Constantia philanthropist Abigél Sheridan and a group of volunteers have raised and distributed more than R3 million, mostly into early childhood causes, since the founding of Chic Mamas Do Care in 2010.
Now they are looking for funding for 800 children who need help at Capricorn Pre-Primary and Primary Schools in Vrygrond.
Chic Mamas, a non-profit organisation (NPO), was established in 2010 to raise funds for educational needs by swapping boutique-label-quality used and new clothes in a party atmosphere Ms Sheridan recently launched The Capricorn Edu Fund at the shop in Bergvliet. A partnership with Vrygrond Community Development Trust, the aim is to raise funds for Vrygrond’s children and to help children in poor communities reach their full potential.
Vrygrond is only five minutes from the shop, but it’s a world away.
To get there, take the Main Road south and go left into Military Road. And that’s where the “bubble bursts”, said Ms Sheridan: “Drug and gang-infused, immense poverty, high unemployment, no running water, hunger and children everywhere. Where every imaginable abuse takes place – verbal, drug, alcohol and physical. And where people live in shacks behind RDP houses which often go up in flames.”
Capricorn Primary School principal Siddieka Hassen said surfers on their way to Muizenberg had no idea what was right next to St George’s Drive. She said there was a desperate need for a high school in the area.
She painted a picture of a place where 80 percent of parents had never matriculated, where there was one social worker for 675 children and these workers often had to deal with scabies because there was no change of bedding and clothing, a place where children often returned to a locked, empty home because their parents were working as car guards or chars. These children were often not read to at home, many parents were illiterate or did not speak English. Some children sang for a few cents paid by tourists at Kalk Bay then used money to buy glue to sniff.
And this is why education is at the heart of this volunteer organisation.
Chic Mamas does not give money to the schools, but instead supports educational projects to enhance the educational experience for the pupils.
Good news to come from the work the organisation has done so far is that one of the children, Luciano Jacobs, was awarded third place at the Kimura Shukokai World Karate Tournament 2016 in kumite (fighting) in Berlin, Germany. He was part of the squad that trains at Samurai Karate, Claremont.
Another pupil, Thando Tsepelo, who also attends the karate school, is at Rondebosch Boys’ High school on a full boarder’s scholarship. Two other children are attending Grove Primary School, and one who completed her primary schooling at the Grove is attending Wynberg Girls’ High School.
Many children attend the Butterfly Art Project and go for additional sessions such as wood carving at the Montebello Design Centre, in Newlands.
One very talented Grade 4 child, Arlon Pretorius has shown great skill and promise in this field.
If you would like to help Chic Mamas Do Care, contact Abigé* Sheridan on 083 715 9308, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.chicmamasdocare.org