This month we feature Fowzia Veerasamy for the hard work that she does in the community.
Fowzia received an award from the City of Cape Town for the establishment of the Gatesville Neighbourhood Watch and her participation in the seniors’ and youth club.
She received the award from the City of Cape Town on Tuesday after being nominated by Ward 46 councillor Aslam Cassiem, in December last year.
In 2015 she established the Gatesville Neighbourhood Watch, as crime in the area was seeing a sharp increase.
She said challenges facing the community were, and still are, drugs, prostitution, gangsterism, illegal traders, business robberies, and illegal dumping.
However, the watch only has five members and is the smallest in Athlone.
“We have been begging the community to join the neighbourhood watch, but no one has come forward. The community keeps complaining about the crime, but no one volunteers to help,” she said.
Ms Veerasamy is also a founder member of the Gatesville Youth Club and the facilitator of the seniors’ club.
The youth club, which was established in 2017, now has 20 to 30 members. This is a partnership with Rylands library.
The idea is to have a safe space for the youth to unwind after a long day at school.
“We play games with them and do sports and the one rule is that they are not allowed to have their phones on so that they can socialise and talk to each other. There are no other rules so they can relax and have fun,” she said.
The seniors’ club runs from the Gatesville civic centre on Wednesdays and currently has 30 members from all over Cape Town.
At the club they are taught various skills such as knitting and planting, and the club hosts educational workshops to enlighten the elderly about worldly things.
“They are the building blocks of our communities, and it is because of them that we have what we have today. The idea of this club is to make sure that they are not forgotten and that they don’t have to sit at home they can socialise and have fun in a safe space.
“They were once part of the working class, and they did not have time to be educated about these things, but now they can,” she said.
Every month, Ms Veerasamy makes sure that a different entity, whether it be SAPS, the South African Social Security Agency or the Department of Home Affairs, addresses the seniors.
Mr Cassiem, said it was a well-deserved recognition for an excellent community worker.
“We will continue to work together for the benefit of our community, especially our seniors. This year Fowzia and I will work to include many more seniors in Ward 46,” he said.