– By Mkhuseli Madiba
Following a long-standing collaboration between Afesis and the Khayelitsha Development Forum (KDF) – Women’s Desk, the Kagisano Women’s Support Group was established on November, 23 2022, after a focus group discussion attended by women from Makhaza, Ward 96. This Women’s Group has become a safe and inclusive space for women to openly share their issues and collectively come-up with potential solutions that can be explored to mitigate these.
Some of the issues highlighted by the Women’s Group which plague the community include unemployment, poverty, and a lack of nutritious food for families. And as we all know, some, if not all of these issues are key causes of perpetuating violence against women and contributing to forms of systemic abuse. Before Kagisano programme came into the picture, there were limited opportunities for women and there was also a noticeable absence of programmes that could speak to women’s issues and produce tangible results.
Kagisano and the Women’s Support Group have collectively explored solutions to the above-mentioned problems by investing resources to mobilise service providers to help the women, and bit-by-bit we are succeeding.
One example is our constant engagement and relationship building with the Department of Agriculture (Western Cape Provincial government) – Khayelitsha Office. Although, progress might not have moved as quick as we had hoped, but finally through this relationship, the women in the Women’s Support Group were gifted household farming kits on Thursday, 31 August 2023 at Demond Tutu Hall, Makhaza.
The household farming kit handover has brought great joy to the women. The kits will contribute to the women’s livelihoods: it speaks to food security, access to fresh and healthy vegetable produce, it will contribute to the fight against poverty because those that don’t have money to buy food can take from their household garden. In addition, this will become a recreational activity for the women.
Although these can be viewed as small achievements, it is important to note that many small wins lead to bigger results. We trust that this achievement will lead to further outcomes that support women’s issues in Khayelitsha.