Media Release: GRDM EHPs donate essentials in celebration of Mandela Day
For immediate release 22 July 2021
Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) from the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) based in the Klein-Karoo and Mossel Bay recently visited and donated essentials to two establishments in Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn, respectively.
The Mossel Bay team, according to Shandré Abrahams, Employee Assistance Practitioner at GRDM, visited the Creating Effective Families (CEF) establishment in Mossel Bay. CEF is an organisation that caters for the abused mothers and children where temporary shelter for these individuals from abused relationships are provided for. The team donated toiletries, clothes, baby goodies and other essentials to the facility.
On Monday, 19 July 2021, the Klein Karoo Municipal Health Section based in Oudtshoorn donated gift packs to toddlers of the Rin-Tin-Tin Crèche in Kruisrivier, in Calitzdorp. Each packet contained a face cloth, soap bar, toothpaste, toothbrush, chips and a sweet.
The principal of the crèche, Inge Ewerts, expressed her appreciation towards the GRDM officials for showing commitment towards caring for the community, primarily due to the basic necessity needs that exist within the community.
Members of the community appreciated the gesture and extended a word of appreciation to both teams, who prioritised them as beneficiaries of their initiatives. The officials contributed from their personal funds to make a success of this outreach.
The Human Resources Unit of GRDM are planning further Mandela Day activities towards the end of this month. The entire GRDM also participated in the Walk-A-Child to School campaign which ended at the end of June 2021. Donations will be distributed to various less fortunate schools within the next two weeks if the COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed.
Feature Photo: The Mossel Bay team (fltr) including Neo-lay Britz, Jenay van Niekerk, Analize Fuzani, Monique Anthony, Marlene Losper, Rinay Cloete, Delmarie Lewis and Sam Bendle, with the essentials donated to the Creating Effective Families facility in Mossel Bay
Media Release: Donations to vulnerable communities welcomed
For immediate release 7 September 2020
News Release: Donations to vulnerable communities welcomed
Recently the Indigo Fruit Farm in Heidelberg (Hessequa) donated two containers of naartjies respectively to the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Disaster Management Centre for distribution to vulnerable communities.
The first donation was made in July and the second donation later in August 2020. Approximately 1 360 packets of naartjies, 4 100 (kg) kilograms were collected by the GRDM team from the farm.
Mr Frank Oosthuizen, Manager at Indigo Fruit, said: “Our donation came at a time when vulnerable communities in the Garden Route needed it the most and we could therefore reach out to these households. We are grateful to the Garden Route District Disaster Management Centre who indicated that they would be able to distribute the fruit to the local municipalities for distribution in their respective municipal areas”.
Mr Gerhard Otto, Manager of Disaster Management at GRDM, extended a word of appreciation to the Indigo Farm for their generous donation to the communities of the district.
Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality acknowledges local humanitarians on World Humanitarian Day
For Immediate Release 19 August 2020
World Humanitarian Day is held every year on 19 August to acknowledge aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and to come together and provide support to people affected by crises around the world.
This year, World Humanitarian Day comes as the world continues to recover from COVID-19 pandemic. According to the United Nations (South Africa) aid workers are overcoming unprecedented access obstacles to assist people in humanitarian crises around the world.
Providing the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic affects the livelihoods of people throughout the globe, the Garden Route District Municipality acknowledges that fighting the spread of the virus is not possible without the help of heroes. These heroes either provide healthcare to infected patients, provide meals and/or essentials to the vulnerable. These role players include:
environmental health practitioners;
government organisations; and
the media who creates awareness of the dangers and risks of the COVID-19 virus within our communities, to name a few.
Food security heroes in the Garden Route
One such hero is Ms Magdalene Moos from Concordia (part of the Knysna Municipal area), who operates as one of 64 soup kitchens that, with the help of donors, reach out to the vulnerable members of society in her area of service. Ms Moos went as far as to create her own vegetable garden to ensure the sustainability of the initiative. She said: “We reached a point where we now feed a total of 1500 persons per week and the highest number of persons reached so far were 401 per day. Meals are also directly delivered to the elderly in the area to spare them the inconvenience of waiting in queues”. She also emphasised: “We cannot only feed kids and the elderly; we feed any person that reach our doorstep who needs a meal. “None of this is possible without donations that we continuously receive from donators such as Ms Sharon Dreyer, Ms Sam Loerie, Mr Johan Gerber and the Knysna Rotary Club, as well as Maxwell 20, an organisation who donates nutritious porridge that we serve to the kids on a daily basis.”
In the Klein-Karoo is Mr Jaco Matthee, a community volunteer who runs his own soup kitchen and delivers food hampers to vulnerable residents of the Oudtshoorn area. With this initiative he reaches residents of Bridgton and also donates food hampers to the Family and Marriage Society of South Africa (FAMSA) organisation in the area with donations received from Cape Karoo International. Mr Matthee said: “With this initiative we are able to provide soup to 400 persons per week and donate food hampers to 10 households per week”. Adding to this, he said: “Not all of us are in a position to provide for our families during this difficult time. There are many people struggling to make ends meet, but we must start within our immediate surroundings; starting with our neighbours. “If we all contribute to others, we can make our society a better place,” he said. Working in the hospitality industry, Mr Matthee said, “it is important that we help our communities, as it is these communities that keep our businesses open with their support, therefore it is important that business plough back to them”.
In the area of Bitou, the Sinethemba Soup Kitchen is also an unsung hero for the residents of Kwanokuthula, where they feed 150 residents from phases 3, 4 and 5 of Ward 6 per day. Ms Phumeza Ndukwana, said: “We are a team of five who work full-time to ensure that vulnerable members of our community are fed for 4 days per week (Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays)”. She added: “People arrive at our facility in numbers which is an indication that our communities are struggling”. The soup kitchen provides meals to children and adults, including elderly and those with disabilities. They ensure that all safety protocols are adhered to when serving their community. “One must have the passion for the community to be in this position and not expect something in return; however we need people that are reliable to make sure that the service is running effectively,” she concluded. Ms Ndukwana also gave recognition to Ms Shirley Redman from Bitou who continuously donates various food products, vegetables and other essentials to ensure that they continue to help the needy of Kwanokuthula.
All these efforts and initiatives, despite the odds, make a difference in the lives of many. It is due to this that the country has lost less lives than predicted. While honouring these heroes, the GRDM also pays tribute to the lives of all health workers and other essentials workers who have lost their lives while rendering an essential service during these pressing times. May each soul rest in peace.
Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality celebrates Mandela Day and donates essential items to the vulnerable
For Immediate Release
18 July 2020
While the world celebrates the life of an icon, the late President of the Republic of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, employees of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) also followed his example to reach out to vulnerable community members in George.
Employees from the Corporate Services Department at GRDM did their bit by contributing towards buying essential food hampers for households who are struggling under the financial strain of the COVID-19 pandemic. The items were donated to the beneficiaries on Friday, a day before the celebration of Madiba’s birthday.
Ms Shandré Abrahams, GRDM Employee Wellness Practitioner, who drives this annual programme, said: “This is a very difficult time in the lives of many South Africans and it’s amazing to see employees reaching in their pockets to continue to do their bit to support the residents of the Garden Route”.
In previous years officials based at all the Municipal Health offices across the district also participated in this initiative, however due to their added COVID-19 responsibilities of creating awareness, monitoring additional hygiene compliance measures and contact tracing activities, they were unable to partake in this years’ programme. However, the GRDM Municipal Health office in George plans to hand out masks to the community of Thembalethu in George after news broke that this area was recently declared as the COVID-19 hotspot in the region and George. The Environmental Health Practitioners continue to create awareness about the virus and the danger thereof to members of the community and continuously urge them to adhere to the relevant regulations.
Through this initiative, it is fulfilling to observe how every single donation can make a difference in the lives of those who need it most. It never matters how big or small selfless acts or donations are, what matters is the intention and compassion of a person to bring about change during a time when the world is on its knees.
“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” -Nelson Mandela
On Wednesday, 10 June 2020, the Disaster Management Centre of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) collected food items from the Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) in Cape Town to assist shelters situated in all municipal areas with food relief.
Mr Gerhard Otto, Manager of Disaster Management at GRDM, applied for food relief with a list of specified items on 4 June 2020, after sending a request for assistance to the DSD. The request was approved on 8 June 2020. This assistance came at a crucial time after Oudtshoorn and Bitou municipalities shortly before Otto’s request, indicated the need for essential food items at their respective shelters for homeless people. Itemba in Oudtshoorn accommodates 18 homeless, while Native Roots, situated in Plettenberg Bay, accommodates 40 persons. Homeless persons are not only accommodated at these shelters, but are also cared for during the COVID-19 pandemic and kept safe and healthy during this unprecedented time.
Preparation of the food will be done at kitchens approved by the GRDM Municipal Health Services section. The kitchens will be well-managed by non-governmental and faith based organisations in the respective municipal areas. Soup kitchens supported by the respective municipalities will also benefit from this donation. The items approved and donated by DSD, include: porridge, beef and chicken soup, juice, pasta, mince, chicken casserole, maize meal and pilchards.
Executive Mayor of GRDM, Cllr Memory Booysen, welcomed the donation and extended a word of gratitude to DSD for assisting the Garden Route district with essential food items. Mayor Booysen said: “This donation from the DSD is confirmation of our good working relations with provincial departments. It is important that we continue with our efforts to explore any possibility to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of our residents, most importantly the most vulnerable – this donation is a result thereof”.
As the Mandela Day celebrations are still in progress throughout the world today, 18 July 2019, the respective departments of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) used their 67 minutes to celebrate the life of former and the late President of the Republic of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, throughout the entire Garden Route district. The aim of this year’s initiatives was to put smiles on the faces of the most vulnerable, but more importantly – the faces of youngsters affected by tough living conditions. Here are some of the special moments captured during these events today:
George Herald annual Sandwich Jam
The first initiative of the day started with the GRDM Mayoral Committee members and officials who participated in the eighth annual Sandwich Jam of the local media house, George Herald. For this year’s initiative, George Herald’s goal was to prepare 10 000 sandwiches in 67 minutes, however to their surprise, they reached their target in 53 minutes! During the event, all participants prepared sandwiches for identified areas and members of the community. The event took place at the George Herald premises in Ring Road, George. “We hope that the beneficiaries who include: St Paul’s Primary School, Life Community Services, ACVV, Conville Clinic, George Hospital, Child Welfare, Badisa, Eden Lions, Seven Passes Initiative, Touwsranten, George Night Shelter, New Dawn Park Primary School, Pacaltsdorp Clinic and Mzoxolo Primary School enjoyed the sandwiches, prepared straight from our hearts,” Ms Shandré Abrahams, GRDM Wellness Officer said.
Ethembeni Day Care Centre for Disabled Children
Still, in George, the GRDM officials from the Human Resources Section visited a non-governmental organisation, Ethembeni Day Care Centre for Disabled Children, in Thembalethu. Each official within the Section contributed funds and donated toiletries, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, facecloths and soap, as well as a snack bag for each child at the Centre. Leaving each child with a smile and a happy heart was purely what the team intended to achieve. A total of 17 children benefited from this initiative.
Karmenaadjie Crèche in Oudtshoorn
The GRDM Municipal Health Section in Oudtshoorn visited the Karmenaadjie Crèche in Buffelsdrift. On their arrival, they provided soup and bread rolls to each toddler. Approximately 51 children and educators enjoyed the warm, tasty soup and bread rolls that were prepared specifically for them. In closing the visit, the principal of the Crèche expressed her sincere appreciation towards the GRDM team for the gesture, but most of all for caring for the children and their educators, as well as the community. Members of the Buffelsdrift community and the educators also welcomed the initiative.
More initiatives to follow
More activities in celebration of Mandela Day are envisaged to take place, such as a collaborative school visit by the GRDM Municipal Health teams of Knysna and George to the Lancewood Primary School in Woodville is also expected to take place on Friday, 19 July 2019 and a visit to a school in Calitzdorp by the Disaster Management and Fire Services officials.
While all activities are coming to a close, us as residents of the Garden Route should always strive towards changing the living conditions of the community for the better by how we think, act and respond. “And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same” – Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
Speaker of Garden Route District Municipality, Cllr Eleanore Bouw-Spies, recently donated R5 000.00 to the South Cape / Karoo Nursing College in celebration of International Nurses’ Day – 12 May 2019. The funds will be used for a recreational area for Nurses and Students.
“From the bottom of my heart, we thank you for your dedication and hard work, we thank you for looking after others’ health with care, we thank you for your tenderness and care when dealing with your patients,” said Cllr Bouw-Spies.
Speaker also thanked Nurses for “keeping Florence Nightingale’s legacy alive and for always remembering the Nurses Pledge of Service”.