Callie and Monique Strydom are avid adventures who have travelled around the world. Amongst their many adventures are the capture of a shark on scuba for research purposes, being chased up into trees by black rhinos and hunting for lions. Their favourite adventure is scuba diving and on a diving holiday in in 2000 their lives took an unexpected turn.


During a diving holiday in Sipadan (Malaysia) they were kidnapped by Al Quaeda Rebels. They were taken to the remote Jolo Island in the Southern Philippines. Along, with 19 other hostages they survived a 4-month ordeal, where they faced death daily and many other challenges daily.


On the day of her release (unknowing that it was hours away), Monique committed her life to helping others in need. They have founded the Callie and Monique Charity Trust and Matla A Bana - A voice against child abuse.


They are both popular international public speakers and their messages of hope and God’s miracles have been heard all over the world. In 2001 they witnessed another miracle, when their son, Luc, was born. They now reside in Cape Town.




23 April
Ten foreign tourists and 11 resort workers are seized at the diving resort on the Malaysian island of Sipadan. They include nine Malaysians, three Germans, two French, two South Africans, two Finns, two Filipinos and one Lebanese.

25 April
The Abu Sayyaf group announces it is holding the hostages on the island of Jolo, 960km (600 miles) south of the capital Manila.

2 May
Fighting erupts between government forces and rebels close to where the hostages are being held. Hostages movec a few days later.

7 May
Troops fire mortar bombs at the rebels' jungle hideout and the government says it will consider a raid.

9 May
European and Libyan envoys join the negotiating team.

27 May
Abu Sayyaf issue their demands, including formation of a independent Muslim state.

9 June
The Philippines Government says it will not stop foreign governments from paying ransoms after the kidnappers demand $1m for each captive.

12 June
Government suspends negotiations, saying a cooling-off period is required.

24 June
A Malaysian hostage is freed amid reports that $3m is paid in ransom for all nine Malaysians.

1 July
Filipino evangelists who visited Abu Sayyaf's jungle camp to pray are taken hostage.

2 July
A German reporter covering the incident is seized.

9 July
A French reporter and two camera crew are abducted.

14 July
A Malaysian hostage is freed

17 July
A German suffering from high blood pressure is freed.

21 July
Four Malaysian hostages are freed.

24 July
Two Filipino journalists are abducted but released five days later.

27 July
The German reporter and one evangelist are freed.

1 August
Three Filipino construction workers are abducted by Abu Sayyaf.

5 August
Lebanese newspapers report that Libya has offered to pay $25m for the release of most of the hostages.

7 August
The government confirms that $5.5m in ransom has been paid.

14 August
Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi sends his personal jet to the Philippines as part of arrangements to repatriate some of the hostages. But negotiations break down, with Abu Sayyaf accusing the government of planning a military strike against their camp.

16 August
A Filipina resort worker is freed.

18 August
Three Malaysian hostages are released.

23 August
Two Filipina women are abducted as brides for Abu Sayyaf members.

27 August
Two French hostages, one Lebanese, one South African and one German are released.

28 August
Another South African joins the group released the previous day and all fly to Libya before returning home. An American is taken captive, while a Filipina schoolgirl is seized in Jolo.

29 August
Abu Sayyaf threaten to kill the American hostage unless three Islamic militants being held in US jails, including the convicted World Trade Centre bomber, Ramzi Youssef, are freed.

3 September
Filipino construction workers rescued by police.

8 September
Negotiators prepare release of six remaining foreign captives but talks break down over ransom payments.

9 September
Four Western hostages leave the jungle camp aboard a government helicopter.

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