Communities join forces

The Rondebosch Community Action Network is working with the Bonteheuwel Joint Peace Forum CAN on various projects benefiting Bonteheuwel.

Covid-19 is tearing the world apart, but it has brought community volunteers in Rondebosch and Bonteheuwel together.

The Rondebosch Community Action Network (CAN) is working with the Bonteheuwel Joint Peace Forum CAN (JPF-CAN ) on various projects benefiting
Bonteheuwel.

Since lockdown started, the Rondebosch CAN has held several food-collection drives to support the Bonteheuwel organisation’s feeding schemes.

Their volunteers have also worked in the Bonteheuwel Community Care Centre’s vegetable garden and now they are raising money for repairs to the centre where Bonteheuwel residents with Covid-19 can self-isolate close to home.

The centre was vandalised during lockdown and more recently suffered storm damage.

Claire Tapscott is one of the many volunteers who got involved with the Rondebosch CAN.

“Our partnership with the JPF-CAN was facilitated by a Facebook group called Cape Town Together that functions as an umbrella body overseeing all of the CANs in the city,” she said.

Nadia Mayman de Grass, from the JPF-CAN, said many in Bonteheuwel lived with others in small houses or in backyard wendy houses, often sharing bedrooms.

“The community care centre will be a home away from home for people to safely self-isolate in their own neighbourhoods,” she said.

Most of the provincial Department of Health’s quarantine facilities were far from patients’ communities, she said.

“For many, the experience of being moved out of their communities, coupled with being diagnosed with Covid-19, increases levels of fear and anxiety.”

Ms Tapscott said that for the past month Rondebosch CAN, along with volunteers from the Common Ground Church, had been collecting beds, mattresses, linen, crockery, kitchen appliances and toiletries for the quarantine centre.

On Mandela Day, the public dropped off various donations – including food, toiletries, and clothing – at the Rondebosch church for both the JPF-CAN as well as community leaders in Dunoon.

An art auction would also be held on Monday July 27 to raise funds and artists were being asked to donate their work, Ms Tapscott said.

Half the proceeds from each auctioned piece would go to the quarantine centre.

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