More children can now walk through doors

2016-04-05 06:00
 The Open Door community development and social work project in Ocean View now has a new multi-purpose facility.

The Open Door community development and social work project in Ocean View now has a new multi-purpose facility.

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The Open Door community development and social work project in Ocean View, managed by Valley Development Projects (VDP), now has a new multi-purpose facility which was officially opened today (Tuesday 5 April).

The Open Door feeding scheme provides a wholesome meal every week day to more than 200 children from poverty stricken homes in the area. Previously it operated out of a building that was cobbled together from three converted shipping containers, with limited space.

Rotary Club of Cape of Good Hope, Rotary Club of Newlands and Peninsula Beverages partnered with VDP in managing and financing construction of the new building on Milky Way Road. The new building boasts a large meeting hall, a kitchen to accommodate catering at capacity, offices for social workers and a space for group therapy and out-patient substance abuse counselling. The new facility has plenty of room for children to eat inside and then remain at the venue so that they can participate in the after-school care programme.

VDP coordinator Shirley Dunn says: “The Open Door Community Development Project has been a beacon of hope and light in Ocean View for more than 15 years. The previous premises were far too small to sufficiently meet the needs of the community, particularly during rainy winter days. We are thrilled to open this new facility that will enable the Open Door to better serve many people in Ocean View.”

The Open Door’s after school programme provides learners between the ages of six and 18 years with access to facilities to complete their homework. As part of the after-school programme, these youngsters receive educational support, learn new words, read books from the library corner and compete in fun talent competitions as well as other games that encourage positive social skills.

The Open Door Social Work project, operating in the same building, provides parenting workshops, family counselling, support for children’s court investigation, foster care placement and supervision, drug abuse counselling and mediation for community members.

The building provides a professional and safe environment for parents and children to receive the counselling, support and attention they so badly need. It is seen as a safe, stimulating place for children in this community which keeps them off the streets and helps develop positive social skills.

Open Door’s community development project manager, Sherine Arendse, says: “We had close to 100 children at the last holiday club in the new building. Previously we could not even run a holiday club because there was no space. Since we moved into the building, the number of children attending the weekly youth group has increased from 45 to 95 every Friday evening.”

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