Uplifting the most vulnerable

2016-06-28 06:00
Partnerships will soon see the improvement of the lives of hundreds of families in four informal settlements in the Camp Road area.  PHOTO: SAmantha lee

Partnerships will soon see the improvement of the lives of hundreds of families in four informal settlements in the Camp Road area. PHOTO: SAmantha lee

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A partnership between local government and non-profit organisations will see the lives of hundreds of families improve.

This follows the launch of an integrated partnership on Wednesday 22 June that should see several entities coming together to uplift the residents of four Strandfontein informal settlements. Non-profit organisations, City of Cape Town departments, field workers, councillors and community leaders from the various informal settlements will in future work together in a more integrated and coordinated manner to give hope to residents in informal settlements and support them with the tools needed to manage their everyday challenges.

Ward councillor Elton Jansen says the partnership will include Oppermans Oord, Mascidane, Plot 9, City Mission and 7de Laan informal settlements.

It is hoped that this intervention will be rolled out to other informal settlements across the metro as well, he says.

The partnership will focus on the counselling, training, coaching and empowerment of vulnerable residents, including parents, through strong partnerships to enable them to take charge of their future.

The initiative began when Jansen made provision in his ward allocation for two field workers to be available for the area. “They are doing amazing work and if anything is needed, they do it,” says Jansen.

Mayco member for human settlements, Benedicta van Minnen, says there are field workers deployed to many settlements.

“Our human settlements staff are regularly confronted with the most intricate and heartbreaking situations. Their job stretches far wider than upgrading living spaces or building houses and it is often the social duties that are the most needed. “This initiative has come as a result of the will of our staff and our ward councillor to serve and to empower our most vulnerable residents, and I am proud to be part of an organisation where we are focusing on the human element of human settlements.”

The City’s Social Development Department also forms part of the partnership.

Mayco member for the directorate, Suzette Little, says she is impressed by the continued assistance from outside organisations. She encourages organisations to adopt one of the 240 informal settlements in Cape Town and do work that not only uplifts that community for a day, but work with them continuously to see a positive change.

Since the interventions, a reduction in crime has also been acknowledged.

The event was held at the new ECD centre.

The centre is but one of the fruits of the partnership between Hope South Africa and the community of 7de Laan, with the assistance of the councillor and the City.

Several other initiatives are also ongoing, including a development in sport, fire retardant paint and future plans to relocate and improve the lives of hundreds.

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