Empowerment centre boosts the community

2018-10-17 06:01
Willem van der Walt (middle) with his computer class graduates, from left, Pastor Lenny Moodley, Shakira Kaye, Kaashifa Rajaal and Raoul Williams.                                      Photo: ZELDRÉ STRAUSS SWANEPOEL

Willem van der Walt (middle) with his computer class graduates, from left, Pastor Lenny Moodley, Shakira Kaye, Kaashifa Rajaal and Raoul Williams. Photo: ZELDRÉ STRAUSS SWANEPOEL

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

DESPITE a lack of resources, the Malabar Community Empowerment Centre is still managing to uplift the community.

The centre, situated at the Malabar Community Hall, is manned by volunteers and has given the community access to needlework, first aid and basic computer classes, all free of charge.

The three-month computer classes are taught by Willem van der Walt, who is blind, and his students have all been sighted persons.

Van der Walt became involved with the community centre in June after a friend who had been teaching the computer classes, passed away.

“This is my way of giving back to the community. It is not strange to teach sighted people. I teach them with my own computer, because the centre does not have access to any other computers. Because I am blind, my computer ‘talks’ to me and the students learn on my ‘talking’ computer,” explained Van der Walt.

“Most students who start here don’t know anything about computers, so everything is basically from scratch. After three months they are so confident and after the training they are even setting up the cables.”

All students who take part in these courses receive certificates after completion.

Joan Harris, chairperson of the empowerment centre, said she was very proud of the community members that have made use of the classes. “Some of our graduates have already been placed in jobs, and others are helping themselves with the skills they have been taught at the centre,” Harris said.

“There are women especially who now feel empowered by the needlework skills they have been taught.

“They are now able to help their families and it gives them a sense of pride.”

Harris and the eight volunteer staff also aim at providing the students with a cooked meal on the training days.

“We rely on donations from businesses and individuals for the materials we work with and the food we provide. We would love to teach our needlework students on industrial sewing machines so that enables them to find work at factories.

“Currently we are teaching on two domestic sewing machines and the students have to take turns to work on them,” Harris said.

Ward councillor, Sharlene Davids, said she supported the centre and hoped that it would receive financial assistance to grow further.

For more info call Van Der Walt on 071 986 8480.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.