Today In Fact, 31 August 2013

In 1997, I was promoting the creation of a national alliance for children on the streets. It would mean that we would have to create local and provincial structures involving various non-governmental organizations and state departments around the country.

I found the perfect vehicle to pay for this process. The schlent was to advocate for a census of the homeless. It was the first time in history that a national census of the homeless was conducted. It was also South Africa’s first real census and I managed to inveigle our way to getting paid to organize local and provincial groups to do the census. It just so happened that while I criss-crossed the country meeting with the various groups and organizations to organize the census for the homeless, I simultaneously promoted the establishment of local and provincial alliances for street children.

Once this exhausting twelve week odyssey was complete and the census was done, I was invited to spend a weekend with some friends at a holiday resort. It was a much deserved rest. I woke up early on this day in 1996 as is my wont and switched on the television to news that Princess Diana and her beau, Dodi and another had died in a Paris about two hours earlier.

The rest of the family and friends were still sleeping so I hatched a scheme. I went back to bed and when they eventually woke-up and started making breakfast, I reported having a crazy, vivid dream that Princess Di had been killed in a car accident.

When, during the morning, one of the family switched the television on, the news was still all over about Princess Di dying and for a few seconds, the family and friends just looked at me with astonishment at my prescient dreaming. Just for a moment, they all thought I was some sort of seer able to dream events in the real world.

Oh and the census found that 2,470 souls were living homeless in South Africa in 1997. They have not conducted a census of the homeless since but many of the street children alliances are still functioning.

– Posted by Douglas Racionzer ( )