Get Involved!

People often want to help organisations that focus on improving the lives of those
less fortunate, especially in their own community, but are unsure where to start.
RENSKE HOWELL explores three opportunities where support is sorely needed.


A lot of older people in Stellenbosch become more lonely over time and need help, but they choose to stay where they are because they don’t feel ready for a retirement village or old age home. In recognition of this, and inspired by a concept already put into practice in The Netherlands by a large network of people, Stellenbosch Buurtzorg has been established.

Several wonderful volunteers have already signed up to Stellenbosch Buurtzorg and are now helping people with shopping, driving them to appointments, playing games, reading aloud or simply visiting and chatting.

If you would like to join them, please contact Carin Coetzer on 083 627 9987 or at

Youth Outreach

Rather than giving money to children and homeless people on the streets, South Africans are often urged to financially support organisations that will help these people to become self-sufficient.

One such organisation is Youth Outreach, a care centre in Stellenbosch that provides security and education for vulnerable children and young people in a boys’ and a girls’ home, and equips them with life skills. It also provides drop-in services for vulnerable youngsters still living at home but needing nutritional and
therapeutic support.

GoKids, a play school in Jamestown, is a drop-in centre where children between the ages of four and six are given a nutritious meal every morning and the opportunity to play and learn while having fun. Many of the activities devised for them will prepare them for life at school. They are also provided with clean clothes and learn about basic personal hygiene, like washing hands. When they are old enough, GoKids helps their parents with school applications and provides the new learners with clothes, shoes and stationery.

In the afternoons, children from a local primary school come to the centre to receive a nutritious meal and help with homework, reading and other academic activities. Friday afternoons, however, are given over to fun!

Youth Outreach’s biggest need is financial assistance. If you can help, call 021 886 6216 or send an email to yo.stellenbosch@gmail.com.

It activates on universal human values that people want control over their own lives, strive to maintain or improve their quality of life, and seek social interaction and ‘warm’ relationships with others. The first level of aid is volunteers who have a caring heart and time to spare – and there are a lot of them in Stellenbosch. All we need is a network that connects older people seeking care and those willing to give it.

Stellenbosch Feeding in Action

The primary focus of Stellenbosch Feeding in Action is to boost food security locally and in doing so to improve the quality of life of those in need. Providing food, gas and appliances for preparing balanced meals, it currently serves about 12 500 meals per week to more than 5 000 individuals at 60 feeding points in the wider Stellenbosch area.

The organisation focuses primarily on feeding children in need, less fortunate senior citizens, and the sick and homeless. It also supplies community groups and crèches with food to bolster their limited budgets.

Communities really in need are the focus of its efforts and it has, for example, established a new feeding point at La Colline, which also serves Lapland flats, and one at Idas Valley. Supporting communities by providing them with nutritious meals makes a big difference to people’s lives and brings them new hope. Any support, financial or in the form of dried food supplies, is welcome. Send an email to feedingaction@gmail.com. V