IWMSA Training geared towards positive change

Caption: Waste Management Training has for many years been high on the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa’s (IWMSA) agenda and 2013 saw a record number of delegates attending training workshops across South Africa, and even beyond the country’s borders. 2014 started out no different, with successful training executed at the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC), in Mpumalanga from 03 – 08 March 2014.

Training offered by the IWMSA is focused on providing education on sustainable environmental best practices, promoting the science and technology of waste management and supporting international, national and regional trends in waste management. According to IWMSA President, Dr Suzan Oelofse, training is geared towards improving the overall delivery of waste management services in South Africa, so that the South African waste management industry can become world class.

“The more people we can reach through our training programmes, the sooner we will witness positive changes within the industry,” says Oelofse. “We are very pleased with the quality and depth of training that took place in 2013. Our footprint is spreading and we are seeing a new level of commitment and interest from delegates as well as very exciting partnerships with training providers.” The IWMSA receives numerous requests for tailor-made training sessions, and is able to assist with both accredited and non-accredited courses.

The IWMSA was contracted by the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC) in Mpumalanga, a regional training institution that has been in operation for 16 years, to present accredited waste management training to 50 unemployed youth from the Bushbuckridge and Thaba Chweu municipalities. The training is part of a three year project, now in its second year, funded by the national Department of Environmental Affairs, under the Youth Environment Service programme. “Now that the training is complete, the learners are ultimately expected to participate in theory contact sessions arranged by SAWC, complete workplace assessments and also participate in community service activities within Bushbuckridge or Thaba Chweu Local Municipality. The community services will include collecting recyclable waste, sorting waste, packaging the waste for collection through a buy-back programme, reducing waste going to landfill sites and establishing SMME Cooperatives in waste management,” says Oelofse.

“With the assistance of our facilitators we were able to provide world-class training where learners actively participated in discussions, group work activities and question and answer sessions. Although learners indicated that they have limited knowledge about waste management, most of them were interested in knowing more about the field in order to make a positive contribution. It definitely was very encouraging,” explains Oelofse.

“We have outstanding non-accredited material, excellent training tools and highly skilled trainers and facilitators,” says Oelofse.  “Our training department is expanding and this means we can reach a much wider audience and make a larger impact on the environment.”

“The SAWC training session is the first of many to be held in 2014. The IWMSA is currently preparing for training sessions to be held in Randburg, Midrand, Durban and Cape Town. We urge members – new and old – to contact us regarding the many programmes we offer to meet their Waste Management Training needs,” concludes Oelofse.

For more information on the IWMSA visit www.iwmsa.co.za. IWMSA is also on Facebook www.facebook.com/IWMSA

The IWMSA is a multi-disciplinary non-profit association that is committed to the protection of the environment and people of Southern Africa from the adverse effects of poor waste management by supporting sustainable best practical environmental options.

Hearty meals for distressed parents at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital

Caption: There are few events as stressful for parents as having your child hospitalised due to severe illness or injury, especially for impoverished families who can’t afford the trip to the hospital. Mustadafin Foundation (a non-profit organisation operating in the Western and Eastern Cape) together with The Friends of the Children’s Hospital Association (FOCHA) recognise parents’ needs whose children are hospitalised at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and are therefore partners in the Meal-a-Day Programme. Over the past year the programme provided nutrition and care to almost 100 parents a day.

Many of the parents who sit day and night at their child’s hospital bedside are unemployed, single parents who have travelled far to reach the hospital where their child can receive medical attention. Feeding themselves is the last thing on their mind but for the past year, parents are comforted with a warm and healthy meal from Monday to Friday in the hospital lounge thanks to the Meal-a-Day Programme

“The children at the hospital are really ill with ailments ranging from kidney disease, heart disease and premature birthing difficulties. For many of the parents lunch time is the only time away from their child’s bedside. The sense of isolation disappears when parents have the opportunity to interact with other families who are dealing with similar, devastating situations,” says David Stephens, Director at FOCHA.

“I’ll never forget one dad whose seven year old son was a gunshot victim from Manenberg. He would come to me daily after lunch and say, ‘David, this is the highlight of my day. I know I’m going to get great food, a friendly smile from the staff and so much support. Thank you. I can taste the food was made with love and good intention.’ Lunch time becomes an oasis with a range of support. We aim to educate parents about their child’s illness, offer group support and train them in health and hygiene,” explains Stephens.

Every afternoon the hospital lounge comes alive with a buzz of conversation from parents who eagerly queue to find out what the day’s menu is. There is a stream of greetings and chatter, chinking plates and then a hush as they all dig in and enjoy the food.

A twenty year old mother, Robyn Klaasen, smiles her thanks and says, “I get to take care of myself for this short time when I eat, then I can go back to my child feeling a little stronger. My husband came from Atlantis to be with us after I was alone here for five days. Now at least I’m not so alone.”

Another mother, Kawthar Wessels, has been at her baby’s bedside for six days without going home or being relieved by family members. “When I sit with the warm meal on my lap and I smell the food, I can almost imagine being home,” says Wessels.

This project holds special value for Mustadafin Foundation. “These families need to know that there is support in their lowest moments and that they too are cared for. Hearing their various circumstances makes us understand the necessity and the privilege of doing what we do. Some of these parents are here for months on end and we are very pleased to make a difference in their time of need,” says Dawood Bisha, Feeding Coordinator at Mustadafin Foundation.

If you would like to support this initiative, contact Mustadafin Foundation at www.mustadafin.org.za or 021 633 0010. Visit FOCHA at friendsofthechildrenshospital.org

Children from Mfuleni and Khayelitsha enjoy The Rotary Blue Train Park experience


Caption: A day to remember – 136 ecstatic children from Isiseko Educare Centre in Mfuleni and Ilitha Family Learning Educare in Khayelitsha were treated to a day out at Sea Point’s The Rotary Blue Train Park.  

Squeals of excitement and beautiful sunshine set the tone for the 71 children from Isiseko Educare Centre and 65 children from Ilitha Family Learning Educare who were recently treated to a day out at Sea Point’s The Rotary Blue Train Park. Most of the children aged between two and five years old had never experienced a train ride or even seen the ocean before.

The children spent four glorious hours playing until their hearts were content on the jumping castles, swings, jungle gyms and riding on the famous Blue Train. During the festivities, they were served a delicious lunch and refreshments of Bonaqua water which was sponsored by Peninsula Beverages (PenBev – local bottler and distributor of The Coca-Cola Company products in the Western and Northern Cape). The Rotary Club of Sea Point organised the outing for the children and made sure it was a day to remember.

PenBev’s Corporate Communications Manager, Denise Green, comments, “We have worked with Gavin and his team at the Rotary Club of Sea Point on the Blue Train experience for a number of years, and support the outreach programmes for disadvantaged children. We are privileged to be in a position where we can lend our help to these initiatives and look forward to a long and successful relationship with them.”

Many Capetonians and South African’s alike remember the heyday of The Rotary Blue Train Park where the miniature train took passengers on a tour of the entire park. Today, the Sea Point institutions’ train tracks are in disrepair so the train rides are limited and may not be around much longer for future generations to enjoy.

Please help save The Rotary Blue Train Park by contacting their Management Team with donations – info@thebluetrainpark.com or 084 3149200.

For more information about Peninsula Beverages, visit www.penbev.co.za or contact 021 936 5500. PenBev is also on Facebook www.facebook.com/PenBev.

To find out more about the Rotary Club of Sea Points’ projects, visit www.seapointrotary.org.za .