Lions Clubs International District 410A (Zone 3), had the privilege of honoring four guests with the prestigious Louis Volks Humanitarian Award people at a special event held on Wednesday, 23rd May 2018. Hosted by Zone Chairperson Dawn Poole, the awards were presented to people who have given dedicated and distinguished service to the community which exemplifies the ideals of Lionism. The Louis Volks Humanitarian Awards were presented by the following Lions Clubs to:
Lions Club of Tableview: LP Felicity van Eck: Aziza Nolan
Aziza is the founder of the Peace Home, a safe haven for abused and neglected children in Parklands. She currently has twelve children under her care as well as one abandoned baby. All her children have harrowing backgrounds.
Aziza grew up wanting to help children, her first one being a six year old boy who was living in a car. This was when Aziza was just 18 years old herself! She paid for her own education which included the study of psychology. She also later acquired an NNCB, and international qualification in child care. In 1998, a child care position enabled Aziza to travel to the UK where she furthered her studies in psychology, training also in maternity nursing. She is an international expert in infant care.
She tirelessly campaigns against child abuse in South Africa and overseas and is often the guest speaker at events, interviewed on the radio etc.
Lions Club of Merriman: PDG Clive Fox: Deirdré Gower
Deirdré Gower is mother to 19 year old Damian Gower who has spastic quadriplegia following a reaction to a vaccination at around 9 months of age and uses a wheelchair for mobility. She wears a few hats, most of which bear the South African outdoors on their brim. She is a horse trail guide in a wildlife sanctuary, a freelance website designer, writer and social media marketer, the co-founder of Warrior On Wheels Foundation, and founder of Accessible South Africa. Deirdre is passionate about promoting universal access in tourism.
Warrior On Wheels Foundation, a unique, Cape-based South African NPO, aims to uplift and empower children with disabilities by providing special adventures tailored for special kids, thereby changing perceptions of ability and bridging gaps between able-bodied and differently-abled communities. Through consulting with adventure providers and establishments within the tourism industry they are forging partnerships that promote accessibility for all abilities
Lions Club of Durbanville: LP Stuart Bowles: Maritjie Paxton
Maritjie Paxton the Managing Director of the Sing For Africa School. Sing for Africa was established in February 2007 to make a difference in the lives of less privileged children. As time progressed the organisation, realised that children never exist in isolation and if one wants to improve their lives one needs to improve their general living conditions and development.
This refocused the organisation to start right at the roots of their area of interest, with an Early Childhood Development Centre in Happy Valley, Cape Town. Soon the ECD Centre were simultaneously utilised as a community centre where the parents of the children and other locals from the community were equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to assist them to become self- sustainable in order to not only improve their own living conditions but to provide better for their children.
Apart from reaching around 70 pre-schoolers more than a hundred women are involved in spiritual renewal and skills development programmes at the centre.
Since the registration of Sing For Africa they have supported numerous humanitarian organizations and assisted a number of individuals who have needed assistance with either drug related cases, alcohol abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, poverty alleviation, malnutrition alleviation, work opportunities, motivational and upliftment workshops and much more.
Lions Club of Tygerberg Hills: LP Patrick Pillay: Maureen Henshaw-Dan
Maureen is the founder of Operation Feed which was born eighteen years ago when she saw the desperate plight of so many people from all walks of life, races and creeds. She began by preparing meals from her own pocket to feed the elderly, single parents, children – anyone who was in need. She also prepared lunch packs for school children.
The Lions Club of Tygerberg Hills assisted Maureen when Food Bank took over the distribution of foodstuffs which was collected from Pick n Pay as she could not afford the costs imposed on the amount of food she needed. However, the Lions Club of Tygerberg Hills rescued the organisation and with Lion Andre Visser at the helm, they managed to source the foodstuffs she required.
Maureen and her team go the extra mile to ensure that everyone on her database is fed on a daily basis – even if it is at 12h00 at night! And it doesn’t end there. Operation Feed is involved in the following projects:
- Alleviating poverty in poverty stricken areas
- Empowering women and children
- Positively influencing communities
- Supporting single parents in their struggle
- Making a difference in the lives of the elderly
- Hosting a Soccer Club, Rugby Club and Dancing School – to keep children off the street
- Hosting HIV and Aids Awareness Workshops
- Arranging Substance Abuse Awareness events
- Running several soup kitchens
- Supporting a crèche whose families cannot pay fees
- Wedding planning for couples – from the dress, make up, jewelry, cars and venues
- Providing workshops to upskill women, i.e. knitting, sewing, baking, etc. to enable them to make and sell to support their families
- Additional teaching classes to help children with their homework.
- Holding annual Christmas Parties and provide 200 children with stationary required for school as well as other goodies.
- Providing food hampers for 100 families during Christmas and serve 200 meals on Christmas Day
- Delivering Easter Eggs to all the children on their database at Eastertime.
Our heartiest congratulations to these four people who have made such a difference in the lives of others.
Pictured here are:
Back Row: (Left to Right) LP Patrick Pillay, PDG Clive Fox, Deirdré Gower, DG Geila Wills, LP Felicity van Eck, LP Stuart Bowles
Front Row: (Left to Right) Maureen Henshaw-Dan, Zone Chairperson Dawn Poole, Damien Gower, Lexi (District 410A’s Mascot for 2017 – 2018), Aziza Nolan, Maritjie Paxton