(* Names mentioned in this article have been changed to protect anonymity)

The MID Social Development portfolio is a mechanism to assist with bringing about social change and uplifting the lives of those most vulnerable in the MID area.

Children and adults who live on, or roam the streets of Muizenberg, are often dealing with a variety of problems which may be very difficult to overcome alone. But with some guidance and support from the MID Social Development it is possible to set the life of a person back on track – rather like the famous “starfish story”, helping every single person may not be possible, but for each person that IS helped it makes all the difference in the world.

One such success story this month is John* who approached the social worker for assistance after regularly talking to the MID fieldworkers in September 2016. After meeting with him, assessing and discussing his situation, the social worker could put a course of action in place to assist him. Since then, John has been assisted with applying for a disability grant through SASSA and he has been reunited with one of his siblings and has moved “home”. After being vulnerable and alone on the streets for a long period of time, it took great courage for John* to reach out to the MID social development team, and one cannot underestimate the impact this intervention has had on his life.

Sometimes helping can be a slow process, and the support provided by the Social Work team during that process is crucial to keeping motivated and hopeful. For example, Suzette* also hopes to be reunited with her family in the long run, but for her it is trickier as she has lost touch over the years and needs help investigating how to trace them first. But in the meantime, she has found a part-time job, and the social development team are working closely with the City to find suitable shelter opportunities.

Children on the streets are of course even more vulnerable than adults, and the earlier there is intervention for them, the better the chances of a good outcome. This month, at the Open Door clinic on Thursdays, two clients were assisted with starting the foster care process for vulnerable children known to them.

MID would like to say a special “Thank You” to the fieldworkers this month: their job can be both physically and emotionally demanding at times, yet they always approach potential social work clients with dignity and compassion.

Supporting the work that MID Social Development does is a great way to truly help those less fortunate – and so much more effective than giving a handout (which often just helps to keep people “stuck” where they are). If you would like to get involved by donating towards this work, then please email Chevone Petersen – manager@mid.org.za; alternatively if you know of anyone who may benefit from the social work service or would like to offer your support then do contact Marion Thomas (MID Social Worker) on socialwork@mid.org.za.


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 public safety, 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.

Enquiries: manager@mid.org.za