Launch of the Proudly Hout Bay Women’s Forum

One of the Hout Bay Partnership’s 2015 MicroGrant winners was the Proudly Hout Bay Women’s Forum. On Saturday August 29th the PHBWF hosted its official launch in the Hangberg Sports and Recreation Hall to a large crowd reflective of women across Hout Bay and representation from National and Provincial government in attendance, additionally women from Ocean View, Khayelitsha, and Langa Women’s groups also attended to show support. Using their MicroGrant, PHBWL was able to have promotional materials and information handouts at their launch and provided a celebratory meal to all in attendance.

Proudly Hout Bay Women’s Forum aims to rally women, parents and grandparents across communities to work together to take the area back and affect positive change. In addition to neighbourhood watches and regular community meetings, the project offers workshops and I ACT HIV/AIDS support groups to offer additional support to those who need it.

Originally forming in Hangberg, women from Imizamo Yethu and all across Hout Bay have now joined, showing that there is a great hunger and desire to work together to rid our community of negative influences and related social problems. Additionally the Community Police Forum, Hout Bay Neighbourhood Watch, Hout Bay SAPS, Metro Police, and faith leaders from across Hout Bay have also shown their support.  Often it is the family members of those taking part in crime who are the most affected; and through the Forum and its partners these individuals will no longer have to stand alone. The goal is to see at least 200 members from the Valley join, and another 200 from Imizamo Yethu. This will really represent a join community effort which will yield great power in tackling crime.

Liezl Mathews, who is spearheading the initiative, serves as the Hangberg Project Manager on the Community Police Forum, liaising between the community and the police. “In addition to nightly weekend community walks, we’d like to have eight community meetings throughout the year and also see our parent support group established,” she says. “We are partnering with many other community organisations and aim to include as much of Hout Bay as possible.”

Because the project is community-fuelled, there are minimal costs involved given the number of people and the impact the PHBWF will have, the Hout Bay Partnership MicroGrant has already sponsored one workshop which took place in July, and there will still be more coming up in the near future as this project really takes form.