Dews find safe space for vulnerable

* EPWP workers will be assisting at Dews of Quietness.

Steenberg NPO Dews of Quietness have found a new home.

Moerieda Dien, founder of the NPO, staff of the City of Cape Town’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and other volunteers have moved to the field behind Delta Primary School in Tambourine Street, Cafda.

They celebrated the momentous occasion with a grand opening and market day on Wednesday May 1.

The NPO will be leasing the land from the City of Cape Town for the next 10 years, bringing services such as counselling, victim empowerment, workshops, skills development, arts and crafts, and women and youth empowerment to the greater community. There will also be a women’s shelter.

The open piece of land used to be a park but was overrun with drug peddling, vandalism and illicit activities. Ms Dien said the NPO is changing this negative space into something positive.

She started the NPO in 2012 with the aim of up-skilling and developing the most vulnerable in society.

Ms Dien’s main mission was to set up a shelter for destitute and abused women and their children.

“In the whole of the peninsula there was no shelter for destitute homeless women and their dependants. This is because they’re not zoned for children. We will take the homeless person for three months and will be able to keep them here for up to six months and upskill them so that when they leave they’re independent and don’t have to go back to an abusive situation,” said Ms Dien.

School drop-outs and drug abuse will also be one of their main focuses.

“There are a lot of programmes for drop-outs but there’s a criteria of Grade 9 and up. What happens to the child that drops out from Grade 6 to 9? That is the child that’s being recruited by gangsters and becomes rebellious because of their circumstances. So we came up with a proposal for these programmes and what it is we want to do and fortunately were able to lease the property from the City to bring these services to a community that doesn’t have many of them and the broader community,” she said.

Currently there is a container and in the next few weeks wendy houses will be set up to expand their services. Eventually the shelter will be set up as well.

“Anyone is welcome to come and we will assist as much as possible. It will be a place where a lot of the issues that is plaguing our communities can be dealt with and hopefully the communities will heal,” said Ms Dien.