City expands Women for Change programme

The City of Cape Town is expanding its Women for Change programme, with a new round of induction sessions kicking off next week to include more women across the city.

The City of Cape Town is encouraging women to take ownership of their communities and the Women for Change programme gives them the tools to do this. A new round of induction sessions into the programme, previously known as the Women in Rental Stock project, starts next week and will empower women to make a difference in their homes and suburbs.

The Women for Change programme will receive more than R29 million during this financial year and will provide employment opportunities to women in all four City areas. It was launched in June 2016 by the City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department.

‘The women who participate in the programme are tenants in the City’s rental stock and they help us to build safer, more nurturing and more empowered communities. The programme initiated to address social ills and since then these women have become shining beacons of hope,’ said the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.

The City is encouraged by the positive response from women to address and get involved in resolving social obstacles. ‘Already more than 800 women have been recruited and will be trained and deployed throughout the city to help uplift areas where City-owned rental stock is situated. This is being done through addressing the environmental and socio-economic challenges in these areas. We are excited to expand this programme to more areas in need,’ said Alderman Smith.

An individual development plan is created for each participant in the programme. This also helps in the assessment of the efficacy of the programme and assists each woman in reaching her developmental goals. In Area East, the programme will continue in Macassar, with the addition of Lwandle, Rusthof and Sir Lowry’s Pass where a total of 139 women will be employed. In Area South, the City will recruit new candidates from Lotus River, Lavender Hill/Cafda and Ocean View.

This will then be expanded in 2018 to include Seawinds and Philippi East. In Area North, the programme will include more women from Atlantis, Hangberg, Factreton, Scottsdene and Langa. Throughout Area Central, women will be employed in Hanover Park, Manenberg, Ravensmead/Uitsig, Delft South, Elsies River, Gugulethu, Bishop Lavis, Nyanga, Belhar and Athlone.

‘While the majority of participants reside in rental stock areas, the programme has expanded to include participants from the broader communities and wards. In identifying the areas within which to implement the programme, factors such as unemployment, social challenges and crime are considered. Women who complete the programme leave it with basic skills that enhance their employability and sense of self,’ said Alderman Smith.

The women will receive training and education in disaster risk management, foetal alcohol syndrome, domestic violence, wellness and health promotion, solid waste management, self-defense, leadership, and how to approach disability in a sensitive manner.

‘I am proud of these women who are willing to bring about positive change in their communities and help ensure that their neighbourhoods are safer. This project is in line with our Organisational Development and Transformation Plan commitment to partner with communities in rolling out safety interventions and enhancing service delivery,’ said Alderman Smith.

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