What Happens When a Group of Women get Together?

Posted by on Jun 28, 2015 in Writings

What Happens When a Group of Women get Together?

On Saturday, inspired by Cape Town Embrace, a group of women, mostly mothers, from Scarborough and surrounds, arrived at Buyiswa‘s house on Red Hill, with some tea and cake and fruit and biscuits. Some of the mothers from the Red Hill settlement were there to meet us, some more trickled in. We sat in a circle in chairs, clutching our steaming cups of tea, children playing around us and we shared why we were there.

Buyiswa, who was hosting us, has spearheaded the Red Hill Literacy Programme – a project which sprung from her sitting room. She saw a need for a space for some of the children to do their homework after school and that has grown into an after school literacy programme helped by volunteers, as well as a feeding scheme to make sure that these children did not have to learn on an empty stomach. This programme is now a registered NPO and Buyiswa has won a Lead SA Award for her work. Victoria, Buyiswa’s neighbour and friend, joined her on this project and now helps run the literacy project.

The women from Scarborough were all there because they all wanted to help somehow but did not know how to begin or who to approach. This was an opportunity to meet with some of the women on Red Hill to find out what some of the issues and needs were…and to meet and chat.

And to meet and chat.

Some of the women from Red Hill are unemployed or are single mothers supporting many family members on very little.

The needs are simple, yet complex. Food. Rain jackets for children. School fees for the young children in the creche. They need the internet for the Literacy Project.  Driver’s licenses – there is no reliable public transport. Building permission is needed for one woman’s house to change the roof (the old roof leaks, she needs special permission but does not know where to go to get this, if she changes it without permission, they will tear it down…at present her roof leaks onto her bed. She actually has the building materials to fix it but needs the permission first).

A rape counsellor is needed.

We discussed the possibility of opening up the clinic for an extra day for the pregnant women and the babies. At present, it only opens once a week for vaccinations.

An offer was made to help start a vegetable garden.

Connections were  made and we meet again in two weeks time to chat further.

Buyiswa sent me a text last night simply saying: “That was amazing.”

And it was.

Simple but amazing.

So what happens when a group of women get together?

Let’s see…

If you would like to connect or help somehow, please let me know.