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Caring community knits for the needy

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A group of extraordinary women from Bonteheuwel have been changing the lives of many by embarking on projects at every opportunity.This week, they knitted items for babies and the elderly and handed them to Red Cross Children’s Hospital.

The Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies non-profit organisation was joined by 20 exchange students from Holland, pupils from Langa, Bonteheuwel High and Bonteheuwel residents in an event where 165 baby garments, blankets and socks for the elderly were knitted.

Last month they knitted 300 pairs of socks and handed them to Vanguard Maternity Unit, Apricot Place and Ryburg Home for the Aged, and the Lily Haven Place retirement home on Father’s Day.

Founder of Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies and peace ambassador Soraya Salle said they managed to knit as the Al-Azhar High School donated a lot of wool.

“None of our projects would have been turned to reality if it was not for the support we get from our community at large and from other communities,” she said.

“We decided to knit for the Red Cross Hospital as they told us touching stories of how women give birth but cannot dress their children as they cannot afford baby clothes.”

Ward 50 councillor Angus McKenzie said every community needed organisations to help uplift it, and he was in awe. “As councillors it is just impossible to change the community alone, we need NPOs like Walking Ladies.

“I had a vision and drive for change, it was not a political agenda, but wanted to see change in my area. I shared it with my community and they bought into it, and we can see the benefits with the early start of implementation.”

He said he was “more than excited” to see them taking back what was rightfully theirs with programmes that empower women and children.

“About 75% of households in Bonteheuwel don’t have active fathers – mothers have to play all roles. Through the initiatives they are running, they are inspiring and motivating more women to stand up and fight for change and peace,” McKenzie said.

The women are also feeding over 200 children and youth at the community centre every Wednesday, and educating unemployed women on how to run small gardens at home.

“In our communities we have mothers and girls who are drug addicts, we want them back,” said Salle. “We are also tired that our communities are only known for bad things like gang wars and child killings.

“We are putting together a peace blanket that will go into the Peace Museum in South Korea. We will not only be representing Bonteheuwel but South Africa.”

Extracted from IOL.

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