Fisantekraal organisations unite

Various organisations and Fisantekraal residents gathered for a think tank session.

Organisations working in Fisantekraal are linking up and holding “think tank” meetings to coordinate their efforts to help the community.

The groups met at Fisantekraal library on Thursday September 15 for a think tank session to brainstorm ideas for upcoming events and projects.

Lucinda Valentine, director of GiveWise, came up with the think tank idea to better allocate funding in the community, after finding that there were quite a few groups doing similar projects in Fisantekraal, but they were not linking up.

“We wanted to gain knowledge and reached out to community members to become involved to give their input and ideas. We also wanted to establish a platform where the organisations could meet up,” she said.

GiveWise describes itself as “an assessment and evaluation company”, which endorses “prevention-focused organisations on their community development effectiveness”.

Delphino Machikicho, co-founder and vice president of Waumbe Youth Development Centre, said they had held an open day at the Fisantekraal community hall on Friday August 26, where 167 youth applied to universities and colleges.

“It was exciting to see that there were a few mothers who came out to apply to study further. It was a humbling experience,” said Mr Machikicho.

The centre was started in 2014 to help Fisantekraal overcome a range of social ills.

It plans to get more involved in the community next year to boost the high school’s matric pass rate.

Let’s Kick It is running the national Department of Health’s Kick TB & HIV programme in the community.

“The programme has already educated thousands of primary school pupils throughout South Africa,” said Let’s Kick It founder, Wena Moelich.

“The campaign uses soccer balls to educate and engage young people in the effort to stop the spread of tuberculosis (TB).

“We send teams out to schools throughout the country to deliver a match-quality soccer ball to each child with illustrated messages about TB/HIV.”

Ms Moelich also runs the Letz Kick Unemployment workshops for jobless women, giving them skills to make a living as well as access to financial and legal advice, health education and social workers.

Stacey Doorly-Jones is the director of 2nd Chance Trust, teaching people of all ages life skills so they and their loved ones can avoid making the wrong choices.

The trust uses horses to reach out to children from poor neighbourhoods, helping them to talk about problems and change their behaviour.

“The method of partnering with horses to help people who are struggling in the areas of substance abuse, violence, low self-esteem and depression to name a few, is a powerful method in assisting to transform lives,” she said.

The Olympians runs a wrestling club in the community, said director Wendy Bosse.

There are also plans, when funding allows, for the club to run support programmes to tackle substance abuse.

“With the wrestling club, we are trying to take the sport of wrestling to communities.

“We bring in a coach who will teach the community to wrestle,” said Ms Bosse.

Wilmot Arendse from City’s social development directorate said it was important for organisations, the community and the City to work together.

“If residents or organisations have projects, they need to come forward with this.

“We won’t know how to assist communities if people don’t come forward,” said Mr Arendse.

Ms Valentine said the organisations would show the community their plan and coordinate the various projects in the area once it was ready.