Greening: Some of the Lotto money will go towards the development of community gardens in all five of SHAWCO's centres.
It didn't take six lucky digits, but the Students' Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (SHAWCO) has hit the jackpot for the second time, receiving three different grants - to a total value of R1 227 000 - from the National Lotteries Board over the past few months.
The money will be used on three SHAWCO projects at its four community centres in the Western Cape. These are to assist with the running costs of the K2 Centre computer project, the development and upkeep of community gardens in all five of SHAWCO's centres in the Western Cape and the renovation of the K2 Centre, in Khayelitsha.
The largest grant by far, R900 000, will go towards developing the Khayelitsha Centre, which houses a library and a computer facility. According to Anna du Bois, SHAWCO fundraiser, the funding has come at a critical time for the centre as the number of people utilising the computer centre is growing and SHAWCO has received funds to buy more computers for the growing number of clients.
The Centre's library will also be extended so it can house the 60 000 books that were donated to SHAWCO last year by a UCT exchange student. Also part of the renovations, is the building of a garage for the new bus, which will also be funded from the R900 000.
Du Bois said: "What is also greatly anticipated is the development of community gardens at the various Western Cape centres, which are currently littered with alien vegetation or simply no lawns or gardens to speak of.
"Our plan at the moment is to pull out all the alien vegetation and create water-wise, low-maintenance, indigenous gardens with medicinal herbs and vegetable patches, but at the moment we are still trying to decide how to go about it," she explained.
One of the conditions of the R215 000 grant that will be allocated to the development of community gardens, is that the project must empower the local community.
"We are currently consulting with Kirstenbosch because we want the gardens to meet our expectations and be developed professionally but with the full participation of the community," elaborated Du Bois.
Last year SHAWCO received R1 334 000 from the National Lotteries Board that funded the development of the wetland area behind K2 centre, the upgrading of recreation and sporting facilities at SHAWCO's centres in Kensington, Manenberg, Khayelitsha and Nyanga, the development of facilities for The Performing and Visual Arts Project in Manenberg and the expansion of the Kensington Heritage Project.