For over 13 years the Paw-Paw Foundation has been changing and empowering lives through their work in the Albert Park Area in Central Durban. This precinct is one that has many challenges as it is financially depressed and attracts gangs, drug dealers, prostitutes and drug addicts, who live in a community of hundreds of people under a bridge. In this community we have been privileged to work with many women who are dedicated to their families and to this community. They lead very difficult lives and strive to make the best of the situation that they find themselves in and give generously of their time, funds and talents to make Albert Park a better place for the children who live there.
We had noticed that the Covid 19 crisis has impacted very badly on this community as they have been hit with job losses, many people have died due to Covid and food has become very scarce. When the riots and looting began in KZN, Albert Park was the starting point and the area was very badly vandalized leaving the women traumatized and scared.
On the last Saturday of August, Woman’s Month, the Foundation honoured 100 of these brave and strong women by giving them a day of entertainment and fun. We hosted a workshop on how one can make a living through sowing and also make clothes for their own families. We then had lunch and afterwards we had a time of sharing which gave those who wanted to share, a safe space to talk about how they and their families had been impacted by the lockdown. This was a wonderful time and the conversations led to the women realizing that we have all gone through a hard time a
nd we are not alone in our feelings of fear and hopelessness. Many said that they felt so much better after being able to voice their fears and didn’t feel so alone. When they left they were each given a present to take home and this brought a smile to everyone’s faces.
They all agreed that the day has made them feel special and loved and gave them hope for a better and brighter future.