Award-winning Rotary Club provides food security incentives and employment opportunities to inspire poverty-stricken residents of Atlantis. Picture: Facebook
Award-winning Rotary Club provides food security incentives and employment opportunities to inspire poverty-stricken residents of Atlantis. Picture: Facebook

Award-winning Rotary Club giving help and hope for impoverished Atlantis community

By Gontse Riet Time of article published Nov 10, 2021

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Cape Town - Atlantis was established by the apartheid government as an industrial base for coloured workers in the 1970s. Now, more than 40 years later, it is a den for crime and gang violence.

But one man is hoping to change the trajectory of the area’s youth.

After serving as the principal at Reygersdal Primary School in Atlantis for 24 years, and bearing witness to the sky-rocketing levels of poverty at the school, Danny Pieterson had a vision.

“I saw the poverty during those years in my school and told myself that one of my visions would be to try my best to help the kids and alleviate the poverty in Atlantis, and that is what inspired the work that is done by the Rotary Club,” he said.

Pieterson founded the Rotaract Club of Atlantis in February 2019.

He works with a “wonderful and supportive team” that is “committed to serving the community”.

“We are there to serve, and if you are not there to serve, I will go to you and ask you if you do not want to be a part of another group because we are here to work and serve,” Pieterson said.

His team includes Terence Adams, who is his secretary and principal of a school. Adams will fill Pieterson’s shoes as president of Rotaract from February 10, next year.

To move away from depending on sponsorships, the team installed a water kiosk at one of the schools, where it sells water and ice in order to fund other prospective projects.

The team is facilitating 19 vegetable gardens at 17 schools, and two centres for people living with disabilities.

It also runs 15 soup kitchens that cater for 3 000 people three times a week.

“The response from the community has been good. We have a positive relationship with them and, where we can, we try our best to lift them up,” Pieterson said.

The team was awarded a Paul Harris Award in appreciation of its work.

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