Over the 48 years Mr Weaving’s Foundation has assisted one million family reunions. As a result of the enormous enthusiasm and energy generated by Stuart Weaving, it is estimated that South Africa has benefited greatly in the 48 years with an injection, in today’s terms, of over 30 Billion Rand, supporting thousands of jobs and families.
At the Association’s peak in the mid-eighties, more than 20 000 people a year were brought to South Africa, and spanning all the years over 600 000 travellers have come to South Africa through the Weaving International Friendship Foundation. This multitude of overseas guests must have greatly helped many families. In the 1980’s Mr Weaving was Vice President of the multi-racial International Roodepoort Eisteddfod and brought many overseas participants including the famous Seventy Jones’s Welsh Male Voice Choir. The popular Welshmen wowed audiences around the country, singing not only in English and Welsh, but also Zulu, Xhosa, Tswana and Afrikaans. Spurred on by this success, Stuart Weaving founded the Goodwill Foundation and toured the length and breadth of South Africa, addressing dozens of meetings in towns and cities including Soweto and Khayelitsha. He urged people to reach out in friendship across cultural and racial barriers. Stuart recently said that he wished he had invented the slogan created by Nelson Mandela, “The Rainbow Nation.” One of the proudest moments in his life was when he was awarded “The Order of Good Hope” which is the highest award South Africa gives to an overseas citizen for “Service to all the People of South Africa."
Apart from the hundreds and thousands of reunion visits, the Friendship Foundation has also brought dozens of sports and cultural groups to South Africa, involving thousands of participants. Stuart Weaving recently said “After completing a wonderful six week tour of the country with 29 bowlers from the Channel Islands, I am proud to say this tour alone injected two and a half million Rand into the economy. During this visit he addressed 21 gatherings and concluded all meetings by telling South Africans “Be ambassadors for your country, encourage your family and friends living overseas to buy South African products and to come and spend their next holiday in your wonderful country.”