Zarina has a passion for helping others

Lions Club Athlone president and charity worker, Zarina Hendricks.

This August, National Women’s Month, we celebrate women – all that they do, and all that they stand for. This week, NABEELAH MOHEDEEN speaks to charity worker Zarina Hendricks.

Zarina Hendricks grew up with her three siblings and parents in Wynberg and Kenilworth and watched as her dad was involved with various community organisations such as the Vigilance Society in Wynberg and the Muslim Assembly in Newfields.

She seems to have inherited her father’s love for the community and his willingness to help others.

Zarina, 52, stays in Crawford with her husband and four children. After working in a bank for 18 years she decided to resign and spend more time with her family.

She was recently appointed the president of the Lions Club Athlone, after being a member of the club for nearly four years, and last month she became the district chair of the Lions Club’s childhood-cancer division.

The Lions Club has 43 offices from Cape Town extending to the Garden Route.

Zarina makes sure that those less fortunate are fed with warm meals, and she and her colleagues take to the streets regularly to dish out hot pots of food. Their efforts, she says, are supported by sponsors and community donations.

Zarina says her passion for charity work has rubbed off on her children. Her daughter is also a member of the club and her sons help out where they are needed.

“The community really needs our services, and they really appreciate what we do. The need is so great, and that is what motivates me to keep going and keep rallying for the best for our people.”

The Lions Club feeding scheme not only benefits Athlone residents but people all over Cape Town – with meals dished out in Lansdowne, Elsies River, Langa, Bonteheuwel, and many other areas.

Zarina says unemployment is one of the biggest problems in Athlone and it’s growing worse by the day with even more families going hungry.

“The people who do have work earn minimal salaries, and they cannot even afford to put proper meals on their tables at night. We need job security for our people.”

Zarina also works with the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa to collect donations for sick children and their parents.

She has also been instrumental in the club’s environmental project at the Rainbow Lane Cottages in Athlone and worked on a number of projects helping senior citizens.

Athlone ward councillor Rashid Adams hails Zarina as a compassionate presence in the community and says she is a hard worker and always eager to help.

“Zarina is meticulous and very precise on what she executes. She serves the community with compassion and is always prioritising the needs of our people. She is extremely good at creating networks which ultimately benefits the community at large.

“She has never looked at which area but more on what the need of that area is before leading the Lions on another project.”