Pennies gave NPO a ‘jump-start’

Moriedah Dien, founder of Dews of Quietness, with volunteers Nathan Petersen, baby Naomi and Gerswin McLaglen, who helped Ms Dien with their June holiday programme.

A generous donation from the Cape Community Newspapers (CCN) last year provided a “jump-start” for Dews of Quietness, of Steenberg, to continue serving the women and children in the community, says founder Moriedah Dien.

Each year CCN, which publishes the Southern Mail, and its 14 sister titles, hosts a Women’s Day event called Pennies for Princesses, which aims to raise awareness about women’s issues – and much-needed funds for organisations which assist women in need.

Last year Dews of Quietness was chosen as the recipient of the R88 400 raised at the event held at the Table Bay hotel at the V&A Waterfront.

CCN donated R48 400 from tickets sales, while Sun International’s Table Bay Hotel and GrandWest donated R20 000 each, making it the most the event had raised to date.

Over the years Ons Plek shelter for girls, the Community Intervention Centre, the Mitchell’s Plain Network Opposing Abuse, the Saartjie Baartman Centre for women and children, and the Khayelitsha-based Grandmothers Against Poverty and Aids have all been beneficiaries of the event.

Ms Dien, who is a trauma counsellor at Steenberg Police, said the donation boosted their service to women and children. “We have been counselling abused women and we have located an office in Squaw Road. We used to use the library’s copy machine but now we bought our own. We can also now afford to give women anti-stress
arts and crafts classes where they can make jewellery such as bangles etc.

“We bought sewing machines for our sewing classes. The idea is to empower women to make things so they could sell the items made.”

She said their aim was to make “broken women fly.”

One of the challenges they face is mothers who live in crime-ridden areas such as Lavender Hill. Ms Dien said: “Everything starts with the mother, who is the foundation in the family. We teach the mothers to ask themselves ‘How do I change?’ and if they find the answer they can be very powerful in changing their situation.”

Ms Dien said Dews of Quietness also focused on anti-bullying in schools.

“We have a programme where we teach children how to stand up for themselves.”

Also at schools, they are “teaching children drilling (marching) after school.

Ms Dien said their aim was to get a permanent building where they could protect traumatised women in a “safe house”. She said they were speaking to the ward councillor Shanen Rossouw about an earmarked plot.

To keep the women motivated, they are organising another wellness day where women will be pampered.

“We also pay a facilitator to give women Zumba classes as well,” she said.

Ms Dien held a June school holiday programme to keep the children busy at Floreat Primary School, in Steenberg. “We kept
the little ones busy with games and the bigger children played soc-
cer.”

Ms Dien said they were now focusing on getting a vehicle. “Although we are using the donated money for taxis to cart our women around, we will be needing a vehicle to get us to our destination.”

Dews of Quietness is hosting a women’s conference titled “Women on the Cape Flats overcoming Adversities”, at Retreat civic centre, on Saturday August 5, at 10am. All are welcome. Contact 078 400 0801 or 073 210 0097.

* The 7th annual Pennies for Princesses event will take place at Cape Point Vineyards, on Saturday August 12.

This year readers and supporters of Pennies for Princesses are invited to nominate a beneficiary they feel needs a helping hand.

If you would like to attend the event, tickets are available on a first come, first served basis. Tickets cost R280 each, and booking is strictly by email.

Email acmcompetitions@inl.co.za with the number of tickets you would like to book. There is a maximum of 10 tickets per booking. See ad on page 24.