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A call to care

On Friday, 7 October, the monthly Paint & Sip event was hosted in Loop Street, Cape Town by Call 2 Care - a non-profit volunteer organisation focused on sustainable community development.
A call to careWhile the city was abuzz with movement, the atmosphere at 91 Loop Street felt almost other-worldly filled with acoustic sounds, walls of art and good conversation. We were immediately welcomed by the Call 2 Care team and took our seats where we found canvasses, paint and paint brushes set out on long tables for our Paint & Sip artistic experience led by local artist Joanna Cooke.

Launched in Cape Town on 24 September 2012, Call 2 Care aims to increase food and nutrition access to underprivileged communities. They do this by providing sustainable food gardening education to individuals for the empowerment of the communities in which they reside. This is achieved by means of The iGardi Project which comprises food gardens, soup kitchens and energy exchange programmes. Basically, it’s a really fun way of creating garden boxes for communities to viably feed themselves.

The Call 2 Care team began their journey by means of a soup kitchen at the Baphumelele Children's Home in Khayelitsha. Four years on, they’re hoping that through the iGardi Project, soup kitchens can be established in both the Samora Michel Township and Delft areas on a regular basis to feed over 100 local residents per week.

We spoke to co-founders Steven dos Ramos and Alexandrnya Audagnotti about the challenges they face, what their needs are and how you can be part of the Call 2 Care initiative.

BizcommunityWhat are the challenges that Call 2 Care currently face?

Working with a number of disadvantaged communities on a daily basis, our challenge is acquiring enough funding and resources to allow us to unleash our passion for setting up holistic community development projects that address the needs of these disadvantaged communities.

Our challenge for acquiring funding and resources is particularly true for our main initiative – the iGardi Project. In order to achieve the iGardi Project’s mission, we need the resources and funding available to allow us to improve these disadvantaged communities. Each drought-resistant food garden box costs roughly R2,000 for all the materials. We are always on the lookout for sponsors of a branded garden box or the materials required for each garden box.

What we can achieve is limited by funding and resources available. Thus, we appeal to the public to assist us in setting up more projects.

BizcommunityIn which ways have the food gardens helped to improve the impoverished communities that you work with?

The major improvements we see in these impoverished communities is when we see the community come together to harvest, cook and share a nutritious, organic meal together.

We at Call 2 Care know we are on the right track when we see individuals in each township walk by our numerous build events only to join in on the fun so that they can also learn how to build their own garden boxes at home and grow food sustainably.

BizcommunityPaint & Sip is a relaxing and fun event, can you tell us more about what it entails and what made you decide to initiate it?

Paint & Sip is a fun and unique way to uncork your creativity as an experienced local professional artist takes you step by step through the process of unleashing your inner artist to recreate your own masterpiece.

It was started as a fundraising programme and has now evolved into an artist empowerment and development program.

At our resident 91 Loop Street venue, we empower local artists (including artists in our township communities) by providing a venue to exhibit their masterpieces. They'll also be featured at the popular Cape Town First Thursday for the duration of the month - all art sales go directly to the featured artist.

BizcommunityHow can the public get involved in sponsorships and / or donations?

There are a number of ways to get involved and help raise funds for Call 2 Care.

We offer the following events monthly:

Paint & Sip events at 91 Loop Street and D’Aria wine farm. All proceeds raised fund Call 2 Care service projects.

The iGardi Project is free to participate.

We also offer custom event packages for the iGardi Project and Paint & Sip events as year-end functions, team building events and general occasions.

For the iGardi project, corporates can custom brand their own garden boxes. In addition, we are always on the lookout for any leads that can help sponsor (or sell at cost) any of the materials below:
  • Burlap sacks or permeable materials
  • PVC pipes (500mm thick)
  • Wooden pallets
  • Wood varnish
  • Thick pond liner or equivalent food grade plastic
  • Vegetable seedlings (as mature as possible)
  • Compost
  • Mulch
The Paint & Sip experience was engaging, relaxing and fun-filled. It was great to have learnt artistic techniques from Cooke and to experience the Call 2 Care teams’ inviting and friendly nature. If you’re ever looking for a place to unwind and let your creativity flow, I would recommend attending the next Paint & Sip event.

Visit the Call 2 Care website to see how you can answer a call to care.

View the recent Paint & Sip event here.

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