Women business leaders transform communities of Delft, Vrygrond

CAPE TOWN. – As a community developer and business leader, Farida Ryklief’s Woman Impacting a Nation (WIN)-organization has deeply impacted the people of Delft and beyond.

She and members of her community attended gender-based violence information sessions with 1000 Women Trust in 2020, and those sessions birthed the start of a community garden that is still used to provide produce for her community soup kitchens.

“At those soup kitchens or feeding schemes, we supply food to 600 to 1000 people per day,” Ryklief says.

The soup kitchens are under pressure as one of their main sponsors who supported them from 2020, pulled out two months ago.

“So we don’t have the stocks we used to have. I am selling Samosas on Fridays and Saturdays so that I have enough money to buy gas for the soup kitchens every week,” Ryklief says.

She has also started an ECD-centre where 43 children are accommodated and where the skills of two teachers are utilized. Due to the level-four lockdown, the number is down to only eight, but Ryklief has vowed to expand this ECD-centre and use the money partially to finance the soup kitchens.

Currently, Ryklief and her team is busy expanding the classrooms of the ECD so that she could accommodate more children.

“I also want to grow the community garden into a business to empower the neighbours in De Hague in Delft so that I can address food insecurity in the area,” she says.

Her soup kitchens in Delft have benefited richly from a container donated by 1000 Women Trust. The container accommodates 4 100-liter pots per day. It is also a secure location where kitchen materials are stored and protected. Previously they lost funding from the government because they did not have separate storage facilities, but now, through the donation of the container, that is not a problem any longer.

Ryklief is also known in the Delft-community for her business skills as an events-planner, which has provided her with much-needed capital to support the kitchens.

Ryklief says the business acumen that has enabled her to build and expand an ECD-centre and expand the community gardens into a business comes from her background as somebody that was part of a sales-and-marketing team.

She was the empowerment room coordinator at the South African Police Service for eight years and received the award as the best coordinator in the Western Cape for straight five years.

But the lack of resources made her decide to leave and to register her own support network for women who are survivors of GBV, she says.

If donors want to support the soup kitchen of Delft, they can contact Saadiyah Swartz on 060 3611109.

Mymoena Scholtz, founder of Where Rainbows Meet – a training and development foundation – has run several soup kitchens in and around Vrygrond which serve meals to between 4700 and 5000 people daily.

“We have donors that assist the soup kitchens, while we also fundraise regularly to assure that we have the finances to run the kitchens,” she says.

The organization was a recipient of a container from 1000 Women Trust and it is a major help as it serves as a secure storage facility for food and other supplies.

The foundation is not only focused on providing meals, but also to provide computer training aimed at unemployed people and improving their employability.

The foundation also runs an ECD-centre that caters to 112 kids, while there is also an after-care program that supports 70 kids, she says.

Where Rainbows Meet also runs a youth development program focusing on the performing arts, soccer, and awareness programs.

The foundation accommodates 40 people in the dancing programs and 200 in the soccer program.

The awareness program focuses on anti-bulling training, teenage pregnancies and a leadership campaign.

The foundation also runs a skills development program where unemployed and destitute women are employed.

Thirty women who are unemployed, do sowing as part of the development program.

At least ten people work in Where Rainbows Meet’s community garden and the produce from the garden is used for the soup kitchens in Vrygrond.

“If you want to run a Non-Profit Organization you have to be innovative and continuously think of new ways to generate funds, like our income-generating sowing projects.

“In the past I have hosted volunteers for the organization at my home and they had to pay a small fee – it created a hub for income for the organization.

“As organization, we have also benefited from the various programs run by 1000 Women Trust for women – their campaigns against gender-based violence as well as their resources,” said Scholtz.

People who want to support Where Rainbows Meet, can visit the website on www.whererainbowsmeet.org.

People who want to join the 1000 Women Trust WhatsApp-service, can WhatsApp the organization on 061-469 0479 or visit www.1000women.co.za, Please send an email to tina@1000women.co.za