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CCID’s social team recognised for its efforts

CCID’s social team recognised for its efforts

12 Feb 2018 Tags: CCID CCID Social Development Central City

Every day, members of the Cape Town Central City Improvement District’s (CCID) social development department pour their hearts and souls into their work engaging with the Central City’s most vulnerable. Very seldom do they see radical change or a client coming back to thank them. However, occasionally a silver lining appears and makes up for all the other times as one CCID fieldworker found out.

Recently, CCID fieldworker, Shanien Stemmett received a heartfelt, handwritten two-page letter from a client on the mend, thanking her for assistance and for going beyond the call of duty.

Says Shanien: “For us, social work isn’t just a job, it’s about helping people and it is fulfilling to hear that our efforts, no matter how small, are never in vain. I have no doubt that the rest of the social team will agree with me when I say this inspires all of us and gives us the strength to continue giving support to those who need it most.

“And I suppose, it is indeed true that ‘when we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.’”

While Shanien joined the CCID in October 2016, she began her work in social development in 2008 as a driver with The Haven Night Shelter in District Six, before moving into fieldwork for the same organisation at its Wynberg Shelter. In 2011, she moved to The Haven’s Retreat Shelter, where she became an auxiliary social worker. She has also worked at the Glen Elgin Community Organisation in its Victim Empowerment Programme and at the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children, as the centre’s intake social auxiliary worker. She is currently studying towards a BA Social Work degree via Unisa – a qualification she believes will further enhance her engagements with the Central City’s most vulnerable.

According to Pat Eddy, the CCID’s Social Development manager, responses such as these from clients are gratifying and it’s important to cherish them as: “They reassure us that it is possible to make a difference against what at times seem to be insurmountable odds against us.

“I work with an incredible team; they’re realistic, give unconditionally and expect nothing in return.

“To give someone an opportunity and mentor them in a non-judgemental way takes courage. It’s hard work and there are no guarantees, but you must have that belief, as my team does, and concentrate your efforts towards the services the most vulnerable in our society need and remain hopeful that they’ll accept help.”

Image by Ed Suter