Easter treats for kids

2018-04-10 06:01
Children from Kensington and Factreton received Easter goodies. PHOTO: Goose photo photography

Children from Kensington and Factreton received Easter goodies. PHOTO: Goose photo photography

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Two Kensington champions of the rights of women and children treated about 250 children to a cooked meal and various Easter goodies on Saturday 31 March.

Wiedah Gabier and her mother Jasmina Ratcliff, the founders of Independent Women’s Empowerment Bond (Iweb) – an organisation that fights for the rights of widows, orphans and single mothers – led the event.

“The smiles and looks of appreciation on the children’s faces were priceless,” says Gabier.

This comes as more than 300 people gathered at the pair’s home in Kensington to celebrate Easter. “We work with widows with orphans, single moms with children and grannies with grandchildren,” she says.

Children from Pelican Park, Belhar, St Frances Boys’ Orphanage and Vision Orphanage were part of the programme.

Various children’s rights groups including Alpha Charity Foundation, as well as Kensington police, were represented. No Boundaries Neighbourhood Watch members Rachel Louw and Coby Lewis helped to keep the children safe.

Gabier and her mother started the organisation after losing their husbands in 1999 and it has been going strong ever since.

“In 1999 my mother lost her husband and six weeks later I lost mine. I had just come back from Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape. We ended up being widows with orphans and we were both unemployed at the time,” Gabier explains.

She says her mother had grown up looking after widows and orphans from a young age in the Bo-Kaap area.

The struggles they had to go through, including the death of Gabier’s father, Adbul Gamiet Ratcliffe, inspired them to form an organisation that would make a difference in the lives of orphans and other needy children. Her father had also looked after elderly people from the Kensington Old Age Home.

“Today we not only help children in Kensington and Factreton but others from orphanages and safe houses,” says Gabier.

Members of the community thanked the women for their efforts.

“It was lovely – the bunnies, the akni, the music, and above it all the children enjoyed it. Thank you for what you have done for young children, widows, orphans and the destitute,” said Supermarine Street resident, Vivian Madden.

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