There was excitement among the residents of Woodlands at the launch of Woodlands Women’s Support Group at the Woodville Primary School last Thursday.
The event coincided with the opening of a soup kitchen in a shipping container on the school premises.
Support group chairperson Gabieba Raademeyer said their intention was to support the community, particularly those who were in need.
Among their partners, she said, were the City’s Department of Social Development, Woodville Primary and Woodlands Residents’ Association. “Our aim is to uplift the community by bringing necessary services to them,” she said, adding that one of their major challenges was their limited number of staff.
“We have about 500 people, including children that we cater for through the soup kitchen.
“We do need more hands. And we welcome people who can come
to assist us on a volunteer basis,” she said.
The soup kitchen at the school runs on a Monday and Tuesday and on Wednesday and Thursday they feed people at the Woodlands Masjidul Irshaad, next to the school.
Richard Samuels, vice-chairperson of the support group which was started in February, described the event as a dream come true.
“This group was formed by different individuals who were working on their own in the area.
“We decided to come together and form one big group to support the community,” he explained.
Mr Samuels said their objective was to serve the community and keep youngsters off the streets.
“We (also render) services like providing free legal advice, home-based care, (help with) childhood problems, municipal matters (and) providing skills for youth,” he said.
The mosque’s Yusuf Daniels said they had good relationship with the support group and emphasised the importance of keeping children off the streets. “There a lot of youth activities that we practising and part of that is madrassa studies after school, for Grade R to Grade 8 pupils.”
Mary Ann, a community carer giver at the City’s Department of Social Development and Early Childhood Development (ECD) who described her job as looking after vulnerable children and old people, said the launch of the support group was a great initiative.
“We also look after people living with disability. We visit senior clubs and explain our services and what we are offering,” she said.
And because many seniors’ clubs were not registered, she said, “we visit those clubs to advise and show them what they can do.”
Local resident Eunice Abrahams said: “I’m so happy and I believe the support group will help many people in the community who are suffering. Many people will benefit here.”