Melodie Potgieter, chairperson of the Nutty Knitters
Two weeks ago, I accompanied councillor Christiana Groenewould to nearby Wolverivier – just off the N7 on the way to Melkbosstrand.
After hearing Christiana speak about the plight of the inhabitants of Wolwerivier, The Nutty Knitters of Table View knitted and donated two very large bags of blankets, jerseys, beanies and other warm, winter clothing to the children of Wolwerivier.
The huge donation was handed over to one of the two dedicated ACVV social workers at their office, a small Wendy house next to the Sunshine Creche in Wolwerivier.
The creche, which caters for children up to the age of 5, is a delightful ray of sunshine in Wolwerivier.
There were quite a number of volunteers from Europe, mainly the Scandinavian countries, that helped with the caring of the children, and while we were there, one of the volunteers nursed a little one’s injured foot in a container adequately equipped as a clinic.
Another ray of sunshine is called Magdalena, who sees to it that the bigger children are also fed more or less on a daily basis. This is done with the help of a group of women from neighbouring Morningstar, who have stepped into the breach by providing ingredients for the meals.
It was an eye opener for me to see a long line of children sitting, good as gold, on a makeshift bench, holding their soup bowls patiently while waiting for their lunch to be served.
It was delightful to see how the houses have been personalised by a stoep, a fence, a quaint garden, not just of flowers, but vegetables too.
However, it saddened me to learn that some 90% of the adult Wolverivier population are unemployed and that they exist mainly on government grants and the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) contracts.
This settlement desperately needs help, but not hand-outs, to help themselves.
There must be many retirees, like me, in our midst, with vital skills which they could impart by volunteering one or two mornings a week to help the people of Wolwerivier and empower them with crafts and skills like needlework, woodwork and welding.
Other practical skills, like electrical and plumbing, are also urgently needed to help them to better their quality of life.
South Africans are very generous and that generosity would be so helpful in neighbourhoods such as Wolwerivier.
I believe that these folk could twin with the local Table View population and so provide them with some sense of purpose.
The Nutty Knitters are going to assist the women (and men if they would like) by teaching them how to knit and crochet for themselves through donations of wool and needles and knitting lessons.
I challenge all the wonderful people of Table View to, instead of merely throwing money at a given situation, rather get involved in a community to help people to help themselves.
If you are able to assist, please call Ms Groenewould at 082 294 1894.