Many of us want to give back to society by helping those in need. But in most cases, handouts in the form of cash given to people begging is more often used to fuel addictions and other destructive ends rather than ultimately helping the individual to feed, clothe or house themselves or their family. There are many good organisations in Woodstock, Cape Town and surrounds, such as shelters, charities, NGO’s and NPO’s who have the necessary infrastructure to insure people’s donations go to good use, creating support in the form of feeding, housing, social support, and other forms of well being.
Here we list some non-profit organisations below that are active now in 2021 and contributing meaningfully to their various areas of focus. Help them to do great work and give responsibly.
Women’s shelters and child support
Womens Shelter Movement
The WSM is an umbrella organisation for a group of shelters that house women and children who have become victims of gender-based violence. They offer a safe, neutral space where these individuals can receive the necessary support and resources they need to heal and move forward. They work with 18 different shelters around the Western Cape including St Anne’s Homes in Woodstock, based at 48 Balfour Street, Woodstock.
To get in touch, call them on 021 448 6792 or 021 488 8513 or send an email to any of the below addresses:
Ons Plek Projects
Ons Plek – which means “our place” – is a youth care centre based in Woodstock that is dedicated to supporting and assisting girls who have lived, worked and begged on the streets of Cape Town and who want to take that first step to reclaiming their lives.
To donate, visit their website: www.onsplek.org.za/what-we-do/
Youth programmes and development
Zip-Zap Circus Academy
With a programme that trains street kids and other youth in need of support or development, the Zip Zap Circus is a School of Circus Arts for Social Change in Cape Town, South Africa.
Established in 1992, by South African-born Brent van Rensburg and his French wife, Laurence Estève, their bold dream was to use circus arts as a tool to bridge the socio-economic divide.
Through circus arts Zip Zap inspires and empowers young people from all walks of life to pursue their destinies. They promote social cohesion, create opportunities, unlock potential and transfer skills for life. All nine programmes are offered free of charge to 2000 beneficiaries annually. Students regularly perform in world-class shows locally and internationally. The proceeds from these performances in turn fund the training and are pivotal to the sustainability of Southern Africa’s most acclaimed social circus.
Donate and learn more at zip-zap.co.za.
Youth Solutions Africa
YSA is a non-profit organisation offering a wide range of services that include night shelter for the homeless, outreach and feeding programs, skills training and youth development, school feeding and more. They run a feeding programme and skills development space out of a hall in Shelley Street in Salt River and a night shelter in Russell Street, Zonnebloem.
For more information click here or contact:
Feeding schemes and community upliftment
Woodstock Salt River Community Upliftment Project
This is a local community platform with a Facebook group called Woodstock Salt River Community Upliftment Project (WSCUP) – 194-938 NPO, that offers support and assistance to those in need, including community feeding schemes and other help for local residents in need. Join the group to offer support or donate here.
Ladles of Love
What started as a small soup kitchen quickly became a giant feeding scheme serving thousands of misfortunate families in the Cape Town.
You can donate to Ladles of Love at www.ladlesoflove.org.za/donate.
Obs Pasta Kitchen
Based in Observatory next door to Woodstock and feeding the local homeless community and those in need coming from Observatory, Woodstock and Mowbray, the Obs Pasta Kitchen serves a bowl of hot pasta every Wednesday evening. Since lockdown they run from the Obs Village Green, while normally they have been operating from the church hall at St Michael’s in Bedford Street. Information on how to donate or volunteer at their website www.obspastakitchen.com or on Instagram @obspastakitchen.
Shelters for the homeless
Cape Mountain Homeless Shelter
Cape Mountain Homeless Shelter helps men, women and families who are suffering from various situations like homelessness, those who are victims of violence, isolated men in mental or psychiatric suffering, long-term unemployment, young people who have lost direction, single-parent families with very young children and migrants with or without papers.
The Haven Night Shelter
The Haven Night Shelter Welfare Organisation provides temporary shelter, physical care, social welfare and family reunification services to adult homeless persons in the Western Cape.
To be a Haven Night Shelter Volunteer is a fantastic opportunity to give responsibly of your time and energy back to the community.
Get involved at: www.haven.org.za/get-involved
Offering a multidimensional approach to issues of homelessness, Streetscapes was founded as means of complementing existing emergency relief services with an approach that caters for the chronic homeless who may reject traditional services offered to them, while addressing stigma and disconnect in communities. With a focus on ‘housing first’, since 2015 Streetscapes has assisted hundreds of chronic homeless people and reached a 66% success rate in moving people off the streets within a year. Their programmes involve housing projects, employment programmes and urban organic gardens.
Find out how to donate or contribute at khulisa.org.za/streetscapes and watch below for more info.
Wellness and mental health
Working on Wellness (WOW)
Three times a week, the team behind WOW, started by Obs Pasta Kitchen in collaboration with Khulisa and Streetscapes, host a wellness session that combines yoga, breathwork, mindfulness and mental upliftment for the community.
WOW takes place for Streetscapes beneficiaries every Monday in Vredehoek, Wednesday in Observatory and Friday in Kuils River, and each session allows three members of the public to join via donation which supports the programme.
A low-cost counselling service that supports individuals in facing their life challenges, the Counselling Hub, based in Frances Street in Woodstock, assists with people suffering from a mental illness or disorder, as well as offering trauma counselling.
Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre
Situated at 1 Roman Road, Observatory, the Cape Town Drug Counselling Centres mission is to treat and rehabilitate substance users and those directly affected to bring about Transformation and Recovery.
Get in touch:
Tel: (021) 447 8026
1 Roman Road,
Rape Crisis Centre
Located at 23 Trill Rd, Observatory, Cape Town, the Rape Crisis Centre supports rape survivors and victims of sexual offences and gender-based violence by providing access to the criminal justice system and counselling.
Phone: 021 684 1180
Other Community support groups in and around Cape Town
Narcotics Anonymous 0839006962 www.na.org.za
Alcoholics Anonymous 0861435722 www.aasouthafrica.org.za
NAR-ANON Family support 0881296791 www.naranon.org.za
ALANON Family support 0861252666 www.alanon.org.za
LIFELINE Emergency counselling 0214611111