in Bhambayi, it can happen anywhere.’

This stretch of graffiti is symbolic of that dream, displayed beautifully in unlikely surroundings. “The ReStory Foundation focuses, among other things, on requiring people to see potential in people and situations, not lack thereof. And all who visit will tell you that they leave amazed, inspired and filled with hope because of the children, bursting with hope and potential,” said Mandy Pearson, ReStory Foundation founder and CEO.

Graffiti artist, Shaun Oakley, putting the finishing touches on his impactful graffiti mural for the ReStory Foundation.

This art piece was intentionally timed to accompany the ReStory Foundation’s rebranding. Operating for 16 years as the Bhambayi Project, the time came for a name that better spoke to the expanded vision moving beyond Bhambayi to ignite positive cycles of living and giving across South Africa, with a special focus on children and youth.

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“The word restory, while not in the dictionary, aptly captures our goal to enable changed trajectories leading to long-term thriving. As the ReStory Foundation, we believe that well-intentioned giving can often cause harm. Growing dignity and agency are essential if charitable giving is truly to contribute to building the future of our country,” added Pearson.

The ReStory Foundation work to enable every one of their over 200 orphans and vulnerable children to be courageous agents of change.

“We are not an orphanage, but use a community-based orphan support model. Our work has expanded into many other areas including child justice, work with unemployed young adults, sustainable farming, community development, as well as journeying with NPOs, businesses and individuals to enable transformational giving,” she continued.

The ReStory Foundation’s new multipurpose ‘Woza Space’ was officially opened at the beginning of December. The Woza Space is a covered area for daily academic and creative classes, workshops, training and community building initiatives. “This area is a game changer, enabling far wider impact, thanks to the Victor Daitz Foundation,” added Pearson.

The ReStory Foundation ensures that the ‘how’ of their efforts, shapes the ‘what’ they do. Their H.O.P.E building model speaks to giving with Honour rather than pity, with a focus on long-term Outcomes rather than short-term handouts, seeing potential rather than weakness and lack, and empowering individuals and communities to solve their own problems and be the hero of their story.

“At the ReStory Foundation, we firmly believe that it doesn’t matter how young you are or how little you have, you can make a difference, you can change the world for good. We are tremendously grateful to Shaun for capturing this in art, and know it will speak this message to all who come to the ReStory Foundation,” concluded Pearson.

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