Running Commentary

16 Days of Activism.

1. Our Saturday Story: Community Wolwerivier

πŸ€—We were woken at 07h00 this morning 20th November 2021 by a frantic whatsapp message from the onsite co-ordinators of the Introduction to Computers Training. They had found that the Wolwe Community hall’s power off as an administrative oversight had left the hall without it’s generator.

Xolelwa: Debbie we have no power, we don’t know what to do, we are setting up and there is no power, there hasn’t been since Thursday. But we are asking the community to come and help, to give us extension leads and to see if we can plug in at their houses, but we are telling you Debbie, we are doing this training today, we are not postponing, we are not changing the time, we are doing it today, we can even do it outside in the road in front of the houses. No we have waited too long, we are moving forward!

That’s the spirit!! Nothing but respect..and guess what? It happened!

 Our Take Home from this story?

Where there is a will, there is a way! Nothing can stop a determined woman!

Basic Introduction to Computers Completed!

2. Partnership WC DSD – Community SummerGreens

23rd November 2021

A huge thank you to Bronwyn Samuels Springfield Se Merem who represented Up To Me in Summergreens today. We were invited to join the Western Cape Dept of Social Development as guest speakers. Bronwyn delivered the programme GBV, SAPS and The Justice System, your rights and responsibilities.

Our Take Home from this story?

Our communities desperately need to understand their human rights and how the system can work FOR them.

Bronwyn doing the Q&A sessions

3. Launching Soundcloud – Community Online

25th November 2021

We have released the start of a series of mini snippets. Learn all about GBV. For 16 days of Activism 2021 the theme is From Awareness to Accountability..with knowledge you are possibly able to see what the role is that you can comfortably play in making SA safe again! Please share far and wide. Afrikaans, Xhosa and Zulu translations to follow as well as many more topics. A huge thanks to our volunteer Charlie Bezuidenhout-Hollingsworth for doing such a stellar job.

Our Take Home from this story?

No NPO can thrive without the selfless input from motivated volunteers who are passionate to make a change and we are fortunate to have some of the best!

4. Confidence Building – Wolwe Rivier
27th November

Yesterday we completed our workshop on Confidence Building in Wolwerivier. It was a small workshop and whilst we were initially disappointed at the 60% turnout, we realised yet again, in retrospect, the power of working with small groups.

The programme included the topics:

1. What is verbal abuse and how does it make you feel?

2. What can we do to stop buying into it and to stop perpetuating the cycle?

3. What are the words we would love to hear daily and would have loved as children?

4. A short meditative exercise on speaking those same words to yourself.

5. What your locus of control is and what exercises you can practice to hold onto your inner power.

We would like to thank our Partners and volunteers @Siphesihle and BenjΓ© Vermaak from DC Angels, our sponsors @Vroue Landbou Vereneging Parow , Lize Testa , Marida Flack – each of you played your role and keep on inspiring.

Our Take Home from this story?

South Africa is a country steeped in pain. Our people are down trodden, tired, stressed from the systemic battering and lack of opportunity and if you are a woman, chances are even more so. Providing opportunity in the form of confidence building, stress and trauma relief is crucial to the success of any empowerment programme and it is essential that we have the support of qualified counsellors and social workers in the communities in which we do deep work.

What does verbal abuse mean to you?

5. Positive and Safe Parenting – Wolwerivier
4th December

Up To Me and DC Angels hosted our third event for 16 days of activism agains GBV, in Wolwerivier Melkbos, Western Cape yesterday. The topic was child safety and parenting. Thank you to Tina Thiart from 1000 Women 1 Voice for providing the pamphlets, Shane Watson Fish, Marida Flack for your kind donations towards the stationery packs for the kiddies and Michele Sandilands and Magdalene Minnaar for your donation towards the catering and preparation. As you can see the ladies loved it and MUCH learning was done!

Then also a huge thank you to Steel Violet and Zonnekus Holiday Resort for your huge contribution to the fuller programme. Without your assistance this would simply not have been possible.

Our Take Home from this story?

There are many exceptionally strong women in our communities in South African and many of them are looking for ways to offer their children better opportunities. The challenge is to remain motivated and to remain hopeful when the deck seems to be stacked against you. Many people simply need that ONE person to believe in them, to coach, mentor, to inspire and to provide physical help when life simply gets to be too much.

6. First Aid Training – Wolwerivier

8th December 2021

Well done to the ladies of Wolwerivier who are stepping up as true leaders! We are so inspired by their grit and determination. The time is NOW! From Awareness to Accountability is not a motto for them..it is becoming a lifestyle! In the words of one of these phenomenal women “If I know what to do to stop our children from falling for these drugs and things, I will do it..just show me the way!”

The request was simple, and the job was made easy by some phenomenal partnerships and some incredible volunteers! Thank you!πŸ€—

1) Up To Me sponsored 7 ladies from the Community to do first aid training.

2) These ladies will over this December holiday pay it forward by ensuring responsible adult eyes on the antics of the kids!

3) On Saturday 11th December DC Angels Unchain the Plain and GCU get together with Up To Me and present the community with sporting equipment and a day of celebrations!

The route has been paved, the leaders are emerging

Our Take Home from this story?

When investing in a community it quickly becomes clear exactly how resourceful the people of South Africa are. How the spirit of Ubuntu kicks in and how leaders step up from even the most unexpected places. Some will stay in the background, but it is often due to lack of confidence and not lack of appreciation.

Practical aspects of First Aid Training

7. Key Note Speaker – Community Gugulethu

10th December 2021

Last week, the awesome Bronwyn Springfield Se Merem delivered the keynote speech at the Gugulethu Civic Center as part of the CoCT #16daysofactivismagainstgenderbasedviolence programme. Project managed by the incredible Shanaaz Sulaiman the programme was, as usual a huge success. Thank you to these amazing volunteers for being part of the Up To Me group and offering us the opportunity to be involved!

Our Take Home from this story?

When working with highly motivated and efficient partners, the sky is the limit and we are eternally grateful to all those that put their confidence in us.

So young and so inspired!

8. Partnership WC DSD – Community Bloekombos

9th December 2021

Thank you Dee Coetzee for again spreading the word on GBV: SAPS and the Justice System, knowing your rights and responsibilities. We are so grateful to be part of the WC DSD programmes and to be working at grass roots level. It makes our hearts sing!!

Speakers were

Up To Me
Local Councillor

Our Take Home from this story?

The need for GBV advocacy is huge. The need for our communities to work with their local SAPS through the CPF is under utilised. Trust building projects between community and SAPS need to be frequent and ongoing. Government has a huge role to play in ensuring that corruption is eradicated from SAPS and that ALL officers are well trained and that they are held accountable for their actions.

Dee in Action!

9. Year End Function Wolwerivier

11th December 2021

Thank you to every single person involved. Unchain the Plain, GCU , DC Angels the volunteers from Up To Me, with special thanks to Shanaaz Sulaiman and Dee Coetzee for connecting the dots. To the on the ground community leaders at Wolwerivier: Maggie, Xolelwa, Nasiphi, Linamandla, Nonkululeko, Phindokuhle and Ziyanda..on behalf of Up To Me I can only say you are all amazing human beings and we wish there were more of you in the world! Much love! And then because the work is never done..to Unchain the Plain we cannot wait for the coach the coaches sessions, the gift that keeps on giving..sport and self empowerment!! πŸ’ͺβ€πŸ™Œand To GCU thank you for the invitation to visit your and experience your kitchen, office and approach and the offer of ongoing support. β€πŸ€—

Our Take Home from this story?

Big things start with humble beginnings..this event triggered a series of positive events in Wolwerivier and we can all only do better from here on in.

First Aid Certificate Handovers and the Community Workers who took on the Holiday Programme for the kids!!

10. Wrap Up

Remember December? 😜

Up To Me together with DC Angels presented the parenting training workshop at Wolwerivier where we spoke about child safety, human trafficking and the responsibilities of parents to keep our children safe? Then two weeks later Up To Me sent 8 of the ladies from Wolwe on a first aid training course? A week later Up To Me, Unchain the Plain DC Angels and GCU got together and did a year end event donating sporting equipment and games to the community? Well here are some of the results..

1. The Up To Me representatives in the community under the guidance of DC Angels put together a HOLIDAY FUN PROGRAMME.

2. The kids are now insisting the volunteers continue with the programme as they really enjoyed the adult supervised play time.

3. The volunteers are meeting today to extend their services to the community for the remainder of 2022.

4. Step NEXT? Expanding on the onsite volunteers who wish to live in a community with purpose..identifying coaches for all the games and sports..soccer and netball have stepped up.. and then calling on Unchain the Plain to come and start the coach the coaches programme.

5. A local citizen in Wolwe sponsored all the kids from the programme with a brand new pair of school shoes for the year!

Our Take Home from this story?

Everyone strives for a better life. Ending the scourge of GBV in communities has to be a multi faceted approach and a hand up is more sustainable than a hand out.

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