Dannie Kagan was born in the UK and has lived in South Africa since 1968. Her professional life has been broad, from modelling internationally and working for stockbrokers, to opening the “Out Of Town Club” discotheque and staging South Africa’s first ever pop festival at the club.
Dannie worked in Real Estate before leaving Johannesburg to live in Swaziland where she worked as a croupier for 10 years, spending 5/10 years in Swaziland (1970-1975). For the next few years Dannie worked in Lesotho, Bophututswana and Botswana before moving to Cape Town in 1980 with her son, Boden. She then changed her career focus to fashion and personnel. Dannie ran Ralph Parrott and Manpower Personnel in Cape Town. She then had two more sons, (Dean 1985, Troy 1989). She settled in Hout Bay and went back into Real Estate, eventually opening her own company “Dannie Kagan Properties”, specialising in sales, holiday and corporate renting, which has subsequently been operating for 22 years.
After moving to Hout Bay 1986 Dannie became concerned with the poor standards of living in Imizama Yetho Township and each winter would cook large batches of soup and distribute soup from a bakkie with the help of her sons and friend Kate. This was considered very unusual behaviour back in the social and political climate of the time.
Dannie, a past President of Rotary has been active in the Constantia Rotary club since 2000 starting Camp Quality, in 2004, a 5 day camp dedicated to child cancer sufferers.
Dannie was to later experience first hand the trauma that families face as her son Dean was diagnosed with cancer, thankfully he is now well.
Dannie also introduced to Constantia Rotary Club the ‘Dream Catcher’ projects, an example of this project was organising a fairy tale wedding for terminally ill cancer patient Chantelle and her fiancé Andrew. Although Chantelle passed away two days after the wedding, she had her life long dream come true. Having witnessed the difference this had made to not only Chantelle and her family, but to all the people that assisted in putting this event together the seed was sown and Dannie wanted to make more dreams come true.
Dannie started Rainbow Dreams Trust in 2005 and the trust was registered as an NPO in 2006.
The Dream Catcher journey took Dannie deep into the heart of the community. Here she saw the desperate needs of the youth, statistics were shocking with limited, often inferior, education and a complete social breakdown of a society. This situation begged for a structured, nurturing environment for the children, who were struggling to combat their own complexities of young life. Dannie implemented programmes that could offer the children an optimistic path to follow, teaching them to have a positive attitude to their own situation, giving them direction, purpose and hope for their own future.
In 2006 Dannie was offered the chance to expand the reach of Rainbow Dreams Trust, and make it her full time focus. One of the Trust’s trustee’s: Peter, a born philanthropist saw the urgent need of the underprivileged youth, and recognising the positive impact of Dannie’s efforts has supported Dannie and Rainbow Dreams Trust whole heartedly since the Trust’s inception. His trust and unwavering faith is our motivation and inspiration.
Rainbow Dreams Trust has grown and matured, we began by mentoring 20 children and are presently working with +- 300 children in all our projects…just the tip of the iceberg. As we grow, so do our financial needs, we want to be able to reach out to more children. The past ten years have been spent building Rainbow Dreams Trust into a comprehensive organisation that is successful, totally accountable and sustainable, we know we ARE changing children’s lives.