Women ready to bring about change

2019-07-02 06:00
Women from different communities in the Cape Flats say a lot needs to be done to bring change in their communities. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

Women from different communities in the Cape Flats say a lot needs to be done to bring change in their communities. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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More than 400 women from different communities across the City of Cape Town met under one roof to share their experiences obtained from a six-month-long Women for Change programme

The evaluation session took place at the Athlone Civic Centre on Tuesday 25 June and it highlighted some of the challenges faced during the programme. The programme was established by the City of Cape Town in 2016 to empower women to take ownership of their communities.

It provides them with proper skills and resources that prepare them either for employability within social development organisations or to start their own projects.

Participants were employed under the Expanded Public Works Programmes (EPWP). They started in January and the evaluation marked the end of their contracts. The residents from Athlone, Hanover Park, Manenberg, Nyanga, Gugulethu, Belhar, Mastrosfootein, Delft and Blikkiesdorp took turns on stage to share their experiences.

Amelia Eksteen, from Blikkiesdorp, said their community is one of many affected by the lack of service delivery and poverty. She said their objective is to find means of establishing jobs opportunities, feeding and creating a safe environment for children. According to her they do not have basic services as yet as the area is fairly new. The community is made up of people from different areas around Cape Town. They moved to the area by the City in 2007. Eksteen said the programme has been helpful as many people have been sitting at home doing nothing and struggled to feed their families.

Another beneficiary, Dineo Masiu from Delft, said in her community the focus is on skills development and social services, working with local organisations such as schools. She said they embarked on various campaigns including anti-bullying, health and wellness.

Masiu said her community is one of many in the Cape Flats that is affected by violence and lack of resources for youth development and women empowerment. “Through initiatives like these, we are able to work closely with local council to identify and set priorities as per the needs of the community. “I was fortunate to carry on with this programme for over six months as I gained a lot of knowledge. Now I will be able to plough back, and we hope there will be job opportunities where we could utilise these skills,” Masiu said.

Mayco member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien congratulated the women for completing the programme, saying the City promises to continue working with them to make sure the skills do not go to waste.

Badroodien said depending on availability in their respective areas, the City tries to place women within local projects and encourage them to start up their projects and be agents of change, creating opportunities for other women.


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