An early spring day was the perfect setting for the launch of the Dadewethu Foundation, a Fourways-based organisation that is using flowers to empower some of the most vulnerable members of our community: women who beg on the roadside with their children. Dadewethu (which means “sister”) gives these women training and places their children in school so that they can learn in a safe environment.
Bouquets of Joy
Dadewethu gathers used flowers from wedding and other event venues and uses them to train women in floral arranging. The training is SETA-accredited, meaning that it is nationally recognised, so they are equipped to enter the workforce.
While the mothers are learning, their children are safe in preschools. In fact, it’s the only condition of staying in the training programme: the child must keep attending school.
The bouquets are handed out to women at The Witkoppen Clinic, where the training takes place. Flowers that are too old for bouquets are turned into organic compost, which is sold.
Planting the seed
Dadewethu came about when Natasha Reuben, our new favourite Fourways shero, stopped to talk to a woman who was begging with her child at a robot. Once she understood this mother’s plight and desperation, she decided to do something about it.
This is what Natasha said at the launch: “The Dadewethu Foundation is about every mother that has battled to put food on the table, every mother that has gone to bed hungry because she gave her child her last slice of bread, this is about every tear that was shed when she felt like giving up. This foundation is about helping those mothers – helping them to keep both themselves and their children educated and healthy, and to break the cycle of poverty in their lives.”
We couldn’t have said it better.