Bethany Home for Abused Women and their Children
Bethany Home situated in Milbourne Road, Bertrams, was started in 1989 as a home for 54 abused women and children in Bertrams. The home’s mission is to rehabilitate abused women and their children, who are sent there by the police, hospitals and other shelters. The women who come to the home usually arrive with nothing but the clothes on their backs, in a state of absolute hopelessness and helplessness.
When they come to Bethany Home, it is usually the last resort, having been subjected to physical, emotional and sexual abuse for many years. Although many of the women and children go to Bethany Home as a result of abuse from their partners, it doesn’t take long for them to realise that they have often been abused from childhood; whether physically, emotionally or just abject neglect.
The home is managed by a qualified Social worker; Mrs Bridget Edwards, wife of an Anglican Priest, who does an excellent job providing a strong support system and rehabilitation programmes for these abused ladies. The ladies are provided with training in various skills and they often leave the home with jobs, a few basic necessities, a place to stay for at least a while and the confidence not to re-enter the abusive relationships they endured prior to coming into the home. Rehabilitation typically takes from 6 months to 1 year, and the rate of reintroduction into normal society is remarkably high for this type of institution.
The Rotary Club of Knights Pendragon assists with the monthly purchase of basics such as sugar, flour, maize meal, cleaning materials, polishes, personal hygiene products and toiletries, nappies and baby foods. This form of assistance has been in place for the past 10 years and it is intended to continue into the future. In addition, we have arranged for the donation of regular weekly supplies of fresh foods, fruit and vegetables from a market wholesaler and this is collected and in addition to Bethany Home, shared with other charities in the area.
Because of its location, the Home is often approached by poor and needy residents of the area for food and other assistance and, wherever and whenever possible, such help is given.
In addition to the ongoing support as set out above, given the age of the buildings, we are also called upon, from time to time, to assist with structural repairs and maintenance. Our club is currently in the process and close to completion, of the rewiring the entire electrical system and upgrading it to prescribed standards of compliance (COC), revamping of 6 bathrooms, the installation of security and fire prevention systems and repainting of the entire premises at a total cost of R700, 000 (2016/17).
The needs are huge and ongoing but, the benefits of the help and support given to the needy far outweigh whatever we are able to give and provide.
A further project under consideration, and subject to the necessary feasibility study and the business case before entails the purchase and remodelling of an adjacent property and improvement thereto in order to create a training centre for the ladies of Bethany home and other similar charities / Homes in the area such as the Freda Heartley foundation. The initial cost estimate for this project is R1.2m
Elandsvallei Home for the aged
Elandsvallei is a Red Cross funded operation, based in the Primrose area of Germiston. In addition to the Red Cross’s support, we join with other Rotary clubs to support the Home with supplies from our Rotary Humanitarian Distribution Centre of South Africa (HDSA a registered NPC operated by Rotary District 9400). Such support includes recycled hotel requisites of bedding and linen, cosmetics, shampoo and soaps etc. Wheelchairs and other aids for the disabled are provided when needed. Gas supplies for food preparation and heating for residents. Premises maintenance projects are also being considered from time to time as necessary. Items from their wish lists are also given consideration and often supplied from club funds such as an industrial pressure cooker for food preparation.
Gerald Fitzpatrick Home for the aged
Founded in 1933, the mission of the Gerald Fitzpatrick Home is to provide a self, sustaining, independent and secure home for elderly ladies of limited means. The Rotary Club of Knights Pendragon supports this NPO by assisting with fundraising and identifying donors that contribute to the ongoing supply of vegetables and milk.
In July of each year the Rotary Club of Knights Pendragon organises a “Christmas in July” lunch complimented with a small personal Christmas gift for each of the 80 ladies, a turkey dinner, Christmas pudding and entertainment are provided on this occasion, providing a small celebration for the ladies, which is looked forward to with relish. Our club looks to the community and businesses to fund for this event each year at a cost of R16, 000 (2017/18)
Retina SA – Ride for Sight
Retina South Africa’s mission as a non-profit organisation (NPO 003-184), self-help organisation is to restore the gift of sight to children and adults living with low or degenerating vision or blindness caused by genetic retinal eye conditions. The following passionate statement by Retina SA elaborates on their mission:
“For 30 years Retina SA has pursued this dream and through the miracle of modern day medical science a proven ‘CURE IS IN SIGHT’. We will continue to push forward and provide invaluable information, knowledge, know- how and support to thousands of South Africans and much more Africans, who will benefit, to maximise and preserve their existing vision and to help them live fruitful and productive lives. We will not stop until all forms of genetic retinal eye conditions are cured and then, and only then will we close our doors.”
Since the inception of the project in 1989, the Rotary Club of Knights Pendragon has been providing volunteer street marshals for the annual Dischem “Ride for Sight” fundraising cycle race held on the streets of Boksburg in February of each year. From humble beginnings, in the early 1990’s this event has become a major event on the cycling calendar and attracts thousands of riders.
Little Eden – Care for the Profoundly Intellectually Disabled
The Rotary Club of Knights Pendragon congratulates Little Eden on their 50 years of passionate and loving care for persons with mental handicap. For more information on Little Eden visit http://www.littleeden.org.za
Little Eden faces a daily effort of washing some 3 tons of laundry and is in dire need of 4 new industrial washing machines (R95,000 each) and 2 industrial tumble dryers (R54,000 each).
National Sea Rescue Institute
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is a charity that has over 1000 unpaid volunteers who respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year, to calls to save lives on South African coastal and major inland waters. The NSRI also teaches children in disadvantaged communities about basic water safety in a bid to minimise drownings, through our proactive educational initiative the WaterWise Academy.
For more on the NSRI got to http://www.nsri.org.za/
Rotary Foundation is organised as a public charity operated exclusively for charitable purposes and governed by a Board of Trustees. The operations of Rotary International, a member organisation, are overseen by its Board of Directors.
Every Rotarian Every Year contributes $100 to the Rotary Foundation. Rather like making an investment into a fund for the financing of community-based projects both locally and globally. The club raises these funds locally. Makes the investment and reaps the benefits through applications for Global and District grants to do projects either locally or together with other rotary clubs beyond our borders. (2017 – 2018 budget R30,000)
In addition, contributions are made to the foundation specifically for Polio Plus, a Rotary International project executed in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to eradicate Polio from the face of our earth. For every $1 invested in Polio Plus by Rotary, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invests $2 to support this project that has been running for some 30 years and is nearing success, with endemic Polio only yet to be eradicated in Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
There are approximately 50 villagers who live in 6 houses on the property. In each house there is a house parent, a co-worker and a domestic. There is a workshop where the villagers work on contracts that we might get e.g. putting shower caps into boxes for the hotels. Those who can’t manage that are part of a stimulation group where they colour or do puzzles under supervision. We used to have a large organic vegetable garden and tunnels but unfortunately due to the drought last year and an influx of rabbits these are no longer. Some villagers work outside and there is a woodworking area where some of the villagers can make simple things e.g. bread boards.