Xchange focuses on inequality, poverty

Benita Barnetts of Faith Daycare in Westlake and Kristy Magner from Kirstenhof, partner of Xchange Connection.

Ensuring that a community has access to basic needs such as, water, education, healthcare, accommodation, food and safety is what the Xchange Connexion aims to do in Ward 71.

The ward includes areas such Tokai, Westlake, Kirstenhof, Lakeside, Bergvliet and Constantia.

The organisation’s founders, Szilvia Holloway and Tracy Stallard, recently hosted a “connexion” event at Bootleggars Coffee Company in Tokai, where members of the community, local businesses, Tokai Neighbourhood Crime Watch and Kirstenhof Community Watch could network and socialise with one another.

The organisers also played a short film, which encouraged those at the event to get involved with Xchange Connexion and which focused on inequality and poverty in communities and how communities should stand together to bring about change.

Xchange Connexion is a social enterprise which connects local businesses, non-profit organisations, neighbourhood watches, libraries, educare centres and residents so that they can work together to bring about change in their communities.

The organisation has only been in existence for about a year and has already started phase 1 of the “WEHAFS4ECDs” project, which involves local businesses partnering with Xchange Connexion to transform Early Childhood Development (ECD) learning centres in the Westlake area.

Simon and Kristy Magner, from Kirstenhof, owners of Iridium Business Solutions in Westlake business park, are among those involved in this initiative.

And one of those who has benefited from it, is Benita Barnetts who runs Faith Daycare in Westlake. When the Xchange Connexion team visited the home, the facility was in poor condition, there was no gate, limited resources for the children – and they could not play outside.

With the help of the initiative, however, Ms Barnetts has registered her facility and put measures in place to track the children’s attendance and has indemnity forms for parents to sign when the children go on outings.

Mr Magner says he wouldn’t describe his involvement as a hand-out or charity. Instead, it’s a reward for those who are already working hard.

“It’s easier to just give somebody money but we would like her to feel that she has earned it,” he says.

If you are interested in getting connected with the Xchange Connexion or partner with the organisation, visit the www.xchangeconnexion.com website or call Tracy Stallard on 082 071 5183