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Thursday, 1 July 2021

Camps Bay High creates Garden of Hope

A visual of The Camps Bay High garden. The school is appealing for funds for the project.

Camps Bay High School’s new food garden was designed and is being developed by former pupil Ben Getz of Urban Harvest.

The idea is that current pupils, with the help of staff and community members, will work the garden, which will produce a bounty of fruit and vegetables that can either be given to those in need or sold, with the proceeds going to help keep the garden going and help the Camps Bay community.

Last Tuesday, the first tree at the Garden of Hope was planted, and it was dedicated to Isabella Lubczonok, a Camps Bay High School pupil who recently passed away.

“The school would like to use the Garden of Hope as an opportunity for alumni to remember those ‘Gone too soon’. There are many opportunities within the garden for past pupils to remember their classmates and provide a living legacy for future generations,“ said Cara Kahn, Head of the Camps Bay High School Alumni Association.

“We need R200 000 to make this garden a reality so we are appealing to those in our community and past pupils to help us get our garden planted. Donations start at R100. Once you have clicked on the donation link, you will be able to recommend past pupils you would like to honour in the garden.”

To support the fundraiser, set up by James Bosenberg, general manager of Quicket South Africa and a past pupil of Camps Bay High School, go to

Article © of the Atlantic Sun

Camps Bay High puts an end to period poverty

From left are Nishaat Williams and Michael Gulston from Camps Bay High School’s RCL with the sanitary products.

Camps Bay High School’s Representative Council of Learners (RCL) has put an end to period poverty at the school, at least for the next year.

The project started with members of the RCL buying sanitary pads and tampons and placing them in all the girls’ toilets on a trial basis to measure usage and to see whether the privilege would be abused or not.

“Earlier this year, the newly elected Camps Bay High School RCL decided to try an experiment in the female and gender neutral bathrooms at school. The team placed baskets with free sanitary products available to all those in need. This was incredibly well received by the learners at our school and based on this, they launched an internal funding drive with parents and guardians of learners at the school so that the project could be sustained in the long term,” said Camps Bay High School’s Educator-in-Charge of RCL, Michelle Janse van Rensburg,

“I’ve always questioned why sanitary products are not supplied free-of-charge in all female and gender neutral bathrooms at school. Menstruation is not a choice and period poverty within our school community is definitely a reality. Camps Bay High School is a truly diverse school with learners coming from a variety of backgrounds. Sometimes learners may also come to school unprepared. Having sanitary products available for free in the bathrooms avoids all sorts of embarrassment and judgement,” said Michael Gulston, Grade 12 member of the RCL.

Ms Janse van Rensburg said the RCL raised over R17 000 in a month to buy the products in bulk and ensure there is never a shortage.

The school has also invested in sanitary product dispensers, which are now on the walls of the toilets.

“We would like to thank all the parents and guardians who contributed to this project to ensure that we can end period poverty, at least at Camps Bay High School.”

Michael hopes their action will inspire other schools to start their own initiatives and challenged other RCLs to make an effort to end period poverty in their schools.

Article and Photo © Atlantic Sun

Hope keeps beaches, parks and streets clean

Shahied Joseph 

Atlantic Sun

HOPE is a project that keeps Sea Point beaches and streets clean and safe while offering homeless people valuable work experience as Community Care Ambassadors (CCA).

Community Care Ambassadors cleaning up a Sea Point park.

The Homelessness Outreach Prevention and Education (HOPE) programme was started in the midst of the lockdown by the Sea Point Fresnaye Bantry Bay (SFB) ratepayers’ association (“Project Hope makes positive waves on the Atlantic Seaboard”, Atlantic Sun, May 13).

They realised that dealing with the issues encountered by the homeless was a task that needed to be approached constructively, so they enlisted the help of Kevin Alexander, 60, to lead the charge as their field co-ordinator.

“When I had the meeting with the SFB, I had three objectives – to reunite the homeless people with families, reintegrate them into the community and refer them to shelters or safe spaces.

“We have about eight people that have rejoined their families and the community care ambassadors, except for two, are at shelters. So we have made progress in the past few months and at the moment we have 16 ambassadors,” he said.

The ambassadors wear clearly marked PPE.

The CCA operates in teams of two across eight beaches from Three Anchor Bay to Saunders Rock, keeping them clean while alternating tasks on the promenade and the streets.

“They are happy to do this, picking up litter; sweeping and they double up as security too. They are quite territorial and proud of what they do. The SFB pays for their shelter fees and give them a monthly stipend. We even started a soccer team and play at Green Point park, we also do life skills projects with them so it’s not just about cleaning the beaches,” said Mr Alexander, a former Haven night shelter manager.

Hope field co-ordinator Kevin Alexander meets with the CCA’s.

The ambassadors, one of whom is deaf and the other a 43-year-old woman, meet once a week to discuss obstacles with Mr Alexander, who claims that there are issues but nothing they can’t handle.

“I started last month and I’m happy with the job. I’m improving all the time and I improved since I joined, so I’m happy,” said Belinda Booi who is responsible for Three Anchor Bay beach.

Belinda Booi and a fellow ambassador at work on the streets of Sea Point.

Cornelius Lewis, the first ambassador of Hope when it began in September, says he appreciates the CCA’s responsibilities as he is experienced in this field.

“I’m responsible for Rocklands beach. I’ve been cleaning beaches for six years already and it’s nice for me, I enjoy working with my hands and seeing that the beach is clean,” the 69-year-old said.

Mr Lewis roped in 36-year-old Raphael Felix who loves working on the beach, specifically at Graaff’s pool.

“I enjoy doing this, it’s part of my life,” said Mr Felix.

“I am doing this for four years now without payment. People see what I do and they say thank you, here’s some money, but I don’t ask them for money. I enjoy what I do and I’m happy that Hope is assisting us, it’s a great thing.”

Mr Alexander believes that the ambassadors are changing for the better. “This project is a stepping stone for them. We want them to learn, to become self supporting, independent and to restore their dignity and the change is manifesting, the residents can see it and it’s a win-win for everyone.”

Kevin Alexander, the field co-ordinator for the Hope project.

Sculpting with sand, sea and sun

Atlantic Sun

Methuserah Mukenga adding detail to the whale sculpture.

Methuserah Mukenga sculpting a penguin.

Carefully adding detail to the dolphin.

The sand sculptor with his tools.

Methuserah Mukenga relies on tips from those that appreciate his craft.

Giving a personal touch to the couple admiring his work.

For Methuserah Mukenga, Camps Bay beach is a canvas where he can create sculptures of sea creatures and other animals out of sand and sea water.

It’s an art that requires good weather, so when the Cape winter rains approach, Mr Mukenga is out of work. However, he doesn’t give up hope, even though winter has arrived irregularly this season.

“When there is no sun I do struggle, so I prefer the summer and I’m here whenever the sun shines. I’ve been doing this at Camps Bay since December 2018,” he said.

“The Camps Bay community appreciate this and they have allowed me to continue doing this. They can see what I’m doing adds value and they show their appreciation and it makes me feel good. They even supported me when law enforcement tried to stop me from working,” Mr Mukenga said.

Mukenga studied visual arts at the Nairobi Technical College in 1998 but did not complete the course; however, he picked up enough know-how to sculpt with sand, clay and concrete.

“I first saw this (sand sculpting) in Mombasa and I did some sculpting there. Then years later I saw it in Durban and it was done with so much more detail. I was really impressed and decided to do it here when I moved to Cape Town.”

Since arriving in South Africa in 2000, the 41-year-old has worked as a packer at a food factory and as a taxi driver, but always missed working with his hands.

“I was doing okay but I was not happy and decided to do this because it is something that is in my heart and in my mind. So I left the job I had and came here, to sculpt. Fortunately I met Innocent and he mentored me, he inspired me and showed me how to work better with the sand.”

The Rwandan citizen enjoys watching National Geographic and most of his sculpting revolves around animals. Armed with a plastic spoon and makeshift tools, Mr Mukenga is meticulous when moulding the fin of a dolphin or using a makeshift sprinkler to add depth to a whale’s body, lightly amending mistakes with his hands as he brings the creatures to life.

“Sometimes I get requests from people, especially kids, they want baboons and octopus and sharks. They ask me to show them how to do it. But I can do anything, I enjoy it, and they enjoy watching me do it. They see I start with heaps of sand and then it slowly becomes a whale or a penguin and they are always surprised with what they see.”

Mr Mukenga says he always creates a spacious heart as people love having their names inscribed on it.

“People that are in love, that are newly married, tourists and especially Joburg people, they like putting their names on the heart and taking pictures,” he quipped.

“It’s artistic, I can easily identify the animals so the likeness is on point,” said 28-year old businessman Jowen Greeff.

“I hope someone sees this and gives him a chance to study so that he can exhibit his art elsewhere, he definitely has talent,” he said.

“It’s exceptional, you don’t see such art anywhere, so it’s unique and I appreciate his skill,” 25-year old Valencia Sass remarked.

Giving a personal touch to the couple admiring his work.

CTICC converted to vaccination centre

Picture: David Ritchie

The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) will be the first of at least three large vaccination facilities in the city to provide residents with increased vaccine access.

The City of Cape Town and the Western Cape government have worked together on the mass vaccination site.

The City was to lead final preparations, with the goal of finishing the project by the end of June. The Western Cape Government will be in charge of site management.

Once vaccinations are delivered, the CTICC can operate at full capacity.

“Just over one year ago our teams worked quickly and efficiently to convert the CTICC into the Western Cape’s first major field hospital, our hospital of hope, and it became a place of healing for the thousands of residents who received life-saving treatment there. I’m excited to once again be working at full speed to open this world-class conferencing venue to residents across the City of Cape Town, enabling a radical increase in life-saving vaccinations. It is our intention for it to be a Centre of Hope in our City and Province within a few weeks,” said Western Cape Premier Alan Winde.

Mr Winde said at its peak, the centre would be able to vaccinate approximately 4 000 people every day, thanks to its 50 vaccination stations, each of which can deliver 100 vaccinations each day.

Mayor Dan Plato said: “There are currently detailed plans in place for the opening of several more mass sites in the Metro. The City is excited to partner with the provincial government on these projects where we can so that we ensure that residents have better access to vaccines”.

According to the provincial government, as at 1pm on Monday June 14, the Western Cape had 8 037 active Covid-19 infections, with a total number of 302 232 Covid-19 cases to date and 282 234 recoveries.

Mr Winde said we have entered a third wave of Covid-19 infections and there is an increase in infections across the province.

“I call on residents to practice the lifesaving behaviours that we have learnt over the past year to stop the spread of Covid-19. These include washing and sanitising your hands regularly and wearing your mask correctly. This means replacing or washing your mask after each use and ensuring that it covers both your mouth and nose at all times. You must also ensure that you maintain a safe distance. Please avoid all non-essential gatherings. However, if you must meet, please ensure that you keep it short, small and outside – with good ventilation. It is also crucial that you avoid the 3Cs of confined places, crowded spaces and close contact. By adhering to these important steps, we can flatten the curve and save lives.”

Seniors can register for a vaccine by:

Visiting or;

Dialing *134*832# and follow the prompts (FREE on all South African Networks); or

WhatsApping the word REGISTER to 0600 123456.