Pretoria North neighbours start a stokvel to get to know each other and share how they stand together in tough times

Orchards Ladies Social Club
Orchards Ladies Social Club
Orchards Ladies Social Club/supplied

THE PURPOSE OF THE CLUB: THE Orchards Ladies Social Club was formed by a group of women, who are between the ages of 30 and 40, and who mostly live in Orchards, Pretoria North. Their homes are in a newly developed area where residents don’t really know each other.

Read more| Struggling to save? This is how you can join a Stokvel

The ladies formed a stokvel so they could get to know each other better as neighbours and help each other in their time of need. The stokvel supplies each member with tables, chairs and other necessities which members may need during a funeral, tombstone unveiling, birthday or wedding celebration.

LIFE OF MEETINGS: Members rotate to host the monthly meetings. Of the R250 contribution, R200 goes towards buying the equipment. So far, they have bought 10 chairs, table and 20-litre pots for each member. The remaining R50 of the monthly contribution is set aside for catering and is given to the host. Members who also cannot attend meetings are expected to pay the catering fee. For lunch, the host prepares one starch, three salad dishes and drumsticks.

They also buy three 2-litre cooldrinks and two 1,5-litre of juice.

Themenu is set because food is expensive, and members do not want the host to spend a lot of money on catering. While they don’t have a uniform, they do have a theme for each meeting. The theme is suggested by the host and deliberated by members and then finalized before the next meeting. If a member is more than 15 minutes late for a meeting, they are fined R10.

THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT: The club is hoping to grow their membership and are in talks to includea0burial plan, but they are still finalising the details.

CLOSING THE YEAR OFF: At the end of last year, the members had a year-end function at the home of a member. They contributed an additionalR100 over and above their usual R50 so they could celebrate in style. Since it was their first year, they kept itsmall but in the future they want to go to a resort or a park to celebrate.

NAME: Orchards Ladies Social Club Location: Orchards, Pretoria North Members: 13FORMED: 2018MEETINGS: Once a month CONTRIBUTION: R250.

Stokvel Corner: One thing we can learn from Orchards Ladies Social Club is that they have the best interests of the members at heart. The fact that they have a list of food and drinks that the host needs to buy and make sure the amount is within budget, so the member will not overspend, is quite considerate. Members also allow the host to be creative and come up with a theme they like for meetings.

Happy members, happy life It is important for stokvel members, particularly leaders, to make sure all members are happy, valued and respected by everyone in the club.

Failure to do so can cause the stokvel to be divided and could lead to members leaving the club. When members feel that their opinion matters in a stokvel, regardless of their position, they feel appreciated. This can encourage members to go over and above their duties for the stokvel because they feel valued and appreciated. Happy members are also creative and come up with more exciting ideas to grow the stokvel.