Things to do amid the Coronavirus outbreak

School Holidays Things to do

As President Cyril Ramaphosa announces the closure of all schools until after the Easter Weekend, parents are concerned about how they will manage to keep their kids entertained (other than Netflix or browsing the Internet!) without having to physically leave the house.

Fear not! We have compiled a list of things you may find helpful to ease the boredom and keep the children (and even yourself) busy until the Coronavirus panic dies down.

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February is National Art Month

February is Art Month blog

In 1991, February was declared National Arts Month with the signing of Presidential Proclamation 683. Nearly 30 years later February still comes alive with activities and events around the arts, creativity and self-expression. We see the amalgamation of so many groups, agencies and individual artists and art lovers coming together to celebrate the beautiful yet complex world of art.

Keen to see what this February has in store? Check out where to catch the buzz.

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Woodstock Design District – 5 creative businesses to know

Woodstock has long had a reputation for being a hub of industry, design and manufacture. In a new social media series, we’ve been featuring our local creative businesses, coined to be part of the Woodstock Design District. Now we curate our top five for 2019, which we have selected to feature across a range of design and art businesses across the creative sectors. This series was inspired by The Woodstock Design District Map, a curated guide to the Cape Town neighbourhood with the highest density of design studios and art galleries in the country, created by the Guild Group and Monday Design.

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Save our furry friends!

August blog WID save our furry friends

Milan Kundera, a French writer, once said: “Humanity’s true moral test, its fundamental test… consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy – animals.”

In recent months there has been an increase in the incidents of animal abuse and cruelty across the board. We have seen and heard stories and footage on television and social media where animals are being killed and tortured and neglected, left to fend for themselves on the streets and try to survive against the odds.

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Abigail Abrahams – A hero in our midst

Abigail Abrahams - A hero in our midst

Abigail Abrahams  – a household name at the Woodstock Improvement District  – has long since been an advocate for the underprivileged, the downtrodden and the hopeless. Her work in the community is extraordinary and so we caught up with her for a quick chat to find out a little more.

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WID Winter Warmers

WID Winter Warmers

Winter is officially in full swing and we are anticipating many more cold, dark and damp days ahead. We also know that there are men, women and children suffering on the streets during this time that could greatly benefit from a small act of kindness – so why not keep the heat in and the cold out this winter by spreading the love becoming involved in these heart-warming initiatives in the Woodstock community and its surroundings.

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Help St Anne’s help others

WID St Annes

WID St Anne’s

Women and children are among the most vulnerable in our community and in society at large. As a community focused organisation, WID is committed to assisting entities that support those in need.

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Support our sustainable employment initiative

WID Sponsor a homeless person

Those familiar with the work of the Woodstock Improvement District (WID) will know that our official mandate is to provide top-up cleaning and security services to the Woodstock community.

More than that, we’re committed to serving and supporting the community in practical ways. This includes finding sustainable ways of addressing poverty, unemployment and homelessness.

One of the successful ways that we’ve managed to do this is in partnership with Khulisa Social Solutions, a non-profit organisation working to empower and enable vulnerable communities to unlock their potential and develop skills towards a sustainable future.

The premise of the partnership is to take people off the streets of Woodstock and give them a job, typically in cleaning, for which they earn a monthly stipend of R3000. We have countless success stories that demonstrate how having a job and earning an income gives people a sense of purpose and security, which has a knock-on effect on other social problems within the community.

We want to get more people off the streets, working and with a sense of dignity. But in order to do this we need financial support.

Please consider helping just one person off the street with a monthly contribution of R3000. The orientation process is managed entirely by WID and Khulisa, with no further expectations from business, except the benefit of working and living in a safer, more resilient community.

With your help we can empower people and create more resilient communities, and as such we kindly urge you to consider getting involved.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions or queries on 021 462 7321 or info@wid.co.za

From us to you – our deepest thanks to our contributors

“Nothing else in all life is such a maker of joy and cheer as the privilege of doing good.” — James Russell Miller

As we approach the giving time of the festive season, we are reminded of all the generous donations we receive from various role players in the community. This article is dedicated to thanking just a couple of those whose contributions have helped make our events successful.

KwikSpar Boulevard and Balmoral Supermarket

This thank you is slightly overdue, as our local KwikSpar has been helping us since last year. In June 2017 we hosted a holiday programme and had the mammoth task of feeding over 100 children. KwikSpar generously sponsored 200 hot dog rolls, all of which fed hungry mouths!

This year they paired with Balmoral Supermarket to support our Mandela Day event for the homeless in the Woodstock area. Both of these stores provided soup and bread for attendees. The food was a welcome gift and allowed us to serve and connect with the most vulnerable in our city.

The Mandela Day initiative in Town Hall park was of particular importance due to the focus of the event: health and wellness for the homeless. An HIV and TB awareness talk was given, and testing was provided along with items to promote safe sex. Due to the KwikSpar’s generous donation, we were also able to feed many people, including children.

Sir Fruit

We are so grateful to this quirky local fresh juice brand for their donation of almost 300 bottles of iced tea for our holiday program this year. After a day of games and fun the children were thirsty, and so grateful for a healthy tasty quencher!

We use our termly holiday programme to entertain and educate kids in the area while they are on school holiday. The iced tea was delicious and went well with the hearty lunches of macaroni and cheese which fuelled the kids as they played, listened to educational talks and had outings to various departments.

Once again, thank you so much to these businesses for their generosity. Without your help we may not have been able to host such successful events.

Our social officer Abby shares that she has been blown away by the generosity of the businesses and is so grateful for their support. “What to say? I would like to thank the sponsors for the donations toward our holiday programmes, health days for the homeless and Nelson Mandela Day this year,” she says. “I wish these organisations all the best over the festive season and New Year. I hope to keep our relationship strong and on-going – there are many new projects ahead!”

If you, or your business, would like to make a difference in the community, our social projects are the right place to start. Whether through donating food to our holiday funds or sponsoring someone with a monthly stipend to get them back on their feet, we can help you contribute to positive change. Our social officer Abby will gladly discuss your options and explain exactly how your donations would be distributed to help those that need it most.

Abigail Abrahams/ Social Officer:
Tel: 082 611 0591

Spring happenings in Woodstock

Everyone who comes into contact with us at WID will have the pleasure of knowing our resident social officer Abigail Abrahams, affectionately known as Abby. She has been part of our team for years and has the eyes and ears that drive social development in the area.

We caught up with her on the cusp of the spring season to get a fresh perspective on growth and plans in Woodstock.

WID: First things first, can you explain in your own words why we do what we do? If someone doesn’t know anything about the WID, how would you describe it?

Abby: I would say the reasoning is that we want a safer, cleaner and more environmentally friendly Woodstock. We want the community to visit and enjoy the area, and for people to come and invest in the future so that the area can develop and reach its full potential.

 

WID: Why do you do what you do?

Abby: I really enjoy helping the less fortunate, especially women and children. I work with the homeless on a regular basis and this poses major challenges but also beautiful moments. I am humbled by the way homeless people can turn over a new leaf and start over if they choose. Those that are willing can change their lives, and it is so rewarding to be a part of that journey.

 

WID: That is such an inspiring thing to hear. How has 2018 been so far?

Abby: To be honest, it’s been tough. This year has had many challenges, but I guess if there aren’t any, how will one be able to open the next door? Or start the next chapter? I don’t believe anything comes easily.

WID: What projects from this year would you mark as a particular success?

Abby: The ID project, where we assisted a number of homeless people to attain their identity documents, ran very successfully. Many people are asking if I am going to do it again, as it really helped those in need. I will seriously consider implementing it again early in the new year.

 

WID: What new projects are you preparing for?

Abby: I am planning the agenda for the new year at the moment …you will just have to wait and see what happens! This year our annual holiday project is due to happen soon and we continue to run our gardening project on a month to month basis. We are still encouraging businesses to invest, so hopefully we will be able to end off the year on a good note.

 

WID: Would you tell us a little about the holiday programme? Who is involved and what is the project about?

Abby: The Holiday program starts on 1st October and runs until the 5th. It is for kids in the area that need to be kept busy and off the streets during school holidays. SAPS, Woodstock Library, City of Cape Town, the Water and Sanitation department and Blue Ribbon bread are all role players that will be involved in making the day a success. I am also preparing for the December holiday program to make sure we are ready in time.

 

WID: Is there anything important you would like to leave the public with?

Abby: I really would like the businesses and the community to give responsibly. Please give directly to a shelter or NGO in the Woodstock area. You can donate food, blankets or even clothes. Giving directly to a homeless person, although well intentioned, enables them to stay on the street for another day or week, which is longer than anyone should.

 

I also want to request that businesses do not encourage homeless people to sleep on their property or give them permission to build shacks. Again, this is done with the best intentions but it will become an embedded problem that the we, as the Woodstock Improvement District, will have to deal with at a later stage.

It is also unfair to the person to ask them to leave the property after they have been there without disturbance for a while. If a structure appears on your property, please contact our control room immediately on 021 462 1205.

We want to help integrate people into society, and for Woodstock to become the best that it can be!