Through all the great achievements achieved by locals this year, perhaps none were more rewarding than the ones that supported, empowered and uplifted the local community, especially those in need of a helping hand.
Claudia Dieckmann, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2011, will once again spearhead a group of swimmers that will take on the Western Cape’s premier open-water swim, the 5th annual Sanlam Cape Mile at the Eikenhof Dam on Sunday 17 February 2019, in support of Multiple Sclerosis South Africa (MSSA).
A keen swimmer, Dieckmann was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2011 at the age of 31. MS is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis.
“The Cape Mile is such a well-run event,” says Dieckmann. “In 2018 we had close to 30 people swimming as part of Team Swim4MS. We felt very welcome and the vibe created in the festival village was electrifying. The event definitely exceeded our expectations and was a great fundraising effort with close to R70 000 being raised for the cause. Fundraising is always a goal, as having a chronic and potentially disabling condition like MS is financially stressful.
Qhubeka is a charity that changes lives with bicycles. Qhubeka’s programme participants earn bicycles in various ways, for example through learn-to-earn and work-to-earn projects. The aim in this instance is to support the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and GCN initiative, which promotes healthy eating and improved food security amongst marginalised communities. Qhubeka launched a programme to benefit 70 Cape Winelands vegetable garden project participants. The bikes will allow Ms Rhode and others like her to plant and water their gardens and make sure they get their produce to market as quickly as possible, using their own transport.
All the project participants receive a starter kit from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture through Casidra (Cape Agency for Sustainable IntegratedDevelopment in Rural Areas). It includes a hoe, rake, watering can, grey water harvesting and irrigation system, organic compost, fertiliser, some vegetable seedlings and seeds.
Drostdy Hof is looking to jump-start the wine career of a promising young woman. The popular wine brand is collaborating with Stellenbosch-based Pinotage Youth Development Academy (PYDA), an independent organisation that prepares disadvantaged young matriculants for jobs in the wine, tourism and allied sectors. Its holistic, year-long work-readiness programme includes technical and on-the-job learning, with a strong accent on personal development.
StreetSmart SA, an organisation dedicated to helping street children rebuild their lives through donations from restaurants, accommodation establishments and wine tasting venues in the Western Cape, Garden Route, Gauteng and KZN, has handed over R110,000 to their Franschhoek beneficiary for 2019.
There are currently 5 establishments in Franschhoek that have embraced StreetSmart’s vision to make a real difference to the lives of street children or children at risk of living on the streets. Funds are raised by adding a R5 donation to each patron’s bill. This donation is voluntary and donors are able to contribute more if they wish to. With this generous gesture, StreetSmart establishments and their guests are making a real difference to the lives of vulnerable and street children in their local communities.