Making the young girls of the community feel special is what Shanice Appels aims to do at the Princess Project party she hosts every year before her birthday on May 9.
Shanice, 19, from Tafelsig, organises the event for girls aged between 6 and 15 and this year it was held on Saturday May 5 with girls from Tafelsig, Strandfontein and Heideveld attending.
The project is in honour of her being a child of the Cape Flats and the inspiration came from her late mother, Sureen Appels.
Ms Appels passed away from kidney failure in 2007, when Shanice was just 9 years old.
Shanice is helped with the project by her father, Johan Appels, a community worker and City of Cape Town employee.
Herparentswerealways community-orientated and this sparked a desire in her to be helpful to the best of her ability.
Her project started when she was just 16 years old with a party for underprivileged children.
“Being that young I did not know what to talk to them about as I was not at that space yet. I know what it’s like not to have a mother figure growing up,” said Shanice, who also supports girls who are victims of crime at protests and court cases.
“There is no one to support them and be there for them in the time of need,” said Shanice.
One of the incidents that sparked her initiative was the death of Stacha Arendse, 11, from Tafelsig, who was raped and killed in 2017. “We decided to do it here because this is where she is from, she had to be here today,” said Shanice.
With projects like this, Shanice feels she can educate the community about all the things affecting the underprivileged Cape Flats child.
Those who contributed to the Princess Project included Miss Junior South Africa, Tiffany-Amber Moses, 19, from Durbanville, Glitzi-Lin or Linzi Visagie, from Worcester, who did the girls’ make-up, and the My Child is Your Child Foundation from Heideveld .
Kauthar McCrawl, 14, from Valhalla Park, said: “The gift that I got at the event Shanice held, I am going to keep it until Christmas so that I can open it then. I never had someone do this for me and I have learnt a lot in my time there.”
She is in the process of registering the Princess Project as an NPO.
She appeals to the broader community to donate pads to her project.
“Some girls have to use newspaper or ask a neighbour to give pads to them because they cannot afford it,” said Shanice.
If you would like to donate pads and toiletries to her project, contact her at 071 583 5467 or firstname.lastname@example.org