Care Centre celebrates 1 year

2016-04-26 06:00

Over 1000 Ocean View residents have received assistance in the Ocean View Care Centre’s first year of operation.

The centre celebrated its first anniversary on Thursday 21 April.

In addition to providing social support for individuals and families, the Care Centre has also enrolled 135 children in their school, New Life Kids Centre.

The Care Centre is dedicated to ensuring that everyone who comes through the gate gets proper assistance, says founder Johann Kikillus.

“It does not matter who they are or what they have done. Most of our work is about holding various departments accountable to do their job properly. I would say we have been able to assist the majority of people that come our way. Unfortunately there are still some cases where we are struggling with several departments, but we are addressing those problems at provincial level,” he says.

The majority of the issues the centre staff see revolve around social development, policing and community safety, education, health, justice and housing.

“It normally is in connection with complaints, misunderstanding or ignorance around how these departments work. Most of the cases we get involve drugs in one way or another. Added to this is abuse, which goes hand in hand with addiction. We deal with addicts and their families as well as victims and perpetrators,” Kikillus explains.

Despite running for a year, the centre still faces a number of challenges. It has been operating without electricity, water or toilets, with the entire school using the one toilet at the neighbouring Civic Centre and fetching buckets of water every day. An electrician was on site recently, and Kikillus hopes the centre will be connected soon.

“The other challenge is the constant theft and vandalism. Windows are smashed every week almost,” he says.

Dealing with departments “who are not doing their job properly and denying people their rights” also proves challenging, Kikillus says.

“I see a huge amount of injustice. Should I ever become president, there will be a major shakeup. It frustrates me that the Far South still struggles with inadequate services, laziness and sometimes corruption.”

However, there are moments that make it all worth it. “The success of the school including the work with the kids’ families is always a highlight. We have the privilege of working with truly amazing people. It is also wonderful to see how many people have shown an interest in assisting us. All of the functions we have had have been incredible. I suppose the biggest highlights are when clients return to tell us that their situation has changed for the better,” he says.

In order to continue growing, the Care Centre needs more volunteers and helpers, Kikillus says. “Currently all of us are volunteers and the issues out there are getting bigger and worse. I want to see far more focus being put on children and youth. We need to do much more to assist with drug addicts and their families. The issue of violence is traumatising Ocean View and I want to see this addressed.”

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