Recognising the roar of a true lioness

Charlotte Jubelin

Women’s Month is a time when the work of women making a difference in their communities is recognised. One such woman is Wynberg’s Charlotte Jubelin.

Ms Jublein is the regional chairperson of District 410W of Lions Club International.

The Cape of Good Hope Lions Club, based in Plumstead, has served various poverty-stricken communities since 1958.

For many years, the club was well known for its mealie stall at the Community Chest Carnival at Maynardville Park in Wynberg.

The club’s projects have changed over the years and it runs community wellness days, provides soup and sleeping bags for the homeless, organises outings for seniors, distributes sanitary pads at schools, holds Christmas parties for the needy, donates books to schools and more.

Ms Jubelin says her goal is to become South Africa’s first district governor of colour for Lions Club International.

“It’s not something that we like to talk about, but it’s something that we have to talk about,” she says. “I’m very proud to be a part of a change that needs to happen.”

Ms Jubelin started her volunteering work in March 2012 at the Community Chest Carnival. 

Meeting Lions Club members, she says, made her realise she could make a difference in the club and the community.

“I have always had a passion for people and inspiring people to be the best they can be.  After my divorce 13 years ago, I have always made use of opportunities to empower myself, single parents, youth and, in particular, women.”

She oversees 13 clubs in the Western Cape and has been one of the founding members for Lions clubs formed in the past three years in areas such as Mitchell’s Plain, Athlone, Lavender Hill and Manenberg.

Ms Jubelin guides the clubs, teaching them to do community needs assessments in their areas and showing them the ropes on how to run a club.

A highlight for her was last November, when the Mitchell’s Plain Lions Club held its first Diabetes Walk, attended by more than 170 people.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, she helped open a soup kitchen in Manenberg, where many people have lost their jobs.

She is now organising a clean-up for a field on Vygekraal Road. There are plans to turn the illegal dumping site into a community vegetable garden.

Ms Jubelin is also involved in other feeding projects in Lavender Hill and Elsies River.

She says Lions Club International promotes serving through kindness and diversity, and her goal is to open more clubs in poor communities where there are people of colour.

She says the club encourages her to stop concentrating on her own challenges and rather find joy in doing something good for someone else. 

“My favourite affirmation is ‘DSGFS’ – Do Something Good For Someone Else.”

Lion’s Club International is an international non-political service organisation established in 1917 in Chicago, Illinois, to create service projects for underprivileged communities.

There are more than 48 000 Lions clubs around the world.