Cape Mental Health held their 20th Cape Town International Kite Festival on 1st and 2nd November and kindly accepted the MID offer to use our homeless to support the cleaning exercise.

At 07h30, on the morning of the 1st November, a team of 10 gathered at the Atlantic Road Clinic office ready to commit to 2 full days of work and excited about being given the chance to work for such a length of time and for such a well-known event. Sihsy Selenge organised the team so that the village would be cleaned first before moving onto the festival grounds at the vlei.

It was not only hot but windy making the litter cleanup quite a challenge with blue ribbons from the kite packaging flying through the air and along with napkins and food wrappers that had to be chased into the bushes. The days was long but our team could be seen continuously moving through the crowds and along the banks of the vlei collecting litter. A great deal of the litter had been sitting in the ditches along the caravan park and in the reeds for months and was all collected by the team. It made a huge difference on the whole area and residents watched with amusement at the end of the day as the team chased papers into the gardens and collected from their flower beds.

Greg Damster, the Event Organiser said in email afterwards

Cape Mental Health thanks you and your team for your contribution to the success of the Cape Town International Kite Festival. The professional way your team performed their tasks. I am told that the Festival Village has never been as clean as it was this year during the trading period. Please thank the team on our behalf. Thank you again for your contribution to the success of our kite festival. We hope to enjoy your support again in 2015 when we celebrate our 21st Cape Town International Kite Festival”.

The team received much praise too from visitors as they handed into lost property a variety of item such as  clothing, hats, sun glasses, car keys etc.

The team worked until 18h30 on the Sunday night to ensure that everything had been collected and returned again the following day to help clean-up while all the stands were being dismantled. An additional day was also spent cleaning up the rubbish that had been caught in the reeds on the opposite bank.

Additional note from Greg: We are grateful for the support of thousands of visitors to both events as well as the efforts of hundreds of volunteers who worked tirelessly to help the organisation raise and heighten awareness of mental health and mental disability. Our international, national and Western Cape kiters thanked us profusely for our hospitality and for affording them the opportunity to “play” with their toys – and the children and those young at heart who attended our pre-festival community activities and who joined us over the weekend were able to enjoy an event like none other, uplifted by special show kites like Toothless, Pegasus, Memo and countless others.

Widespread media exposure raised the profile of Cape Mental Health and helped to spread our message that “Beyond the Blue” there are opportunities for persons in need of mental health care to access community based services and support, and to achieve their highest level of independent functioning and well-being. The tweets, Facebook messages and verbal feedback have been overwhelmingly positive and early indications are that the Kite Festival’s income exceeds half a million rand which will support vital service delivery to marginalised and poorly resourced communities in the Western Cape”.

 Report By: Marion Wagner,  Social Development Director, MID

About MID:

The Muizenberg Improvement District [MID] is a geographic area where property owners have contracted to pay a levy to facilitate a joint effort by the City of Cape Town and the local community to ensure more effective management of public areas and to promote business confidence.

The MID supplements normal municipal services provided by the City, using its funds to deal with crime and grime, enhance the environment and address social issues like vagrancy and finding workable solutions for the homeless. The Muizenberg Improvement District is a legal entity established under the City’s Special Rating Areas by-law and also governed by the South African Companies Act 2008. Website:

Enquiries: Chevone Petersen Phone: 021 788 1196 or 082 463 1525