SOS NPO focuses on improving and supporting underprivileged communities and schools within impoverished communities in the Western Cape. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
SOS NPO focuses on improving and supporting underprivileged communities and schools within impoverished communities in the Western Cape. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town NPO beautifying township parks and installing handwashing stations

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Mar 24, 2021

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Cape Town – A Cape Town non-profit organisation (NPO) has taken it in their stride to not only beautify a Kraaifontein community but bring about one of the most basic human rights – access to water on World Water Day.

SOS NPO focuses on improving and supporting underprivileged communities and schools within impoverished communities in the Western Cape.

The organisation collaborates with many community stakeholders, government and businesses to provide additional water, sanitation and hygiene sources and solutions. It also provides non-potable water, transportation and infrastructure.

On Tuesday, SOS NPO launched their pilot project into beautifying parks in the Bloekombos area of Kraaifontein.

Speaking to African News Agency (ANA), chief executive officer (CEO), Shelley Humphreys said the aim of the project was not only about bringing spaces back to life but instilling pride and ownership within the community they have been working with for the past three years.

“The Blekie Park is our pilot project, we have installed park equipment for the children of the area, in partnership with the parks and recreation department from the City of Cape Town.

“Handwashing stations will also be installed, as part of World Water Day,” Humphreys said.

Community volunteers provided with rubbish bags and gloves assist in cleaning up a playpark in Bloekombos. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

She said so far, the organisation has already installed 68 water tanks within the Bloekombos community and 24 handwashing stations in schools, the local taxi rank and clinic, this was pivotal taking into consideration the current pandemic.

She said a further 14 handwashing stations were still to be installed within the community.

“This is the fastest growing informal settlement in the Western Cape. Our aim is to beautify this space for the children of the community and because we have unregistered early childhood development (ECD) centres we assist close by and informal churches.The handwashing station can then be utilised by these groups as well,“ Humphreys told ANA.

She said the handwashing stations had handlers who took care of it and received a small stipend. She said the current play park is one of many which just became forgotten and turned into a dumping site.

The organisation had volunteers from the community who received gloves and plastic bags who came out to clean up the area.

Silungiselwe Dinga, superintendent of the parks and recreation department said this project will be a benefit for the community as it needed a top up service.

Speaking to ANA, he says there is a need for safe spaces to be clean for children and that he wants the parks to remain clean.

“At the current moment the parks are used for the wrong habits but we as a department want to see spaces of recreation.

“What we need most is a clean up and as a department we don’t have the capacity and that’s why we have a park buddy,” Dinga said.

A park buddy is someone from the community who has been allocated as the park’s caretaker and makes sure the area remains clean and safe.

“We are trying to remove the perception of the dumping mentality and hopefully change that mentality and take care of these beautiful spaces,” Dinga told ANA.

African News Agency (ANA)

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